Boscombe surf reef: a dream waiting to come true

The Boscombe artificial surf reef will try to understand why the £3m project is not performing as it should.

On Tuesday, July 13, Bournemouth councillors will ask what should be made to have 100m surf rides of 15 seconds.

A few months ago, the performance of the Boscombe surf reef was studied in detail by the Plymouth University.

The results were pretty clear: only 33% of the overall objectives were achieved by the new Boscombe surf reef. Let's hope everything gets fine tuned soon.

Here are the standards for evaluating the Boscombe surf reef: 



Whether the wave is surfable or not?

The wave should be surfable (rides lasting >3s) by stand-up surfers of appropriate experience, (Hutt scale 5 and above).

Yes – the artificial surf reef at Boscombe has successfully created a new surfing resource.


Wave Quality

Ride length

≥65m Right

≥20m Left

This ride length must be achieved with some consistency by surfers (e.g. >10% of the rides)

Left – Yes

Right – No


Wave Quality

Wave Form

The expectation is that the reef will produce waves which have, “steep faced (steeper than the neighbouring beach) but rarely barrelling and suitable for competent surfers to execute standard manoeuvres”. A plunging wave is anticipated at take-off.



Wave Quality

Peel angle

70o±10o Left

60o±5o Right

Left – Yes

Right – Partially


Wave Quality

Wave height amplification

≥+20% on ambient levels

Yes – providing the wave conditions are suitable to break on the reef and the tidal state is optimal.



Number of surfable days compared to the beach

The expectation is that the reef will at least match the beach in terms of the number of surfable days.

No – evidence indicates that surfing conditions are less consistent than the beach.


Surfer numbers

Is the reef being surfed?

A lack of surfing by surfers at the reef when conditions are appropriate for surfing at the pier will indicate sub-standard reef performance

No – the reef is being surfed but less consistently than the beach.


Surf Quality

Grade of wave

Quality of surf on a given day is improved using ASR Scale:


4-6: Waves <1m

6-7: Waves >1m

Compared to the Beach:


Generally, the reef is suitable for level 5 surfers and above with level 6 & 7 surfers enjoying a higher number of successful rides:

5-6: Waves <1m

6-7: Waves >1m


Wave Quality

Wave Quality

A low number (between 1 and 5 days/year) of exceptional quality waves are produced on the reef.

Partially successful, although ride length needs to be extended to fully satisfy this condition.


Conformation to design specifications

Physical shape of the finished reef

Crest height: 0m ACD

Length: 120m

Orthogonal Gradient: <1:15 to 1:20

Crest height – No

Length – Yes

Orthogonal Gradient – Yes


Wave Quality

Vortex ratio

A plunging wave with a vortex is only expected during larger wave conditions (Hb>1 m) and primarily on take-off on the right. Given the design orthogonal reef gradient and the grading of the reef it is expected that the vortex length to width ratio should be >2.

Not yet quantified but appears to be consistent with expectation.


Tom Morey's new Rollo: this man is a genius

Tom Morey, the inventor of bodyboarding, has announced plans for the new "MoreyRollo", a rolling skeg that may revolutionise the future of surfboards, kiteboards, wakeboards and sailboards.

The light rubberized foam wheels are less dangerous and thicker than skegs and could better the flow of surf rides. The "MoreyRollo" might be perfect for the Stand-Up Paddle boards as it works like a flywheel.

The "Rollo" designs will evolve to solar powered motorized units. The new technology developed by Tom Morey will not be patented and will become part of public domain.

"They could be made from any number of other materials; sized and shaped innumerable ways. Right now we’re simply getting the idea started", explains Matt Morey, the brand's test rider.

"This is one of those great ideas that come along only so often.  It’s way too big for any one person or firm. You’re more than welcome to run with it; help it along. I’m simply a tiny beach on which this wave from the Sea of Creation first rolled in", adds Morey.

Flynn Novak: trick inventor

Flynn Novak, the lanky Hawaiian goofyfooter who turned heads as he took down some big name surfers on his way to a quarter-final placing in the 2009 Billabong Pipeline Masters, has more in his arsenal than tight barrel riding.

Novak has lit up the Kustom Airstrike aerial surfing competition with two freakish new entries showing his trademark ‘Flynnstone flip’. Watch the video, here.

The entries, both filmed by Ariel Willeford, were shot two weeks apart and were apparently eight years in the making. The first to be filmed looks across some exposed reef to show Novak surfing a little lefthander.

He pumps down the line before launching into a double-grab backflip and projecting out to the shoulder of the wave to stomp the landing. The second clip exposing this innovative maneuver is shot front-on, with Novak getting good height through the flip with equally smooth landing as the first.

Flynn first started playing around with the flip eight years ago but couldn't get the required projection to land on the wave. Last year he landed a couple of the flips but the two entries to Kustom Airstrike are apparently the first two to be captured on film.

The entries are among a wave of mind-blowing new aerials that have been posted on the site in recent weeks. Among these are goofyfooters Ryan Carlson, whose kerr-upt flip was shot by Dave Scales, and Ry Craike, whose no-hands frontside air reverse was shot by Riley Blakeway.

The surge in new entries comes as the Kustom Airstrike event enters its final two month competition window. Surfers have until 31 August to submit their entries in a bid to claim the US$50,000 winner-take-all Kustom Airstrike prize purse.

Kustom Airstrike went live on 1 January, meaning the event is now three-quarters of the way through its eight-month competition window.

Source: Kustom