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building riverwaves in a nutshell

Considering that the construction of artificial standing waves is a relatively young discipline that has developed worldwide in just a few years, it's remarkable how rapidly the scene is expanding. Numerous projects are emerging globally, each presenting unique characteristics and specific conditions. However, as with any construction endeavor, there is a guiding principle to follow throughout the process. Dreamwave aims to provide a brief overview of the crucial milestones toward establishing a new riverwave spot. This description is not exhaustive but serves as a helpful guideline. We are available to assist at every stage of this journey.


potential analysis

Live the search! Discovering the perfect spot is crucial. During this phase, we analyze the available data of your chosen location and provide a concise evaluation of its technical feasibility.


- collecting data (discharge, dropheight, ...) via web, GoogleEarth, authorities

- simple measurements

- spotcheck in person


feasibility study

This marks a pivotal milestone in the project. With a positive initial assessment, you get an understanding on how the site could potentially look like in the future. Crucial elements of the local environment are carefully considered in this phase. This document serves as a cornerstone for subsequent stages, showcasing to municipalities, investors, and various stakeholders the earnestness with which the matter is being approached.

key points:

- definition of the location

- recording and evaluation of important data (hydraulic boundary conditions, ecology, infrastructure, electric energy, ...)

- conceptual technical elaboration

- first sketches (overview, technique, ...)

presentation to authorities and inclusion of stakeholders

This step can be a turning point for your project. The overseeing administration of the site can become your strongest ally or even reject the project entirely. Hence, the significance of a well-prepared presentation cannot be overstated. You might be fortunate, encountering oficials willing to support this new flagship project in their district, or you might have to face the challenge alone. Additionally, the financial situation can significantly change during this phase, as monetary help might come from here. Even though the final business case might differ, presenting a solid outline of a feasible operational and financial plan proves advantageous.

The inclusivity of different stakeholders is paramount when considering water-related projects. Engaging diverse interest groups—such as local communities, environmental organizations, government bodies, and recreational users—ensures a comprehensive understanding of concerns, needs, and aspirations. Historically, garnering widespread community interest has been crucial for gaining attention. Seek like-minded individuals; they exist in everywhere, and their support is invaluable.

key points:

- well prepared

- wide social interest

- answers to questions that might arise

- ask for support



Obtaining permission for a riverwave involves preparing an application for the local environmental administration. This application should encompass comprehensive project details. Its formal accuracy is crucial for success and can differ based on the specific requirements of each location. The document includes among other things:

- project carrier

- technical planners

- type, extent and purpose of the project

- description of the installation and it´s operation

- ...

Environmental impact assessment

European law mandates the protection of the vital resource of water, ensuring no harm is caused to it. The Water Framework Directive (WRRL) is transposed into national law, prohibiting any degradation of waterbody conditions.

Depending on national regulations, this pivotal step necessitates professional expert involvement. An assessment of the project's environmental impact is conducted, and if necessary, mitigation measures are prescribed. In Germany, the construction of a riverwave typically does not mandate an official environmental impact assessment. However, specific considerations may still be mandatory.



We believe that especially this step will get easier as time passes. Projects popping up everywhere and riverwaves all over the world show evidence of the enormous potential of such installations. Sponsors, investors and municipalities get an idea of what is possible.

Anyways here are some hints where to find the coins for a wave:

- crowdfunding

- public funding (sports facilities, tourism, recreation area, club, european (LEADER), city, commune,…)

- sponsorship (sportlabels, companies, local shops, restaurant, kiosk, ...)

- donation

- commercial investments

- credit

allocation of construction work and management of the site

Congrats, the rest is just fun. Kidding!

Now you will find out if you could have been an engineer. There are a lot of things to think about. If you haven´t sought professional assistance yet, than this might be the moment to do so.



You made it!! You are surfing the newest riverwave.

There are different operational concepts throughout the scene. Depending on the worked out oprational plan at the beginning of the project and official regulations there is more or less responibility to be covered by the operator. From a continuously open wave accessible to the public to commercially operated spots requiring constant supervision, there are numerous approaches to managing a wave.

There are also a few things to keep in mind:

- runnng expenses (operation, electric energy, maintenance, remunerations, insurances, legal advice, environmental monitoring, ...)

- income (rental material, tickets, memberships, events, rent of the wave, comercials, ...)

bottom line

As water is and, hopefully, will always remain a public domain, constructing inside riverbeds involves adhering to numerous regulations. Overcoming technical hurdles and grappling with challenging financial resources are often major obstacles.

It takes resilient personalities and cohesive communities to drive forward projects like these. Nonetheless, the existence of several operational waves demonstrates that it is achievable.

Professional assistance can alleviate some of the burdens, at least a little. Ultimately, what matters most is the surfing experience! The initial costs can be offset by the potential benefits derived from a riversurf spot.

Drop us a message!

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