Wikipedia – Artificial surfing reefs
Talks about:
Many coastlines are subject to powerful waves that crash directly onshore. An artificial reef situated 150-300 yards offshore might create surfing opportunities and, by dissipating wave energy, make swimming safer and reduce coastal erosion.

There is also a page:
Multi-purpose reef
A multi-purpose reef, also commonly known as an artificial surfing reef, is an structure located offshore designed to induce wave breaking in a manner that creates a wave suitable for surfing or bodyboarding. Artificial surfing reefs can exist in many different configurations and be built from a variety of different materials. To date there have been fewer than 10 attempts to build such a structure world wide.

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Artificial reef.

Two new artificial reef items

Survey crucial to reef project
Taranaki Daily News – New Plymouth, New Zealand. 11 Sep 09
Once the reef is judged to be doing what the designers promised, the
Opunake Surf Reef Trust will pay ASR for services rendered according to
their contract. …

Reef encounters
Drift – Bristol, UK
Based in the surf paradise of Raglan, New Zealand, no group combines hardcore surf experience with hard science better than the team at ASR Ltd.

These items from a once a week Google Alert..

Moriarty on artificial reefs

Do artificial reefs work?
Jim Moriarty (currently the CEO of Surfrider Foundation) blogs on that topic on Ocean waves beaches.
Volume 1 – Surfer feedback
There is virtually no quantitative data on how well they are working.
Volume 2 -The return on investment
The size of the investment (even a large one) isn’t a big deal if the return outpaces it.
Volume 3 – Will artificial reefs reduce crowds?
If a recreational area is crowded and you build another recreational area, the crowd is lessened, unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to surfing.
Volume 4 – Track record
Top of the list of the nine things that were supposed to change surfing, but didn’t, was “artificial reefs”.
I have mapped the various locations mentioned in the fourth blog.

Valuable lessons in Reef Design

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..

Reef balls Florida

Mickler’s Landing Northeast Florida.
Workers deploy a reef ball into the ocean about 5 miles off shore from Ponte Vedra Beach in this (Times-Union) file photo.
The concrete balls weigh between 500 pounds and two tons & have a number of openings and crevices in them which attract scores of fish seeking shelter to the artificial reefs.

Defending the coastline

More Englishmen building surf breaks:
Reef NorthEast will be a a multi-purpose reef designed for many users, an innovative underwater arena providing multi-benefits to the North East of England.
This reasoning is worth repeating:
“By designing a structure in a certain manner, the waves can be broken in a way that improves their suitability for surfing for an increased number of days a year and also dissipate the wave’s energy on the reef, thus defending the coastline from erosive wave action.”