Top 7 Germany’s Unusual Sports to Try in Munich
Germany’s football team may be well-known, but Munich is known more for maß lifting than sports. But looks can be deceiving. The Alps, where you can ski, paraglide, or rock climb, are only an hour or two away, and Munich has a lot of other sports you can try as well. Here are seven of the strangest sports, from underwater hockey to roller derby.
Water Sports in Munich: Underwater Hockey
Yes, you did read it right. To play this fast underwater game, you’ll need a snorkel, a 30 cm stick, and fins. Guys, get your speedos ready, too. Like in ice hockey, the color of a player’s swimming cap shows whether he or she is defending or attacking. Players constantly switch positions, called “flying changes,” based on where the weighted puck is. Underwater, players can’t talk to each other, so teams have to work together and know when other players will need to come up for air. The Munich Marlins, a sports club, shows how serious this sport is in Munich.
Have you ever thought about what would happen if figure skaters brokedanced? The answer is Ice Freestyle! Many people in Munich learned to skate as kids, and now small groups of young people are starting to combine skating and dancing. If you want to take up this hobby, you have to be very comfortable on the ice. Skaters specialize in jumps and tricks, like headspins and jumping over other freestylers. Visit the Eis- und Funsportzentrum in München Ost to see them in action.
This traditional Gaelic game is alive and well in the city, thanks to a group of Irish expats who started playing in the English Garden in 2001 and formed the Munich Colmcilles. Some parts of the game are like rugby, basketball, and hockey. The players dribble with a small ball called a sliotar by bouncing it on a wooden stick called a hurley. The goal is to hit the ball into the goal for three points or between the rugby-style posts for one point. You can also only hold on to the ball for up to four steps.
This brings together two things that Germans love: handball and spending time on or by a lake. On a flat stretch of water, two teams of five players try to score in the goal two meters above the water of the other team. Players need to be good at kayaking, but they also need to be able to move quickly and throw the ball accurately. Even though the paddles have more rounded edges, this is not a gentle paddle on the lake. Players will still need helmets, some body protection, and face-guards for when the game gets rough.
Roller derby is a sport where two teams of women race around a track on roller skates to score points. It is fast, exciting, and strangely addicting to watch. This is not a sport for cowards. The “jammers” on each team try to fight their way through the “blockers” on the other team in order to score. Roller derby is more than just a sport. It has its own culture, with players taking roller derby names like “Germanatrix” and “Pina Collider” and even getting married to another derby player. The Munich Rolling Rebels and Municorns often face off against teams from other countries.
This sport is getting more and more popular everywhere, and Munich is no different. The boat is like a canoe, but it is longer and wider so that it can hold 16 rowers and a drummer who sets the pace. With only one oar each, paddlers have to choose a side and often end up with one very strong shoulder. The Alpenland Drachenboot-Cup is held every year at Lake Chiemsee in Munich. Local teams like the Bavarian Kongs compete to be the fastest and win the prize.
One of Munich’s favorite and most unusual things to do is surf at the edge of the Englisch Garten, near Bruderstrasse. As water roars out from under a small bridge, surfers patiently wait in lines on either side of the bank. To avoid the river walls, surfers have to jump off the bank and onto their boards. They also have to make sharp turns, which is why surf shops in Munich sell small boards with kevlar-protected edges. Even when it’s very cold in Munich, people still try to ride the waves, and the Eisbachwelle is strangely mesmerizing.
Topic: Top 7 Germany’s Unusual Sports to Try in Munich
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By: Travel Pixy