Urban river surfing
It is not unusual to meet people in the middle of Munich, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest sea, wearing a wetsuit and carrying a board under their arm. For our client Land Rover, journalist Anna Karolina Stock and photographer Conny Mirbach accompanied river surfer Sebastian Kuhn early one morning to the Eisbach.
At 5am, as the sun rises, Munich is still asleep. This is the best time for river surfing. After a session on the water, the 37-year-old Kuhn tells us the story of the Munich river wave.
"5 a.m., the best time for surfing."
Even in the 1970s, the Eisbach drew in the adventurous. The standing wave in the English Garden has always attracted locals with their homemade boards. Back then, surfing in the river was forbidden; not that anyone listened. Instead, people figured out how to make the wave stay permanently and not collapse again immediately: someone is said to have installed a railway sleeper in the side of the riverbed. It worked – magnificently.
River wave for advanced learners
The stability of the wave, the constant flow of the water, and good accessibility to the Munich city centre have made the Eisbach's wave internationally famous. Kuhn explains that many spots are level-dependent and only offer enough water for river surfing at high tide. The Eisbach wave is not an easy river wave to surf; beginners are out of place there. But learning to surf at the Eisbach gives you a sure feeling for technique, as Kuhn shows us, performing some artful tricks after our conversation.
The result of the shoot: an exciting story about the origins of the Eisbach wave and an insight into the Munich river surfing scene, as well as a dynamic photo gallery for Land Rover Owners Club website. We also commissioned Olga Günther to create an illustration charting other popular river surf spots across Europe.