Take a second and think about all of the great surfing spots in the world. What comes to mind? Hawaii, Polynesia, Australia, or even California. But what if we told you about a place that was rated #50 on the World’s 50 Best Surf Spots but it isn’t near an ocean? If you have a passion and a love for extreme sports, sometimes due to the location, weather, or other factors, you have to get creative in order to perform your desired hobby. In Munich, Germany there is a group of extreme sports enthusiasts that are insane about surfing. The problem, there is not an ocean anywhere near them for them to practice their skills. In fact, the closest ocean is about 300 miles away. This city, which is more commonly known for beer drinking and Oktoberfest, has become an unlikely place for surfers from around the world to come and try to surf the waves of the Eisbach River, which goes through a city park. The river produces waves of about 1 meter (3 feet) high but can take you down the river for much longer.
Surfing here was forbidden for a very long time, and after 30 years of evading the law, surfers were finally given permission to ride the waves legally in 2010.
In order to ride the wave here though, you have to be skilled and experienced to be granted access.
Eisbach’s icy water flows at a rate of 20 tons per second.
The waves happen 24 hours a day and attract surfers day and night.
The Eisbach River is a man-made 2 kilometer arm of the Isar River that flows through the Englischer Garten.
Veteran surfer “The Eater” was one of the first surfers to discover Munich’s river riding possibilities in the late 60s and still rides the waves everyday with his two grown daughters.
Before the sport was legalized in the city, there had even been talk of demolishing the wave.
But a documentary called Keep Surfing informed viewers about the beloved hot spot, which likely helped officials make their decision to keep it open.
The once secret place now holds surfing competitions and famous surfers like Kelly Slater come from around the world come to Munich to visit the wave.
Watch the video below to see German surfers in action on the Eisbach River:
Photos courtest of Flickr.
A lot of people say these dedicated surfers are surfing a concrete jungle, but to them it is a place to escape reality and practice their favorite thing. It may not be an ocean, but it is the next best thing in their city. It’s no wonder that the city officials have decided to keep the unique surfing spot open. It attracts thousands of visitors and gives surfers the opportunity to experience their version of waves. Would you surf down the concrete jungle?