Engineers plan to make a surfing Mecca out of Munich
TWIG - Surfers in search of the perfect wave may soon embark on an unlikely pilgrimage to Germany — if a group of engineers realize their plans to create a permanent, 7-foot high wave in the heart of Munich.
The Bavarian metropolis already boasts what surfers agree is one of the best urban rides in the world, but a group of scientists at Munich’s Technological University now want to do nature one better by constructing an even larger artificial wave.
Daredevils come from far and wide to hang ten on the three-foot high standing wave on a thin section of the Eisenbach River in the city’s English Garden.
Even especially skilled surfers struggle to ride the Eisenbach wave for more than a minute, but with only enough room to accommodate one surfer at a time, long waits are still common.
A group of engineers led by Markus Aufleger have taken note of Munich’s modest surf boom and want to satisfy Germans’ growing appetite for the big waves by constructing a novel artificial wave on the much larger Isar river.
To make that dream a reality, they have developed a relatively simple construction based on a giant plastic hose.
"A sort of large bicycle tire inner tube is placed on the river bed," explained Aufleger. "If it is pumped up, some of the water is held back — and then roils itself into a wave downstream."
Scientists would control the shape and size of the artificial wave by varying the amount of water pumped into the giant plastic hose, creating conditions that can be tailored to surfers from beginners to experts.
Sponsors have already signalled interest in picking up the
project’s estimated bill of 400,000 Eur ($482,000). Plans are even in the
works to create a similar wave on Berlin’s River Spree if the Munich test
run is successful.
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