- not accept the shape of the bottom of the places we surf
- get our local governments to crack a few rocks and make these places better
- place building-waste blocks where they need to be to improve surfing spots OR better still, make places that people can’t surf into places where they can.
I can give examples but what do you think?
In NSW in the 1930s and 1940s there was a massive building, especially around Sydney, of swimming pools on the coast, they were hewn out of rock on the tidal platforms. Why don’t we do something similar to make/improve surf breaks?
Gold Coast City Council (in Queensland, Australia) have a Surf Management Plan that includes:
- strategies to maximise enjoyment and minimise conflict between beach user groups (e.g. seasonal adjustments to flagged swimming and board riders zones)
- new coastal capital works projects will give consideration to both coastal protection and where possible, enhancement of surf amenity.
They announced in June 2016 that $4.5 million has been set aside to start the Palm Beach Shoreline Project and build an artificial reef about 400 metres off Palm Beach. It is expected to take four years.
See also the previous story (July 2015):
Note that Australian Coastal Walls are selling the ACW Geo-Block beach protection system. More about that on their web page.
For a longer term view of Gold Coast coastal management:
Sydney, Australia in the newly formed Northern Beaches Council Area
Following the June 2016 Black NorEaster and/or East Coast Low beach and property suffered significant damage.
Surfrider Foundation Northern Beaches was in the firing line for organising the 2002 Line In The Sand which convinced the then Warringah Council that the community was opposed to the construction of a multimillion dollar seawall over a kilometre long dumping 85,000 tons of rock on the beach at great public expense.
Seawalls profoundly damage beaches and Surfrider remains implacably opposed to hard so-called protective structures on beaches.
See there report to NB Council: makesurf/collaroy_seawall2016.pdf
Northern Beaches surfrider.org.au/nsw
The Northern Beaches Branch was one of Surfrider Australia’s original branches and is still going strong 20 years on!
Major campaigns over its life include the upgrade of Warriewood Sewage Treatment Plant, protesting the proposed seawall for Collaroy/Narrabeen Beach 2002 with the famous “Line In The Sand” and thwarting the proposed overdevelopment of Long Reef SLSC on 2 separate occasions.
The branch has representation on council committees and work closely with environment centres in Manly and Pittwater.
Always looking for another face and bod to lend a hand so if you live anywhere around the Northern Beaches contact them from details on the page:
These are the already great surfing spots.
National Surfing Reserves are ‘iconic’ places of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value to a nation. NSR embrace all peoples to enjoy, understand and protect
What about the surf breaks that could do with some improvements?
Wave Focusing Sand Slug,
Cronulla Beach will officially trial Andrew Pitt’s special sand placement configuration designed to create a temporary Wave Focusing Sand Slug.
The sand will be strategically placed about 250 metres offshore in up to eight metres of water to form a two-hectare rectangular mound.
Reports from regular surfers on the waves and impacts on crowding along the beach would be appreciated.
August 2012 Update:
Seems to work OK.
Lots of surfers enjoying this sand slug
SurfScience contacted Andrew Pitt, a surfing reef architect from Australia. His company Surfing Ramps, does consulting and design work for artificial reefs. A student of artificial reef projects, Andrew filled SurfScience in on what has been attempted and why some efforts had better results.
Ramboestrada writes posts about failed artificial reef and wave pool projects around the globe.
Questions that are raised by this are:
1. How should we fund failed attempts?
2. How can we (objectively) collect information on the lessons learnt?
3. How can we design these projects so that the whole job does not have to be done at once?
4. How can we work with nature, not against it?
5. Is it easier to try to make good small waves?
6. How do we stop the worst weather blowing away the parts of the project?
Surf grooming is my preferred answer to many of these questions. Essentially it involves systems that adapt to the current conditions. More to come on this topic in the meantime read the Ramboestrada post and consider the problem..