When thinking of Munich, rather stereotypical images of beer, sausage, and Oktoberfest outfits often come to mind. Surfing in a river certainly does not. A city located 500 kilometers from the coast and 1,100 kilometers from any surfable waves, it’s hard to believe that such an extreme sport like this is possible within an urban setting.
River Surfing in Munich Germany, A Landlocked City
Walking through the English Gardens (Englischer Garten), you get a general sense that locals love soaking up the rays in the Eisbach River. Take for example, the boys in the photo above, waving an enthusiastic hello when they spied me taking photos. Then there was one guy standing in river, perfecting his surfing moves. Some older men also lazily floated along the river’s strong current.
Yet there’s one place where the current is especially strong. Located below a six lane highway in Munich, enthusiasts from around the world come to surf the one meter wave.
They surf by day and even at night, much to the admiration and respect of onlookers like myself. I was amused to see a bride-to-be celebrating her bachelorette party personally congratulate this surfer while others watched from the bridge above.
River surfing is regarded as a new sport by some, but the river surfing in Munich has been going strong since the 1970’s. There’s even a strong Munich Eisbach river surfing community and the Santoloco Surf and Skate Shop, which sells specialized boards for surfers eager to hit the river wave. In fact, the surfers are so hard core that they even surf during winter months (see this video).
Although it may look like a fun thing to do (even little old me was tempted to jump on a board and give it a go), only experienced athletes are allowed to surf in the narrow 12 meter wide river. Water flows at a fast and furious pace of around 25 square meters per second!
It’s easy to get caught up in all the action and stand there for hours staring at this very weird and wonderful site. I stayed for about an hour and snapped more than 150 photos! To really get a feel for what it’s really like, give this river surfing video a watch or best of all, go see it for yourself.
Have you seen this river surfing in Munich? What else did you do in the city? Leave our readers with your best tips in the comments down below!
Good To Know
1) Find a place to stay while you’re visiting Munich, Germany.
2) Make your vacation in Munich memorable and take a guided tour.
3) If you love Europe as much as I do, check out some of my top blog posts.
- The Day Of San Giovanni Battista In Riomaggiore, Italy – While in Italy, travel to Cinque Terre and observe San Giovanni Battista In Riomaggiore where the streets are lined with flower petals.
- The Powerful Street Art In Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina – The street art in Mostar, Bosnia reflects the city’s tragic past and the difficult, yet hopeful present and future.
- Treat Yourself At Vabali Spa In Berlin – Spend a day at Vabali Spa in Berlin. One of the largest spas in Germany, it has saunas, pools, relaxation areas, a restaurant, & more.
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