Stab Magazine | This Artificial Reef On The Gold Coast Is Half Finished And Looks Pretty Fun

This Artificial Reef On The Gold Coast Is Half Finished And Looks Pretty Fun

A man-made wave… in the ocean! 

news // Aug 28, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Wavepools, shmavepools! 

Rather than spending millions on infrastructure and tech + thousands each month on the electricity bill, a Gold Coast commission opted to let the ocean do the heavy-lifting for their manmade wave, creating an artificial reef off the coast of Palm Beach. 

While there are more novel artificial reef designs floating around the webosphere, like Greg Webber’s Flying-V and that weird inflatable dome thing, the Gold Coast version is more simple: it’s just very large boulders (8-tonnes apiece) placed a couple hundred meters off the shoreline, the gaps between of which are then filled in with sand.

Here’s a breakdown:

According to my good friend Stu Nettle at Swellnet, construction of the reef is approximately 50 percent complete and is expected to be finished in October of this year.

Also: “The reef is designed primarily as a right, though on bigger swells there’s likely to be a short, thick left. Also, the swell today was acutely south, but on more easterly swells the takeoff will move about more, making it able to cope with a crowd.”

It’s clear that the reef is causing long ocean lines to converge on themselves and create a defined peak, which is ultimately what you need to create a quality break. We’ll be interested to see how this reef develops in the coming months and if it can retain its structure come the cyclone swells of December and beyond. 

If it does work, could we potentially see the miles upon miles of mediocre beach breaks in LA turned into a series of high-perf peaks?

One can only hope…

Unfortunately, Swellnet has their vimeo link set to private. To see the reef in action, head here


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