A group of German inland surfers from Lippstadt is trying to convince the local authorities to build a standing wave on the Lippe River.
It's a small town with roughly 70,000 inhabitants, and it is the birthplace of the famous German football player Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Lippstadt - the Venice of Westphalia - is 300 kilometers (186 miles) away from the North Sea, so there are no real ocean waves here.
Nevertheless, surf is where you find it, and a local hardcore crew spotted a tremendous surfing opportunity in the Lippe River. Several spots have been identified, and one of the best is a small slope located near an old water mill.
In September 2015, the inland wave riders founded "Lippstadter Welle - Make It Happen," an association which has gained the support of local politicians and citizens.
"Due to the Lippe river flowing through the city, Lippstadt is also known as the Venice of Westphalia. With the approval of the project we can turn it into the Venice Beach of Westphalia," says Alexander Lempke, one of the four founders of the "Lippstadter Welle."
"To be honest, we actually started the project for fun and were not expecting to receive such a high support from surfers around and outside Westphalia. This support motivated us to found the 'Make It Happen' association and take the project to the next level."
In February 2016, "Lippstadter Welle" received a feasibility study led by Michael Strömer, an expert in standing waves, and the results couldn't have been clearer - the river surf break located near the old mill is a perfect spot for the project.
Henrik Frensch, Alexander Lempke, Stefan Schulte-Beerbühl, and Max Kersting are the founders of "Lippstadter Welle," and they want to make this dream a reality.
"At the moment, the association is working on a detailed implementation plan to convince the council of Lippstadt that this wave can no longer stay unridden. Getting this river wave approved will be another significant step for the river surf community in Europe," adds Lempke.
"Die Lippe" has even attracted the attention of sponsors, who are willing to support the project. Will surfing become Lippstadt's most popular tourist attraction?