Boscombe Surf Reef Closed on Safety Fears

The artificial reef at Boscombe, Bournemouth was created at a cost of £3.2M as part of the Boscombe regeneration project.

Since its opening in November 2009 it hasn't been favoured by many who claim it produces the wrong type of wave, and is more suitable for body boarding. Unfortunately, its inception happened during the boom years, but in a leaner financial climate of 2011, lots of questions are being asked, and negative publicity has been building.

Apparently, gaps have appeared between the sand bags and the local council are worried about 'dangerous rip currents that could suck surfers into them causing them causing them to drown', and this week put up signs asking people not to use it.

However, the council are claiming its safe with Tony Williams saying: "The closure is precautionary. It doesn’t mean that the reef is necessarily unsafe".

ASR Ltd who built the Boscombe reef also built the Opunake reef in New Zealand which is facing similar criticism with a recent suggestion that Opunake Surf Reef Trust were considering asking Bournemouth Council to launch joint legal  action against the builders.

I can remember from my time in Australia that there is a decent artificial reef installed at Narrowneck on the Gold Coast, with intention of reducing sand erosion during large swells, and producing a decent surf spot. Sand erosion is a big problem on the Gold Coast, and cyclone season can produce 8 metre swells. I understand it works well, has won awards, and one of the criterai was that it was cheap.

BBC Article here

Opunake Article here

Gold Coast Artificial Reef Details here