Photography and Words by Marius Burghardt
German photographer Marius Burghardt frequents Eisbach, the hot spot of the German surfing community. He sent us over these images to help us get a sense of what the hell is going on there, and in doing so, inspired our next holiday destination. Take it away, Marius.
Eisbach, Munich, is the hot spot of surfing in Germany. Despite the cold German winter, there will be surfers at the Eisbach all year around. Munich is probably the only city in the world not located at the ocean where you will find surfers riding their bikes, wearing wetsuits, and carrying their boards right in between the busy downtown traffic of one of Germany’s biggest cities. When walking from Munich’s downtown city center towards the main park, Englischer Garten, you will immediately notice a big crowd of spectators standing on the bridge looking down on the river, Eisbach. Hundreds of cars pass that spot every day, while underneath them, surfers drop in on the standing wave just a couple meters next to the road.
Just past where the river flows below the bridge, there is a stone step beneath the water (just like how a reef creates waves) creating an approx. 1m high standing wave which can be ridden all year around. It’s not really legal, but the city tolerates it and everyone can have a go and drop in and catch some waves. You just have to be aware of the big rocks under the water. Not as bad as the reef at pipe, but you can still get into some not-so-nice situations there as well. Rumor has it that locals didn’t let Slater surf there in the early days because they didn’t want to make the spot too popular.
As for how the whole surfing thing works, well, you just jump in and surf. If you fall, the next one in line gets to try. If you surf too long other surfers waiting will shout at you and give you a friendly reminder that others want to catch some waves too. There is a super chill and friendly vibe there though, and everyone really respects each other, which I think is because Germany was never known for having a surf community, so everyone involved really supports each other and the community they’ve build around surfing Eisbach.
You can follow Marius on Instagram here.