The infamous artificial surf reef at Boscombe, Dorset was opened today, and we are not quite sure what to make of it all.
The makers of Europes first such reef promise is that it will act as a ramp to improve the shape and increase the height of waves, creating a long right hander that will put Boscombe on the surfing map. It is made of 55 giant sandbags placed 220 m offshore over an area the size of a football pitch.
So more surf days and better waves in a location not previously blessed by the surfing gods? It might sound great in theory, but a year late and at double the expected cost (2.8 million in total), questions will inevitably be asked about the value of the project. A recent reef project completed in Mount Maunganui , New Zealand reportedly left local surfers a little disappointed by the waves. As the winter swells start to roll in now, it wont be long before we find out whether Boscombe is now worth the trip for a session. The tourist board will certainly be hoping it is.
This might also start up an interesting debate. With plenty of great surf spots around, is it sane, or even a good use of limited resources (both natural and financial) to build waves where they dont naturally form?