When the Boscombe artificial reef opened back in 2009 Surfers across the UK and more so in Dorset, really hoped that it was the start of something good, a spot that was reliable and consistent and maybe the benchmark that would lead to more reefs being created around the British coastline. Unfortunately, the reef didn’t really live up to all its expectations and was plagued by an undercurrent of negative opinion over its success.
Not everyone was unhappy or disappointed and it was deemed a huge success by many of the Bodyboarders who managed to get down to session it, and some great images started emerging from the Bodyboard brigade who loved it. Then back in 2010, two investigations into the reef, found that there were major safety concerns when gaps were found in the reef that could have lead to a user becoming trapped underwater and sections of the structure had broken away.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, in March 2011, the reef was struck by a boats propeller causing significant damage to two of the sandbags and this lead to the closure of the spot. Bournemouth Council then started pursuing the New Zealand based company that built the reef, ASR Ltd, but they ended up going into liquidation in September 2012.
The reef looked set to be written off as an expensive and embarrassing mistake, but full credit to Bournemouth Council, they fought to save face and the reef, and after receiving an insurance settlement in late 2013, they set to righting the problems with the structure.
So it is with great delight that we can now bring you news of the completion of the works and that the reef has officially been reopened and there are already plans for a Surf Festival in September. We are still to find out if the remedial works have helped with the waves and if the project can be classed as a success but we are pleased that it wasn’t abandoned as a bad lot and left to the mercy of the sea.
Below the article you can watch an official video released a few years back that tells the Boscombe Reef story. We hope to get down and check it out ourselves and will bring you details of our findings in due course, in the meantime let us know if you have ever managed to Surf the reef or if you have any plans to get down there to check it out?