A short surfing vacation – in the heart of Germany
A short surfing vacation – in the heart of Germany
Julien Thiele talks about the RheinRiff, the team behind it and the passion for surfing
With the opening of the new RheinRiffsports and event location,the biggest surfing hall in the worldwill be brought to Düsseldorf, Germany. Julien Thiele, managing directorat RheinRiff and a passionate surfer himself,told us how this unique concept came about and how they aim to turn surfing beginners into pros on the wave.
How did the idea come about to build an indoor surf wave in the middle of NRW (and quite incidentally the largest surf hall in the world)?
The idea came from our founders Hendrik Blecher and Patrick Schneider, who are also the investors of the project. Both surfers themselves, they wanted to bring the surf feeling and vacation vibe to Düsseldorf with this project. To get it going, they got a small team on board to work out the idea and develop the concept. We found THE perfect hall at the Areal Böhler in Düsseldorf where we could implement all our crazy ideas together.
The centrepiece is of course our indoor surf wave with its gigantic width of nine meters, but to also give our guests that vacation feeling 365 days a year, we offer a lot more: In addition to a beach club, beach volleyball courts, a surf skate ramp and fitness & yoga courses, our stylish conference and meeting centre sets new standards and will appeal to companies with a penchant for the special and innovative. So with the RheinRiff we will span the gap between business meetings and casual get-togethers – at the bar, around the campfire outside or in one of our cosy lounges inside!
Are you a passionate surfer yourself?
Yes, almost all our team members are surfers. The origin of it all is the sea – but still it’s great not having to go to the Atlantic every time you want to surf, but rather just hopping on your board at home.
When is the official opening and how many visitors are expected?
The opening is expected to take place in April. Construction is currently at full speed in its final phase. The wave is ready for take-off and all we have to do is finish the rest. Of course, we still have to wait for approval from the authorities, so we can't announce a specific date yet. We’ll open immediately as soon as everything is ready and approved.
What is special about the indoor wave?
The special thing about the indoor wave is that it’s for everyone: from absolute beginners who have never stood on a board to surf pros who want to further develop their trick & skills. In addition, a standing wave eliminates various factors that sometimes make surfing in the sea particularly demanding and difficult: Things like paddling out, take-off and the ability to read the open ocean are must be mastered if you want to ride waves in the ocean. Such points are eliminated in our case so you get to go straight to the fun part of surfing. Therefore, beginners in particular have the security they need for their first wave ride.
How does the indoor wave work?
Roughly speaking, there are 10 pumps that shoot the water over a kicker with a lot of pressure, creating an endless standing wave that (unlike in the ocean) never breaks.
What surf courses are available?
From the Beginner Surf Course, which is aimed at complete beginners, to a Basic Surf Course for surfers who have already gained some experience in the sea, to the courses for advanced surfers, for example the Next Level Surf Course and the Manoeuvre Surf Course, which help them improve their skills with the aid of precise video analyses.
Do beginners also get their money's worth? What is a (beginners) course like?
Surf beginners will not only have a lot of fun, but might well also experience their first time riding the wave alone. We start the course with surf theory and a short warm-up, then we go straight to the wave. At first with a holding bar, until you get a good feeling for the wave and your board. After a break and feedback from our professional coaches we proceed with the second part – this time without the holding bar.
Can you tell us a bit about your cooperation with boot?
We’ve already had some great conversations and agreed pretty quickly that we could come together in a number of ways, since both our target groups are in water sports and both our homes are in Düsseldorf. So we’re a perfect fit for one another!
What are the advantages of your cooperation with boot?
The main advantage is that we’ll grow the watersports community in Düsseldorf and beyond together. Once we’ve officially opened, we plan to implement great events together with boot Düsseldorf. So you can look forward to some exciting stuff!
What are your visions for the RheinRiff?
We want to open a unique location that gives everyone a great vacation feeling. At our place, we want everyone to feel good and go home with a smile on their faces.
RheinRiff stands for sports, fun and relaxation for everyone. Here, everyday life is exchanged for a time-out and feels like a short vacation.