“There’s localism here for sure,” says one Munich’s Eisbach River “local” in this clip called The Endless Wave, made by Anglo-German filmaker Finian Pye Vogel. “A lot of the original local surfers aren’t happy with the exposure as they had it to themselves for so long,” Vogel told Surf Europe. “However I spoke to a guy who was setting up a Riverboarding shop nearby and it seems the young kids are finding about it so exposure in inevitable. As for the queues that now come in summer, they operate with typical German fairness and efficiency.” So not exactly in the realm of Da Hui style bashings or Canary Island tyre slashing then.
Whilst surfed since the early ’70s, Munich’s Eisbach (translated as Ice Brook) it was deemed an illegal activity by the Munich authorities up until 2010. Under pressure from users the law was changed though and bridge near the Haus der Kunst art museum is now the hub of the increasingly popular river surfing phenomenon. The water is cold and shallow (only 40cm deep) but with the help of some submerged beams, a one metre standing wave is rideabIe all year round. Still extra crowds are putting pressure on the break (sound familiar?) but luckily there are other rivers in Munich with similar potential, while European’s alpine environment with its fast flowing rivers and thousands of bridges means the potential for river surfing exploration is wide open. Maybe river surfing is the future? If you know of any send us some pics!