Want to break free from shark-infested waves? You might not think it’s possible, but there is way.
When you think of a stereotypical surfer, you think about someone who lives along the coast. In the U.S., you probably think of Hawaii or California as being the birthplace of surfers. So you will probably be surprised to read that surfers are not restrained to the coast.
Surfers have figured out that the ocean isn’t the only place you can get your board wet and ride a wave. In fact, surfers can find waves in the river. Now you might think I’m talking about riding a wake behind a wake board boat, but I’m talking about surfing a wave.
It is true that you can’t go into any river and expect to find a surfable wave. However in Munich, Germany, you can. Just past the Hofgarten, near the old hunting grounds, you’ll notice running water. Follow it upstream and the water strengthens to rushing water. Right as you might wonder if the river is swimmable, you’ll notice a surfer attached to his board swimming against the current. Then you meet a bridge. Gushing water flows in through the tiny opening underneath the bridge. The locals have dropped a piece of wood on the river bed. The power of the water against the wood creates a wave.
Surfers line up on both sides of the river and take turns jumping into the wave. If they can find the sweet spot in the wave, they surf back and forth between the river walls. But there’s only about ten feet from one end of the wave to the other, so the ride doesn’t last long. If the gushing water pushes them over the wave, they fall into the current, hop out and get back into line.
Surfers are limited on the tricks they can perform. The water isn’t strong enough to create a barrel plus the rocky walls leave little room for tricks. Nevertheless, these surfers have style. Mainly they do 180’s back and forth. They get as close to the walls as possible and turn at the last possible second to avoid impact. If not that trick, you’ll see them spin in circles.
The water isn’t very deep, so surfing here can be dangerous. You’ll likely spot a few suffers wearing helmets and wetsuits to protect against injury or scraps. Though paddling and getting up on the board isn’t an issue, it takes finesse to navigate the shallow and narrow water, which is lined with rocks. So when you’re looking to better your surfing skills outside of shark-infested oceans, try visiting Munich’s river. Just be cautious of your board and your body, these are the open oceans the average surfer is used to.
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