Let me introduce to you my new home spot the Hardcore Wave in Bergheim close to Salzburg, Austria, on the Salzach river. I have lived in that area for over a year but for some reason people (including me) didn’t surf the wave very often. Why is that?
OK, the Hardcore Wave itself is awesome and it has eddy service (at least at medium and low flows) so why doesn’t it get busy? It might be fair to mention that the wave got its name because there is a huge hole right behind it. However (as long as the water level isn’t too low) although the hole looks quite big, it will flush or it’s very easy to surf out both sides (if you have solid hole skills).
I think former events like the ‘Hardcore Rodeo‘ (which must have been held at very low levels) – where the winners were those who managed to get the longest beat down – scared people to death so no one ever wanted to go there again. Now that the current world champion Quim Fontané Masó is in the Salzburg area this season it is no longer possible to ignore the fact that there a world class wave which is simply waiting for paddlers to get out there and play!
How to get there
Bergheim, close to Salzburg. Type ‘Oberndorferstraße 38, 5101 Bergheim’ or ‘Bergheim Bahnhof’ into your sat nav and park your car at the park and ride for the train station. It is just a few minutes from the A1 highway, Bergheim-West exit. There is another car park at the main road a bit closer to the wave, but there’s lots of traffic so it is nicer to park down at the train station to get changed. The train station (Bergheim Bahnhof) is just 300 metres downstream of the wave so it is no big deal to get there, even without a car.
Catch the right flow to have an awesome time on the wave. As I just started paddling there I cannot give you advice for all flows. The best time might be late spring into early summer. Here is what I’ve found out so far:
You can check the gauge at ‘Salzburg/Nonntaler Brücke’ which is upstream of the wave but note that there is a dam located in between this gauge and the wave: m.hnd.bayern.de/pegel.php
The second gauge to check is ‘Laufen Siegerstetter Keller’: www.hnd.bayern.de/pegel/inn/laufen-siegerstetter-keller-18602009/abfluss It is about fifteen kilometres downstream of the wave and there is another river (the Saalach) going into the Salzach between the wave and that gauge.
The wave was perfect including eddy service at flows from 265-280 cm (Salzburg/Nonntaler Brücke) and 380 and 410 cumecs (Laufen Siegerstetter Keller). Below 260 cm (Salzburg) and below 380 cumecs (Laufen) the wave got a bit flushy and the hole behind got more scary. With higher flows the eddy service might be gone at some point.
Also in that area
If you fancy some creek boating there is the Salzkammergut area as well as the beautiful Saalach-Gorge in Lofer just around the corner. For playboating check out the wave in Kuchl about thirty kilometres upstream in the autumn (low flows required) or Plattling which is a two hour drive away.
We are always dreaming about surfing big waves. Some of us travel the world for them – Uganda, Zambia, Canada, France … and now Salzburg? Definitely one you should check out. It is a super nice wave which is suitable for advanced boaters. Come and play – it´s so much fun!