Keep Surfing

by Björn Richie Lob

A fascinating look at Munich's legendary river-surfing community, a group of six very different characters who all share a passion for going against the flow.

"Keep Surfing" tells the story of an unlikely passion in a place that a large part of the world only knows as Oktoberfest City. Munich, the town of beer drinkers and pretzel lovers, has become the home of a surfing crowd of urban individualists who pursue their dream of happiness by riding a river wave far from the ocean."Keep Surfing" portrays six surfers of the Eisbach hardcore, who master the river waves while pursuing their own individual goals in life. Among the older guys is Dieter "The Eater," who was among the first to discover river surfing in the late 60s and still rides the waves every day with his two grown daughters; and Walter, the "janitor of the Eisbach," a working-class philosopher who discovered a way to keep the wave surging for 24 hours a day and who now lives as a kind of lone wolf and didgeridoo maker near a small beach in Sardinia, where he rides his own wave every day. Belonging to the younger generation is golden boy Quirin Rohleder, who started riding the Munich river wave on a boogie board and has become a surf pro living and global nomad – even though his heart still beats for Munich, especially when he returns to the wave where everything started. Among the foreigners who joined the local community is surf punk Eli Mack, for whom river surfing is a way back to the roots of surfing and to a better self. But also surf legends like Kelly Slater, Ross Clark Jones and Taylor Knox have tried their luck on the Munich river wave. "Keep Surfing" is an ode to individual freedom and to the people who've achieved happiness on a river wave, where they can go against the flow and find their place in life.

Genre / Language / Length
Documentary / German / 92 minutes
Original title
Keep Surfing
directed by
Björn Richie Lob
produced by
Bjoern Richie Lob & Tobias N. Siebert in co-production with DIE BASISberlin
  • N.N.

Press Quotes

"Björn R. Lob invested more than five years of work and passion in this adventurous project. His mission has paid off. He's shot spectacular scenes with high-speed cameras. It's a documentary that has everything surfing consists of: great pictures, dramatic stories, moving feelings."


“Keep Surfing” is a look at a sports subculture — one that's fascinating, frivolous or both — that should be an audience favorite.

The river surfers of Munich, a politely bohemian bunch who drop in on the standing waves created when streams pass over rapids or through obstructed channels. It's an oddly stately endeavor: the practitioners more or less surf in place, facing upstream and doing 360s and cutbacks across the face of the oncoming but stationary wave."
New York Times

“A fast-paced and dynamic film, “Keep Surfing,” by Surfer and first time director Bjoern Richie Lob, gives new meaning to surfing by taking a back seat to the ocean and hitting the river…Breathtaking shots capture the surfers in action, performing hang-tens, laybacks and 180/360s with sublime style..”

Die Zeit

“The film has become a rousing, exciting, witty and, above all, emotional documentary, in which the viewer senses in every second the participants' love of surfing and, to a certain extent, of Munich too.”

“A grandiose film [...] With his low budget, the director has managed to make an impressive film that says more about the soul of surfing than many a multi-million-dollar production from America.”

“Every festival has films that open one's eyes anew. Björn Richie Lob's documentary ‘Keep Surfing,' which was frenetically applauded at its premiere, is such a discovery.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung