The Eisbach River, Munich
The Eisbach River in Munich attracts surfers from around the world to sample one of the planet's best fresh-water waves. Among them are X Games Real Surf champ Gabriel Medina (left), who lit the place up.
Don't think Munich has a hardcore surf scene? Think again. The Eisbach is the best wave in the country, and people flock to it. The sessions can get quite intense.
Shawn "Barney" Barron
With a tight take-off zone and slippery bank, getting into the fast-moving wave can be an intimidating proposition. Some take to it quicker than others. Barney took his time.
Better not blow your bottom turn with a gallery like that watching so astutely. Take note of the fin configurations on the boards. Locals have fine-tuned their equipment for the unique conditions.
The river has been surfed since 1972, but it wasn't until 2010 that local laws were changed making it legal to surf the river. The next generation is already waiting in the wings to keep the German surfing tradition going.
Small Price To Pay
One wrong step, and it's in the drink. The bank is slick as grease, and the concrete unforgiving, but there's always a price to be had for a little fun.
Pick Your Poison
There are a couple sections on the river that can be surfed. This peak breaks a little farther down past the much more popular bridge section.
One at a Time
At most surf spots around the world, the lineup is a competitive, no-holds-barred affair, but true to the German spirit, things are quite orderly at the Eisbach as everybody waits their turn.
One of a Kind
Whereas the dream surf lineup is well-groomed and organized, the Eisbach is chaos in action. Turbulent water, shifting peaks and crazy currents all make for a very unique wave-riding experience.
With a normal wave the power comes from above, from the lip throwing over and crashing down. On the river, the underwater current holds all the power, which means the approach to riding the wave has to be very different.
Under The Lights
Day or night, it's on at the Eisbach. In classic European fashion, the later it gets, the more the session heats up.
Worth the Hike
After washing down the river, surfers have to pull themselves out from the current and hike back up to the take-off zone. It's not easy work, but when it's the only wave in town, it's worth it.
There's not a lot of room to move in the river, but local surfers enhanced the "wave" by attaching ropes to the bridge which trail submerged planks, creating two large "U" shapes and form a better peak.
Not just something to keep the wave-hungry local happy, the river has also become quite an attraction for tourists from around the world.