Surfing in Germany

Surfing in Germany: Uncovering the Hidden Gems of the North Sea

Surfing in Germany offers a distinct experience unlike the typical surf destinations that come to mind. While it may not have the tropical allure of Hawaii or the massive swells of Australia, Germany holds its own as a surf destination with a variety of unique spots and vibrant communities. The country’s surf spots cater to different styles and preferences, ranging from river surfing in Munich to the challenging conditions of the North and Baltic Seas. Notably, the famed Eisbach wave in Munich allows inland surfers to experience the thrill of surfing without being anywhere near the ocean.

The culture surrounding surfing in Germany is as intriguing as the spots themselves. Across Germany, there are strong, tight-knit communities that bring surfers together, fostering both the sport and an environmentally conscious ethos. Enthusiasts looking to learn surfing can find numerous schools and camps, particularly during the summer months when the North and Baltic Seas are most welcoming. For those who can’t make it to the coast or river waves, indoor and artificial wave facilities offer year-round surfing opportunities, ensuring that the stoke never dies down, no matter the season.

Key Takeaways

  • Germany’s versatile surfing locations cater to river, lake, and ocean enthusiasts.
  • Tight-knit communities and accessible surf schools help nurture the local surf culture.
  • Artificial surf facilities provide year-round wave riding options for all levels.

Surfing Spots in Germany

Germany might not be the first country that springs to mind when I think of surfing, but it offers a variety of spots that cater to different skill levels. From the brisk waters surrounding Sylt Island to the more sheltered spots perfect for beginners, there’s a surprising diversity to be found along the German coasts.

List of Top 15 Surfing Spots in Germany

Sylt Island

Known for its natural beauty and challenging waves, Sylt Island is a prominent surfing location. It’s a gem for those who embrace cold water surfing in Germany.


Fehmarn’s coastlines are a haven for surfers. With conditions suitable for different experience levels, it offers excellent options for beginners and intermediate surfers alike.

St. Peter Orden

The sandy beaches are complemented by reliable winds, making St. Peter Orden a hotspot for both wind surfing and kite surfing.


Another popular surf spot on Sylt Island with solid infrastructure including German surf shops to cater to all my surfing needs.


An inland surf spot where stationary wave systems provide consistent wave conditions.

Eisbach, Munich

The Eisbach river wave is a unique urban surfing experience. Despite being far from the coast, it’s a renowned spot in the heart of Munich.

Wannsee, Berlin

Berlin’s inland waters offer decent setups for stationary wave surfing, suitable for when I can’t make it to the sea.

surfing germany


One of the East Frisian Islands, Norderney caters to surfers with its quality waves and vibrant surfing community.


With its wide beaches, Warnemünde is favorable for beginners looking for a gentle introduction to the sport.


A spot known for its consistent waves. Ideal for those who have advanced past the beginner stage and are looking for a bit more of a challenge.


Situated in Lower Saxony, Norddeich is on my list for its surf schools and gentle waves, ideal for novice surfers.


A spot that’s gaining popularity among surfers for its good wind conditions and accommodating atmosphere for beginners.


Renowned for its clean winds, Pelzerhaken provides perfect conditions for windsurfing enthusiasts.


Offering some of the best windsurfing conditions on the Baltic coast, Kühlungsborn is a spot I cannot overlook.


The area is well-suited for both surfing and windsurfing, with amenities close by for a comfortable surfing experience.

Each of these spots offers something unique for surfers, whether it’s the allure of cold water surfing or the convenience of an urban wave. With the presence of surf shops and schools, Germany’s surfing locales are equipped to support both my journey into the sport or the honing of my skills.

River Surfing in Munich

River surfing in Munich has gained international renown, primarily due to the iconic Eisbach wave. This city offers a surfing experience unlike any traditional coastal surfing location.

The Unique Experience of the Eisbach Wave

In the heart of Munich flows the Eisbach, a small man-made river that’s home to a continuous, surging wave. Known as the Eisbach wave, it stands as one of the most famous river surfing spots in the world. Unlike the ocean’s waves, the Eisbach’s wave is static, arising where the rapid water encounters a submerged block. Surfers glide onto this wave to perform dynamic maneuvers, while spectators watch from the riverbanks, entranced by the spectacle.

Surfing Culture Around the Eisbach

The community that has emerged around the Eisbach wave is close-knit and vibrant. Surfing here is not just a sport; it’s a deeply ingrained cultural phenomenon. Locals and tourists alike are drawn to the river’s edge, where the sport has been practiced since the 1970s. Although Munich doesn’t offer traditional surf camps, the culture surrounding the Eisbach serves as an informal and welcoming educational environment for new and experienced surfers. Each year, enthusiasts from around the world come to Munich, eager to challenge the unique urban wave and immerse themselves in the thriving river surfing community.

germany surfing

Surfing in the North and Baltic Seas

The North and Baltic Seas present unique surfing experiences characterized by prevailing westerly winds and distinct seasonal patterns. I will explore the dynamics of this region’s surf culture and optimal surfing conditions.

Characteristics of Surfing in Northern Germany

Surfing in the North Sea and Baltic Sea has a charm of its own, with the German coasts offering surf spots that cater to various skill levels. Wind conditions are a significant factor here, as the westerly winds in northern Germany provide the necessary swell for surfable waves. This is particularly true for locations along the Baltic Sea coast, where artificial surfing reefs have been proposed to enhance wave conditions for consistent surfing experiences.

In terms of surfing infrastructure, Germany’s northern coasts are equipped with surf schools, equipment rentals, and accommodating local communities that contribute to a welcoming surfing environment. Initiatives like the assessment of artificial surfing reefs in the Baltic Sea show the active efforts to improve the surfing landscape.

Best Times to Surf in the North and Baltic Seas

The surfing season in Germany varies between the North and Baltic Seas. Generally, the most favorable time to catch waves is during the autumn and winter months, when the winds are stronger, and the swell is more consistent. This is when surfers can find the best conditions with larger and more frequent waves.

In contrast, summer offers milder conditions which are well-suited for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed surfing experience. Regardless of the season, it’s advisable to stay informed about the latest weather forecasts and local advice to make the most of the surfing opportunities in these northern waters.

Surfing Culture and Community in Germany

With surfing gaining momentum in Germany, both the vibrant culture and competitive spirit have significantly shaped the communities. Let’s dive into Germany’s growing surfing scene and what makes it stand out.

The Rise of Surfing Popularity in Germany

I’ve noticed that the surfing culture has steadily gained traction in Germany despite its geographic location. With no direct access to ocean waves, innovative Germans have turned to river surfing, particularly the famed Eisbach wave in Munich. This unique aspect of German surf culture has nurtured a passionate surfing community, transforming the landlocked urban spaces into surfing hubs. Moreover, the surf lifestyle in Germany has expanded beyond traditional coastal norms, embracing the more accessible and sustainable approach to the sport.

Surf Events and Competitions

In Germany, surfers are not only riding waves but also creating waves of hype with surf-related events and competitions. The German Surf Championship, known as “Deutsche Meisterschaften im Wellenreiten,” is a highlight, annually drawing competitors and spectators alike. This competition showcases the best of German surf competitions and is a testament to the strength of the surfing community in Germany. Besides competition, these events offer a platform for promoting sustainable surfing in Germany, as environmental stewardship becomes increasingly woven into the fabric of the surf culture.

Learning to Surf in Germany

I find that Germany, though not widely recognized for its surfing, offers a unique and enthusiastic surf culture, especially in the river surfing scene. With the right guidance and knowledge, I can tackle the waves across German surf spots with confidence.

Surf Schools and Lessons

Germany hosts a number of surf schools that cater to beginners and experienced surfers alike. Having visited schools along the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts, as well as along the Eisbach river in Munich, I’ve noticed they typically offer a variety of lesson plans. These can range from group sessions to private lessons, ensuring personalized attention. For those just starting their surf journey, investing in surf lessons in Germany provides not only the basics of surfing but also an understanding of local wave conditions.

  • Locations: Notable schools in Munich, Hamburg, and along the North Sea coastline.
  • Lesson Plans: Options usually include group lessons, private lessons, and weekend courses.
  • Equipment Rental: Most schools offer surfboard rentals as part of the lesson package or for separate hire.

surfing in munich germany

Tips for Beginners Surfing in Germany

When I first began surfing in Germany, I quickly learned some essential tips. The most important advice for beginners is to start small and choose gentle waves to build confidence and skills. In Germany, the River Eisbach in Munich is a popular spot, but it can be challenging, so ensure you’re comfortable with your abilities before tackling river waves.

  • Water Temperature: Be prepared for cooler waters, especially outside of summer; a good wetsuit is essential.
  • Safety: Always follow local surfing rules and regulations for a safe experience.
  • Local Surf Community: Engage with the local community for the best advice on surfing spots suited for beginners.

By taking advantage of Germany’s surf schools and being mindful of these beginner tips, I am well-equipped to enjoy and succeed in the local surf scene.

Planning Your Surf Trip to Germany

When I plan a surf trip to Germany, I make sure to consider the best seasons for waves and look into surf-friendly accommodations that can enhance the entire experience. It’s about catching the right breaks while exploring what German coastal towns have to offer.

Best Time to Visit for Surfing

North Sea:

  • Autumn (September – November): Ideal for consistent swells; wetsuit required due to cooler temperatures.
  • Winter (December – February): Offers the largest waves, but expect very cold water conditions.

Baltic Sea:

  • Spring (March – May): Milder waves suitable for beginners; wetsuits still necessary.
  • Summer (June – August): Best time for a more relaxed experience, warmer water temps, but less consistent swells.

Accommodations and Travel Tips

Surf Camps:
German coastal destinations provide surf camps, such as those mentioned in Surf camp experiences, which often include lessons and gear rental.

  • Guided Surf Tours: Some surf camps offer planned trips to the best local spots.
  • Eco-Friendly Options: As a surfer, I prefer accommodations that prioritize environmental conservation.

Travel Essentials:

  • Transport: Car rentals are advisable for flexibility, especially in remote surf areas.
  • Gear: Bring your own wetsuit and board if possible; though rentals are available, personal gear ensures comfort.

By aligning my travel dates with the best surfing conditions and securing surf-friendly accommodations, I optimize my experience riding waves in Germany.


I’ve explored the multifaceted surfing scene in Germany, from river to sea, reflecting its growth and the challenges faced by enthusiasts. The risks associated with river surfing, particularly in German-speaking countries, have been highlighted through a study focusing on injury and safety equipment use among practitioners. This indicates an underlying need for increased awareness and adoption of protective measures.

Germany’s surfing communities also show potential as catalysts for environmental activism, underlining how lifestyle sports like surfing can foster a greater environmental consciousness. Similarly, contrasts between the established surfing culture in Germany and the nascent scene in Ukraine provide intriguing insights into the social dynamics of surfing communities.

A notable advancement in German healthcare related to surfing points to the importance of evidence-based approaches in assessing beneficiaries of surfing as a physical activity. Health outcomes linked to surfing bolster the case for its inclusion in sports programs and potentially, healthcare policies.

Lastly, my examination has included a fascinating look at laterality in surfing, exploring the implications of being goofy or regular-footed on performance, echoing the broader discussion of personal physicality in sport.

German surfing, both in traditional coastal environments and the unique inland river setting, presents a unique blend of challenges and opportunities, observed through the prism of safety, community, health, and individual performance. It is a testament to Germany’s evolving relationship with the sport and the resilience of its surfing culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

I understand that when it comes to surfing in Germany, you might have various questions about where to go and what to expect. Here, I address the most common inquiries I’ve received.

What are the key surfing spots in Munich?

In Munich, the best-known surfing spot is the Eisbach wave, located at the southern edge of the English Garden near the Haus der Kunst. This river surfing hotspot draws locals and tourists alike.

What kind of wave is the Eisbach wave in Munich?

The Eisbach wave is a continuous, man-made river wave generated by water pumping at high speeds. This creates a stationary wave that’s ideal for river surfing throughout the year.

Is it safe to surf at the Eisbach River in Munich?

Surfing at the Eisbach can be challenging and is recommended for experienced surfers due to strong currents and hidden concrete blocks. Safety equipment, such as helmets and wetsuits, should be worn to mitigate risks.

Where is river surfing popular in Germany outside of Munich?

River surfing is also popular in other parts of Germany, particularly at the Floßlände wave in Munich and spots along the Rhine River in cities like Cologne, where artificial waves cater to the surfing community.

What should one know before surfing in the English Garden?

Before surfing in the English Garden, it’s essential to know local rules and river conditions. Crowds can be large, and waiting your turn is part of the etiquette. Also, check the weather and water temperatures as they can significantly affect your experience.

Are there ocean surfing locations in Germany, such as Sylt?

Yes, Germany has ocean surfing locations, notably the island of Sylt in the North Sea. It offers some of the best waves for sea surfing, particularly around Westerland beach, which holds surfing competitions due to its consistent swell.