ASR at work on UK surf reef
Raglan-based ASR Ltd is currently working on the first artificial surf reef in the northern hemisphere, at Boscombe on England's south coast.
The New Zealand firm has been contracted by the Bournemouth Borough Council to provide a reef with a wave ride length of 10-to-12-seconds that will double the amount of surfing days in Boscombe to 200 a year.
ASR Ltd was originally commissioned as the reef's designer but has subsequently established a construction division which is building the reef â which according to a performance-based contract must be completed by the end of December.
The reef is being made from 55 large geo-textile bags, imported from New Zealand, which are being pumped hard with sand. Work has been underway through the northern summer, primarily at night in order to reduce disruption to beach users, and is expected to be completed, subject to weather conditions, by the end of October.
ASR Managing Partner Nick Behunin recently explained that "we are pleased to be introducing Europe 's first artificial surfing reef as part of the Boscombe regeneration plan. We believe our ground-breaking technology will be integral in increasing tourism to the area. It's exciting to see how Bournemouth Council is going further than the other destinations in the world where we have built surf reefs, with significant additional investment in the infrastructure and facilities surrounding the reef. The regeneration of Boscombe, with the revitalisation of the Pier, Overstrand and new surfing facilities, restaurants and shops are really transforming Boscombe into an exciting surfing destination in the UK "
Explaining the project, Councillor Stephen MacLoughlin, Leader of Bournemouth Borough Council recently stated that "the long-awaited surf reef will be the most innovative sports and tourist attraction in the south."
The development of the reef is part of a regeneration masterplan for Boscombe that will further benefit from a 'lagoon' area behind the reef.
Roger Brown, the Council's Head of Leisure Services believes this safe swimming are will enhance Boscombe's appeal to a wider market. Already it features changing rooms, toilets and showers while attracting a surf-themed retail outlet, surfing academy and catering outlets.
As Brown explains, "Bournemouth has an excellent reputation as a leading water sports destinations however, the reef will put Boscombe firmly on the surfing map."
ASR have also developed artificial surf reefs at Mount Maunganui (pictured) and at Opunake in Taranaki.
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