Share on Pinterest

untitled-1So, Boscombe’s new artificial reef is finally finished. Has anyone had a go yet? What do you think?

As a one-time Bournemouth resident, I love the fact that the official blurb describes the wonderful BosVegas as a “cosmopolitan, thriving resort”… Stick to the beach, don’t venture into Boscombe proper, and you may still leave under that illusion! Apparently they’ve created a ‘spa village’ so that visiting surfers can avoid the locals…

The official party line is that after your 220m paddle-out, on days with good swell you should be treated to “decent-sized waves peeling down the right of the reef, creating a longer-ride of around 50m for surfers. An occasional swell from the east may also generate a short left-hand breaker with a ride length of around 15m.” But be warned – it can’t create waves out of nothing, so it’s not likely to be pumping every day. Between September and April, when Boscombe gets its best swell, you should notice a difference though.

The reef was built in conjunction with the world-renowned ASR Ltd of New Zealand – who have an excellent environmental track record – and there’s plenty of technical info about the reef’s construction and environmental impact, as well as a description of how the reef will work, published on the Bournemouth website.


Share on Pinterest
  • reef denier

    this is shaping up (pun intended) as the great reef swindle.

  • PT Barnum

    theres a reef buyer born a minute and the global reef builders have admitted their building technique of pumping sand over pipes is a “circus”. welcome to the mastery of promotions -theres one born a minute …P.T. Barnum- promoter extraordinaire.

  • Hi Angela and readers,

    My name is Alicia Schwartz and I work with the ASR, ltd team, the company responsible for the newly completed Bournemouth Reef. We understand the confusion and hope this provides clarity.

    As Angela mentioned above, while one of the possible outcomes of building a multi-purpose reefs is improved condition for recreational activities, including surfing, diving and fishing, a reef is not a wave machine. The reef does not create waves, but instead acts as a ramp that changes the way the waves break – it harnesses existing wave energy that used to break on the sand, causing erosion, and channels it to break on the offshore reef instead. As a result, the beach is protected, ecology is enhanced, and improved conditions are created for surfers, divers and fishermen.

    While some have criticized the Bournemouth reef for not improving surf conditions as of yet, the fault doesn’t lie with the reef, but instead the weather conditions needed to see the reef’s benefits simply hasn’t occurred yet. The Bournemouth reef hasn’t had groundswell events yet to “optimize“ the reefs performance, however, it has already been producing some great waves.

    An impartial third party research firm conducted a study and found that the marketing and PR value of the Reef in Boscombe, even before its completion, is estimated to be greater than $10M pounds which is over 3X the total cost of the reef. The thriving restaurants – some of which are named after the reef like “Urban Reef” and “Reef Encounter” – and increased retail activity and hotel accommodations (even during a recessionary period) also are positive indicators of economic stimulus.

    If you have any questions please feel free to directly contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]. We encourage an open dialogue on the benefits and myths of multi-purpose reefs. (Artificial reefs)


    Alicia Schwartz
    Marketing , ASR, ltd

  • John

    It is obvious that the reef was built for economic purposes and I feel that this point has been outlined above. If it was built for the surf aspect it would have been built in a bay which receives more than a handful groundswells a year. For recreational activities the fault lies in the position of the reef. Any competent surfer would know that the Bournemouth area receives only occasional good groundswell / wind combinations. So any surfers moaning about how the reef doesn’t work. Get over it and move on, understand that the reef was not built for you, it was built for money.

  • Love it!!! Best wave in the area and the most challenging by a long shot! It feels so good being able to walk down the road and surf an A+ wave, normally that would result in having to go to Kernow or further. Been on it a few times already now in the last few weeks and all i can say is, THANK YOU to everyone involved!!

    Also, for those who know Boscombe (i have lived here all my life), it has been a dramatic change for the surrounding area, the beach is now a pleasant place to be, less rubbish, less “undesirables” and haven’t seen a syringe down there in months. The regeneration which is based around the reef has really made it a nicer place to be.

    Don’t let the persistent moaners who don’t understand how the economy works or the learner surfers who can’t ride it yet put a downer on things. The whole point of a world class wave is that it is a challenge, if it is changed to be slower and less powerful it will just blend in with every other spot around here.

    Once again BRAVO on a top reef.


    Jason – 15 years surfing and counting