These days, surfing is not just relegated to those of us fortunate enough to live in coastal towns with conditions that allow for it. You’ve got wavepools being built in Austin, Texas and surf vacations that can turn anyone with a little bit of money into a pro.
But the sense of discovery is still out there for lots of people looking to get a thrill from riding water. Case in point, river surfing. It’s a fairly new pursuit within the last 20 or so years, but it’s gaining steam and is really helping people think outside the box in terms of what is possible.
To clarify, we’re talking about standing river waves, not tidal bores like the one that just occurred in the Amazon River (those waves travel and do not stand still). So here’s 6 of the best river surfing waves in the world.
1. Eisbach River in Munich, Germany
The Eisbach is the most notorious river wave in the world. It within the urban hub of Munich and has been surfed since 1972. The river is a bit cold and lots of times it requires wearing some boots, gloves and winter rubber. But it’s definitely well worth the extra gear for some fun sessions within a blossoming surf scene.
2. Zambezi River in Africa
When world champion skimboarder Bill “Beaker” Bryan dropped the above video in 2007 of him surfing the Zambezi River, people lost their shit. And while the quality isn’t ideal in this clip, believe us when we say it’s a legit barreling wave. Thing is though this is a fairly difficult river wave to find (though there are people in Zambezi who will bring you there). And if it wasn’t for the whole crocodiles there as well this one would certainly be number one on the list.
3. Unnamed River in Sarpsborg, Norway
Another mysto river wave, this one somewhere in Sarpsborg, Norway looks legit. Norwegian snowboarders Ståle Sandbech and Terje Håkonsen possess some local knowledge though and try to make the most of this hidden gem. Good luck finding this one, as rivers with no names are kinda hard to ask directions to.
4. Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Does Jackson Hole, Wyoming have it all or what? The fact that one of the most pristine mountain towns also has river surfing is just icing on the cake.
5. Boise River Park in Boise, Idaho
This one isn’t quite the same as the others, as it’s the Boise River Park that’s created a manmade wave. It’s still in the Boise River though and just utilizes the flow of the river with a wave shaper machine that grooms the wave. The River Park has spawned a tight-knit surf community there.
6. Bend Whitewater Park in Bend, Oregon
Taking notes from the Boise River Park, the town of Bend, Oregon built their own wave within the Deschutes River. Just goes to show that more and more communities are giving their citizens more and more recreation options.
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