Surf & Explore Sylt, Germany’s best surf location

Words by Niklas Capelle.


At the end of July I went with my family to the German island Sylt. It is just 2 hours away from our home and we hoped for nice weather and some waves before our trip to Cornwall beginning of August.

Sylt is an island in the North Sea – quite close to the Danish border. It is 99 square kilometres big and very narrow. Each year thousand tons of sand are washed up.

Sylt is the epicenter of the German surf scene but the waves are fickle – especially in summer. The forecast for the first days did not look great.  I took along my 5´10 small wave groveler.

But all in all I experienced one of my best surf experience in Germany ever. My first surf took place at a sport called “Brandenburger Strand”. “Brandenburger Strand” is located directly in Westerland, Sylt’s only city. The spot can even handle big onshore wind because there are two small groynes. The bottom of the spot is sand with some boulders inbetween. The waves had 6 foot faces and broke even with a hard onshore wind for German standards really nice.

The following day I went to ´´Weststrand List´´. It’s the northern-most surf spot in Germany. A lifeguard told me that later there would be some good waves with offshore wind. The surf was good and there were some 4 foot faces and the waves were relatively clean. But there was a strong sideshore current. The next day was really good. In the morning everybody was talking about the evening because ´´Windguru´´ forecasted offshore-wind

Around 3 pm I went in for a surf at “Hauptstand Rantum”. This year the beach break is a shore break but a windswell brought some head-high waves with incoming tide. The waves were a little punchy quite similar to the smaller ones in Hossegor, told a friend. It was definitively my heaviest surf-session ever in Germany. Later in the evening I went to surf at the “Osteria Westerland”. The wind swung to offshore and 4 beaufort to 1. It was a nice arvo-session with the cleanest waves I have ever seen in German water. The next days were onshore but still okay. However then the wind dropped and I surfed clean 3-foot faces at “Tadjem Deel”, Rantum.

I was happy to score Sylt that good and never expected waves of such quality in the German sea.