Portrait Rainer

citywave surf attractions provides a value offering that connects the spirit of surf with urban vibes. In this article, RLI speaks with CEO Rainer Klimaschewski about how the company originated, what it offers that makes it stand out from the crowd and what the next part of the expansion plan is.

Former World and European champions in trick skiing in the 1980s; Rainer and Susi Klimaschewski have followed their dream of bringing spectacular action sport events into cities around the world. They turned their passion into a profession and developed sport simulators for over 20 years before in the early 2000s, inspired by their local river wave in Munich, they started to develop a mobile version of a deep-water wave to bring the sport of surfing to major cities and the citywave surf attractions concept was born.
“The idea behind citywave is that it is real surfing, with real surfboards, and that even an absolute beginner, no matter what age they are, can learn to ride a wave within a few hours,” explains Rainer Klimaschewski, CEO of citywave surf attractions.

citywave Madrid (2)
Citywave, Madrid, Spain

Almost all of the citywave sites have had a successful last 12 months, with even those sites which only operate during the summer season able to extend their opening dates due to the overwhelming demand for surfing tickets, and whilst the effects of the pandemic has forced many people to stay at home instead of going on vacation abroad, this concept allows guests a place where they could practice their sport under safe conditions in a beach bar setting that feels like a holiday.
Today the company operates 13 locations in top locations around the globe such as Tokyo in Japan, Moscow in Russia, Chelan in the US, Zurich and Lucerne in Switzerland, Vienna in Austria, Tel Aviv in Israel, Munich, Berlin and Osnabrück in Germany, Monteux and St. Gilles Croix de Vie in France and Madrid in Spain.

citywave USA (1)

Six of these are combined with malls, two are integrated into a water park and two are in conjunction with indoor skydiving facilities. The remaining three are standalone concepts, offering food and beverage and surf specific retail in a shop.
In the pipeline they have projects planned in Europe and the US, with their major scheme a 100ft citywave installation that is under construction in Hawaii and is on course to open in summer 2022.
“There is huge potential in the leisure industry and alongside water and amusement parks, we want to extend our portfolio towards hospitality developments like hotels and resorts,” says Klimaschewski. “We believe citywave surf attractions are the perfect addition to beach resorts to meet the exclusive wishes and demands of ambitious guests who do not want to be disappointed with their expectations and objectives. No waves in the ocean? Our concept offers perfect surfing conditions 24/7.”
Furthermore they believe there is huge potential in the fusion of the retail and leisure industries, this is why their next step is to move from technology providers to operators of their venues. They will be actively looking for the best centres in Europe to place and self-operate in the upcoming year.

citywave Vienna (1)
Citywave, Vienna, Austria

Since its inception the concept has evolved from a sport facility to a vibrant lifestyle platform offering both athletes and spectators an attractive ambience to meet, socially engage and spend quality time together. At the beginning the focus was on creating the best possible wave. Without compromising those qualities, over time the concept has been developed and optimised for overall customers experience and to become an economically successful operation.
“We are very happy that our concept has followed and helped to increase the booming trend of experience-based activities in the entertainment sector. We are strongly focused on extending our understanding of the conceptual needs of our B2B customers and creating value through opportunities,” Klimaschewski comments.
He feels that citywave stands out from the crowd because of its ability for people to learn a new skill in a relatively short space of time and its combination of active participants and the audience, this social engagement and connection of strangers is not something that is found at many other attractions.

citywave Vienna (2)
Citywave, Vienna, Austria

It is through constant innovation that the company remains at the forefront of the industry, as citywave has pioneered the development of stationary wave pools and set standards when it comes to design, quality and safety – and they keep improving and optimising these on an ongoing basis.
Social media is an important facet for the business due to its highly Instagrammable nature and the close proximity of the audience to the surfer. This makes the output of the pictures taken on-site so precious and unique and explains the incredibly high replication of images shared on citywave attractions.

As our time with the CEO nears its end, Kilmaschewski explains that surfing is a rapidly growing global sport, and its Olympic debut in the Tokyo Summer Games this year has been the next big step in the rise of surfing’s worldwide popularity and they are excited to meet the growing demand for real surf training facilities and are looking forward to opening up in new markets and work on upcoming
challenging projects.
“The most exciting part of the work is the incredible people we have met during all of our projects. It is always a pleasure to work with those fascinating individuals involved in the world of surf and the vibrant industry around it.”