Events Riverbreak

Published on January 25th, 2014 | by PhilB

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Review of the First River Wave Forum, Munich 2013

Over 80 river surfers and wave builders converged in Munich to meet friends old and new and debate over the future of river surfing in Central Europe. The first ever River Wave Forum attracted speakers and guests from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who came to discuss current wave building projects and contemporary methods of wave construction.

The idea to gather the top-minds in river surfing in one place at one time was born by the two river surfing enthusisats Benjamin Di-Qual and River Steve. Thanks to these talented organisers for putting together this unique event. The River Wave Forum was held on November 9 2013 in the Bayerische Ingenieurekammer-Bau in the “City of Eisbach”.

How to Create the “Perfect Wave”?

The Eisbach Wave in Munich and the Almkanal Wave in Salzburg are popular for white water sports. What about these features makes them so attractive for surfing and kayaking?  How do we create the conditions for perfect standing waves?

The first River Wave Forum greatly encouraged the dialogue between surfers and wave builders.

These questions were at the heart of the first River Wave Forum, held at the Bavarian Chamber of Civil Engineers on November 9, 2013. Over 80 participants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland filled the Forum to capacity. The unique combination of engineers, presenters, officials, club representatives, wave project leaders, surfers and kayakers gave this event a remarkable atmosphere. Insightful presentations and lively discussions created a valuable exchange of information and established new and important connections.

The Increase in Numbers of Artificial Waves

Surfing river waves was once the passion of a few individuals but has recently become the focus of public attention. In the past few years the number of planned waves has risen significantly both in Europe and globally. Currently surf enthusiasts and scientists from many organisations, government agencies and universities are working intensively on solutions to create surfable waves in rivers. Many of these projects are in an evaluation stage where feasibility studies or project planning needs to be done but other projects are about to break ground.

The central goal of the first River Wave Forum was the exchange of experience and research results accompanied by open discussions. More importantly, the wave project leaders were given the opportunity to connect with experts who could help with the successful completion of their projects.

The Bavarian Chamber of Civil Engineers promotes and supports the athletic and academic commitment in this area and gave the River Wave Forum the appropriate platform. “With the first River Wave Forum we want to encourage the dialogue between surfers and wave builders. Where nature has not provided for the perfect wave, water engineers can help. The engineers have the knowledge to help can create perfect conditions for athletes, while ensuring their safety. We are glad to be the host of this unique event”, said Dr. Heinrich Schroeter, President of the Bavarian Chamber of Civil Engineers.

More on Building River Waves

This is the first of a series of articles on the different approaches and experiences in building river waves. The next articles will cover some of the key aspects and methods in wave construction as discussed in the River Wave Forum. If you have any questions or information to share, please contact us at

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Phil is a passionate riversurfer based in the capital of urban hydro power, Graz / Austria. He graduated from the International University for Riversurfing (IUR) in 2008 before he got married (to PhilK) in 2009. Instead of children, they gave birth to the probably most awesome riversurfing magazine on the planet: Riverbreak.

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