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In the nineties, the pioneer surfers at Munich's Eisbach wave were still being chased by the police. Today, Eisbach surfing is a point on every city tour and is often accompanied by a large audience. But be careful: Here really only experts should go for it
Allegedly, the American surfing world champion Robby Naish was once chased away by Munich locals in the 1990s when he wanted to ride the legendary "Eisbach wave" in the English Garden. The story sounds credible if you ask the old-timers who set out in the early 90s to make the world's most constant, best river wave an international hot spot. They tried as hard as they could to keep outsiders away from the wave. Not out of local patriotism, but because it was damn hard to ride - and accidents on the spot would quickly have led to surfing being banned there again. In fact, that's exactly what it was for many years. Contemporary witnesses tell of chases across the English Garden between armed police and the pioneers of Munich's Eisbach surfers around their "janitor" Walter Strasser.
Today, the spot within sight of the Haus der Kunst in the southern part of the English Garden is always surrounded by a large number of spectators who want to see daredevil young people plunge into the floods. The Eisbach is a cold body of water, it is fed by the Isar river and on its 12 meter width you have to be able to move extremely well to have a chance of holding on for a few seconds like on a rodeo horse. And even falling into the water is not without danger due to the chunky sturgeon stones just below the surface. Definitely not for beginners on the board, not even bathing and swimming is allowed at this point of the Eisbach.
Who nevertheless so slowly wants to make friends with the river surfing, better try it first at the Thalkirchen campground. There, the "Floßlände" is a much easier wave at the start, which is also feasible for surfing beginners. However, that was not enough for the long-time Bayern Munich soccer player Bixente Lizarazu. During his active time, the French world champion and exceptionally good surfer was not allowed on the Eisbach wave with his board for insurance reasons, but no sooner had his contract expired than he tried his luck. It is said that it took a whole week until even such an expert as Lizarazu had the Eisbach under control.
By the way, you can find tips on how to travel comfortably and inexpensively on long-distance and local trains with Deutsche Bahn here.
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