The Boscombe surf reef: severe improvements required

The Boscombe artificial surf reef has been considered unsafe and will be closed to surfing. The £3.2million project was opened in 2009, but the quality of the produced waves was below acceptable levels.


In the past months, the controversy went up, as the installing company from New Zealand refused to fine tune the reef. Moreover, the sands bags have gaps between them and dangerous under-currents are being formed.

The local authorities have already checked the artificial wave generator and decided to close it down, for public safety, as surfers may be sucked down by the underwater currents.

"Given that surfing is an extreme sport and always includes an element of risk, health and safety surrounding the surf reef project has been paramount from the start, from planning stages through construction to completion and this high level of safety continues", says Tony Williams, Executive Director for Bournemouth Council.

The structure of the reef has been changing due to misplacement and swell. The 55 sand bags can be seen in low tide and you can actually step in over and walk over them.

Snorkelers have confirmed that the position of the sand bags has changed dramatically. ASR, the artificial surf reef company, is expected to return to Boscombe to make the necessary improvements but, until then, surfing and bodyboarding is strongly disallowed.