Gnarly! CityWave, Vienna’s newest surfing facility, open through September

Vienna, along with Munich, is one of the few inland European cities famous for surfing.

Yes, surfing … real surfing, not channel surfing or web surfing.

While this isn’t Biarritz, you can catch a (manmade) wave in Vienna from now until 30 September.

The newest facility is Multiplex CityWave, which has an English website. The 10,000-square-foot facility is in Shopping Center Süd, the retail development on the southern edge of Vienna, and the biggest mall in the city.

Multiplex City Wave, which just opened earlier this month after relocating, apparently replaces the 3CityWave operation. 3CityWave, which was at Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain on Schwarzenbergplatz in the very heart of the Old City, closed after complaints, according to media reports.

And let’s be clear … this is essentially a manmade wave in a swimming pool.

Here are the nitty, gritty details:

• It looks like it’s best to book in advance. But CityWave leaves open slots each session so you can try to book day-of. Admission is free because they know you’ll grab a beer, snack and chill.

• Each session is 39 euros including board and helmet rental. The pro bring-your-own session is 29 euros.  And you can rent a wet suit because after all, this is Vienna, not Malibu. Each surf session lasts 50 minutes, with a maximum of 12 people per session.

• There are beginner, advanced and pro sessions. And the CityWave website notes that just because you know how to surf in the sea doesn’t mean you can deal with the artificial wave, which takes getting used to.

• You pay when you book, either by PayPal or by credit card (Visa, Mastercard).

• Requirements include being able to swim (duh) and underage surfers need their parents/guardians to sign for them.

The FAQ section of the website is really pretty good and answers just about every question you can think of down to “can I bring my dog?” (Leave Lassie at home.)

And as a place true to the surf ethos, CityWave is a party place, and there’s beach volleyball at the complex. (The World Cup for this year’s Beach Volleyball World Championship on the Danube Island will be here.)

If surfing’s not your schizzle-dizzle and you want to work out in something bigger than a swimming pool, you can also “water ski” on the Danube River.

Read Ivana Avramovic’s post here about Wakeboard Lift, where a network of cables simulates waterskiing/wake boarding.

This has been a warm – sometimes blazing – summer across Europe, so this could be a great time to get wet.

Our question has always been, how in the world do people live in an ocean-challenged spot like Vienna, yet show up at these faux surf operations and freestyle like they’re from freakin’ Maui?

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