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  • A Surfing Paradise in the Middle of Munich?

    A Surfing Paradise
    in the Middle of Munich?

    Yes, you read that right. The Eisbach Wave river surfing spot in the heart of the Bavarian capital attracts surfers from around the world. Read on to find out about this unusual highlight in the region where Easy Way magazine was founded. 

  • There’s no need to head to Portugal for surfing when Munich has the perfect spot near Prinzregentenstraße: the Eisbach Wave on the outskirts of the English Garden, framed by the Haus der Kunst, the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and the Bavarian National Museum. The setting is peculiar. You can be walking along the royal avenue surrounded by a sea of buildings in the heart of the major city and take a short, 100-metre detour to be stunned by the sight of the surfers on the Eisbach river. Over time, a new form of sport has emerged here: river surfing.

    There is a buzz all-year round at the Eisbach Wave. There’s no rest for the wicked during winter if river surfing is your genuine passion. When we pop by the Eisbach Wave in late January, it’s 2 °C outside and a young man is having his go. He’s wearing a black wetsuit and skilfully riding the half-metre standing wave, i.e. a wave that always stays in the same spot. In the sea, the wave rushes up from behind and propels the surfer forwards. Here, by contrast, the water’s power is underneath the board. Many surfers find this particularly challenging. The young man speeds across the rapid wave. Barely a metre from the left riverbank, he swings his board around and darts off in the other direction. Not even 4 seconds later, he’s reached the other side and is changing direction again with a casual jump. He makes it look so easy – but it’s not.

    The Eisbach wave is also a popular spot in winter. The Eisbach wave is also a popular spot in winter.
  • Spectators also get carried away by the Eisbach Wave.

    The rapids are famous worldwide in the surf scene. The rapids are famous worldwide in the surf scene.

    The Eisbach is a side arm of the Isar river and has the strongest river current in the English Garden. The river surfing here is notoriously difficult and famous among surfers and canoeists worldwide. The whole thing was only really made legitimate in 2010, when the City of Munich took over the grounds from the Free State of Bavaria, so that river surfing could finally be legalised after 35 years. After all, it would be a shame if the surfers were wiped out because of legal regulations.

    When the young man turns and heads for the left riverbank again, he’s just two metres away from it when he and his board swing around mid-air. But as he lands, the current rips the board from under his feet and the man falls in the freezing river.

  • Surf the YouTube channels. 

    This is dangerous, as there are a few rows of stone blocks concealed behind the wave. It is for this reason that these rapids can only be recommended to experienced, talented surfers. Luckily the young man is fine, and he re-emerges from the water almost instantly. In that short time, a female surfer has already taken his place, dancing masterfully across the water. Fear is not a word in the Isar surfer’s dictionary. This is about more than just fun. Here they thrive and find fulfilment. Where others just see a river, they see a paradise. When riding the wave, the sense of freedom, adventure and adrenaline bubble up into an intoxicating feeling that leaves athletes wanting more. So they even put up with the icy cold temperatures in winter. Our little tip: once out of the bitterly cold river, don’t continue freezing in the car. A parking heater can give you a warm welcome and revive your spirits. 

    Even watching the sport is fun. We have two top tips, the first being to surf the YouTube channels. Search ‘Eisbach surfing’ to find lots of great videos. Our second recommendation is ‘Keep Surfing’, a multi-award-winning German documentary made by Björn Richie Lob in 2009. It captivates the spirits of the featured river surfers. In our opinion, it’s a must-see film.

     
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