Boscombe Surf Reef

The first artificial surf reef in Europe has been officially ‘opened’ in Boscombe, in Dorset, UK, a year later than planned.


The Boscombe reef costed £3 million to build and was developed by the New Zealand-based company ASR. The new infrastructure is designed to increase both the quality and amount of surfable waves in the Boscombe coast, which also means more tourists to the region.

The surfer's heaven has the same size of a football pitch and is built of 55 sand-filled bags situated more than 220 metres out to sea to the east of the town’s pier. The Boscombe reef will create the effect of a ramp, as waves pass by and shape perfect sets.

“The reef is now officially open, and ready for experienced surfers to use at their leisure. It is important to remember that the reef is not a wave machine – it works to enhance the conditions that occur naturally and so, when there is no swell elsewhere, there won’t be swell on the reef either.”, said Jon Weaver, Marketing and Events Manager for Bournemouth Tourism.

Plymouth University will be monitoring the performance of the reef over the next year. If you would like to test the quality of the reef, make sure you are physically fit to paddle 225 metres out to sea to access the reef.