Wednesday, May 18, 2011

German surfer

Here in Munich, the nearest ocean in 845km away and even then it is probably very different to the beaches and huge waves we have back home but a few days ago I saw a guy riding through the city in a full body wetsuit and a surfboard strapped to the side of his scooter. It was a bizarre thing to see. Surfing in Germany???

As it turns out, there is! In the Englischer Garten (English Garden), a small man made waterway called the Eisbach (ice brook) flows through the park. With a well constructed creek bed, the Eisbach forms a standing wave that is roughly 1m high and people have been surfing it since 1972. People flock to the gardens to take their turn at surfing the wave and it has even prompted the opening of a couple of surf shops in Munich.

But beware, surfing the wave is done at your own risk as a law was recently passed allowing the use of the standing wave but also stating any liability in the case of an accident is totally on the surfer! Prior to this law, there was often a lot of trouble with the authorities as they threatened to destroy the wave. Now, with permission granted, the locals have embraced it and it has become a sub-culture here in Munchen. I wonder what is German for ‘dude’ and ‘radical’??

Here is some footage I found on Youtube of the wave in action...

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