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« "Sorted Surf Fest" to go at Europe's first artificial reef!!! | Main | Q&A with the Directors of ASR, ltd: Artificial Reefs, Coastal Protection & Marine Habitat »

India's First Artificial Reef: Artificial Reef Hopes to Bring "Surf" Back to India



Artificial surfing reefs have both sunk and soared in the past: Pratte's Reef in El Segundo, California was a flop, but many consider Narrowneck, Australia’s human-born reef a great triumph. ASR, the company that built Narrowneck, just completed another successful reef in Bournemouth, England and is now working on a new project: India. The proposed artificial reef will be located in Kovalam on the Arabian Sea, and will mark India’s first artificial reef.

While Kovalam’s numerous charms have been drawing tourists for decades, reckless development has caused severe coastal erosion in the southern Indian town. As a result, the Kerala Department of Tourism commissioned ASR (Amalgamate Solutions and Research) to build the “multi-purpose reef” with visions of restoring the fading beach and hopefully amping up the waves.

“If building a reef for surfing, we would look closely at the existing tides, wind and ground swell direction,” says ASR. “Once we have the data we need, we design the reef to create optimal waves.”

Multi-purpose reefs are made from über high-tech sandbags that are secured to the ocean’s floor, diverting wave energy from the shoreline. In addition to bolstering waves and beaches, MPRs make great homes for a variety of sea life: “200 species have been found living on or around the reef built in Narrowneck,” says ASR.

The recently completed reef in England is Europe’s first MPR, and the local stoke is palpable. “The waves at Boscombe are generally small and break close to the beach, so rides are short. Now that the reef is in place, the waves are more powerful,” says Jo O’Connell of Bournemouth Tourism. “On days with good swell, decent-sized waves will peel down the right of the reef, creating a longer ride.” Ed Chipperfield of The Sunday Times says, “British surfers finally have a patch of water to be proud of.”

India, like England, is not exactly known as an epicenter of surf. “In a country with more than 1.2 billion people, there are only about twelve Indian guys who surf,” say representatives from the INDIA Surf Club, which was created by two Florida transplants in 2006. Interest in surfing seems to be growing; however, as it turns out that India has some pretty spectacular waves in Kovalam and other spots like those featured in Taylor Steele’s upcoming Castles in the Sky. The government of Kerala is hoping that their reef will be as effective as Bournemouth’s, and that improved surfing conditions will boost tourism.

According to Surfing India and the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “surf” is actually derived from the word “suffe,” which was originally used in reference to the coast of, ironically, India. Maybe Kovalam’s reef will bring the surf home.

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    India's First Artificial Reef: Artificial Reef Hopes to Bring "Surf" Back to India - Journal - ASR Limited: Marine Consulting
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    India's First Artificial Reef: Artificial Reef Hopes to Bring "Surf" Back to India - Journal - ASR Limited: Marine Consulting
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    India's First Artificial Reef: Artificial Reef Hopes to Bring "Surf" Back to India - Journal - ASR Limited: Marine Consulting

Reader Comments (1)

I like this place! I love the idea and wish there was a place like this in Astoria, Queens. I am a surfer and found a "real surfer bar" in Point Break NYC. I am kinda jealous ;0PIts filled with surfers, people who like surfers, people who like the beach and people who don't want to live close to town. I really like this place. You know what they have these real Proctor and Channel One surfboards on the wall. It's nice for coming any day of the week and eating a late brunch. The food was outstanding. The brunch and sides were prefect and tasty. It is a perfect "escape" from city living. It is probably one of the only places where you can get a nice frozen pina colada or margarita. The service was on hit. They came up and checked on us so many times and made sure everything was up to par. It gets very active and the bartenders keep everybody having a good time. The bartender was very accommodating. He was nice enough to make a drink, that wasn't on the menu, for me :0) Did I mention the bartenders are nice eye candy. It was amazing to see their “das boot” which is shaped like a boot filled with beer. Don’t get me wrong, I am not drunk…it’s an actual boot shaped beer container ready to be emptied. Try it ..You will love it!! Oh. How can I forget, they even have a wheel o' shots where you just have to spin it and have to drink whatever shot it lands on!! Now call that bar creativity at its best!!! And when I spill a tray full of shots on myself, the bartender so kindly remakes them for me? Good music, too, and the decor helped us weather an otherwise overcast and rainy day. You know that old song "Brandy"? It goes, "Brandy, you're a fine girl, what a good wife you would be. But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea." I believe Brandy works here. No reason, I just do. And that song happens to be a guilty pleasure of mine, so that's a plus in my book. You can simply waltz over to this colorful and warm establishment, enjoy some drinks with friends, and walk home. The bar is right at the center, so you can walk to either side for drinks, and the bartenders are friendly and at your service. There is a variety of seating, good music, and friendly neighborhood people to make your time more enjoyable. Not pretentious, very cozy, I think Point Break is a fabulous place to spend some time with friends.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavis Miller

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