Is Munich the January Surfing Capital of Europe?

Is Munich the January Surfing Capital of Europe?

By  Wednesday, 14.1.2015, 12:09    Tell Me Something about Munich

So what does an adrenaline freak do on a sunny day in the middle of January in a major European city hundreds of kilometres from the sea?

Go surfing of course!

I had heard about the Munich surfers from a couple of people before coming to the city, but I was surprised at how many people did not know about it here in Munich. I was also curious to see it myself, so I headed out to Haus der Kunst, round the corner from Odeonsplatz U-Bahn, to see if anyone was crazy enough to be surfing in the middle of winter.

I was not alone, and it did not take long to come find them, as a small crowd had already gathered to watch the hardy surfers riding the Munich Wave just below the bridge. Hawaii it may not be, but the guys were clearly having fun and rising to the challenge. There were three taking turns to surf, with another few waiting in the wings.  

Although the sun was out, it was not quite warm enough for the almost-naked surfing as in the lead picture of this article, and this is how the January surfers are attired. 

Of course, if they surf in January, they surf all year round, and I can imagine it is a fun attraction in the main tourist season and at Oktoberfest for example.

There is a great video explaining the history of the Munich Wave, including some of the characters who brought the phenomenon to Munich, including Dieter the Eater, who was one of the first to discover it almost 50 years ago.

There was not so much craziness yesterday (unless you count the concept of surfing in a big city in the middle of winter), just a few guys enjoying the surf. More of yesterday's pictures below.

There is, of course, a website, which has a lot of information on the Munich river surfing scene. Check it out here







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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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