I am an SA surfer who is growing very tired of such limited surf potential on "the hoax coast." We do get some very good waves on occasion but they are mostly sand dependent and can disappear in a day, leaving the local surfers wondering what the hell happened. There are proven ways of helping nature to get it right, but it seems that the Fleurieu surfers would prefer to complain about the lack of surf rather than doing anything about it. There is no lack of swell or offshore days in this region so why we haven't done something to improve the surf quality is beyond me. There is likely to be some resistance to this idea, but if we don't do something about it we will continue to have a great deal of frustration floating around the area. Lets petition the council, hassle the people in power and get something happening. Wouldn't it be great if we looked down off the knights headland and saw a reeling left hand pointbreak? Gotta be worth a try i reckon.
mm yeh i think we leave the south coast how it is, natural.
just surf the mid, fickle but much much better
'Mileage' is the key word involved in being an SA surfer... The Victor shuffle can be frustrating I agree, however depending on winds and swell there are a myriad of other spots in SA I'd much rather be...
Agree with both posts here. The mid has great quality but is usually tiny and the eyre is world class. With some simple re-distribution of sand however, we could lift quality of the victor region without having to surf ankle slappers on the mid or drive 6 + hours. The eyre will always be the jewel in the crown for SA, but for those that can only do one day trip per week, it would be great to have something other than close outs or mush within easy access.
Can somebody ask nicely if KI would mind moving about 10km or so south???
there was a thwarted attempt at creating an artificial reef at seaford in the middle of the night many many moons ago. Rumour says it involved a front end loader and sand bags.....anyone who knows more care to post? - bloody hilarious i say...
Thats the key here people........... K.I needs to go. Imagine how consistent the mid would be
Moving a large island or a few tonnes of sand? Not sure, but i think the latter is a little more feasible. The debate on the effects of the relocation of KI are older than the island itself, maybe its time we got off the crackpipe and approached this issue with a little more clarity. Lets examine the effects on "natural" by introducing an artificial reef. A wave may be visible where before there was a different looking wave. Marine creatures that have been smashed by over fishing may find a new place to breed, this may work well with the proposed fish exclusion zones. I agree that as south australian surfers a 10 hour car trip is part of the package, and i enjoy these missions as much as the next man. But what is the environmental impact of these trips? If 50 people a year were to opt out of a west coast trip to surf a local break how much will this help to not only preserve one of the best locations in this country, but may also lower carbon emissions and our use of petrol. Might even help Moose be a little more hospitable.
I wonder what impact building that breakwall off Granite Island had on the wave quality of the Dump/ Chiton Rocks stretch of coast? It was done so boats could anchor off the island but that doesnt happen anymore. Good luck trying to get them to remove it for a few surfers though. The same for Horseshoe Bay near Port Elliot. Rocks were dumped in the mouth of the bay to make it a swimming beach over 100 years ago. That could have been epic with good wind protection! Oh well....what might have been!
I've heard that the breakwall of Granite Island has affected the frequency in which The Dump breaks and also its size. But unless there is clear evidence and a record of how many time it used to break it's all hearsay.
Gotta say though, the South Coast of the Fleurieu has so many almost setups, but they are just that, and offer disappointing waves most of the time.
Finally some thoughtful responses. The aim of the thread was to generate discussion and ideas so that we might head towards doing something constructive. I hadn't thought of removing the breakwall on granite island but its probably a pretty good option. Nice one! Kangaroo Island is there to stay and frankly it shits all over the mid even if it was more exposed. The key is for waves to come out of deep water.
I'm not so convinced that the Granite Island breakwall has dramatically altered surf conditions at The Dump and Chiton. Granite Island is around 850 long (roughly along a W'ly path), and the breakwall adds an extra 280m (although this extends out to the northeast).
I reckon that there's enough natural size loss due to refractive processes, exacerbated by Seal Rocks and the nearby bommies which steer the swells towards the Bullies/Knights section.
Removing the Granite Island breakwall would be unlikely to create any major increase in the overall swell trend at The Dump, IMO. Just my 2c, anyway.
BTW, I pitched an artificial surfing reef idea to a few people around ten years ago, but with limited response. IMO, the best place for anything along these lines - from an environmental, commercial and surfing perspective - would be between Bullies and Chiton.
Anywhere else on the South Coast would be either (1) inaccessible, (2) inside a national park and/or whale sanctuary, or (3) at a location with poor bathymetry. Yes, the waves generally range between average and terrible from Middleton to Goolwa, but this is the result of a poor bathymetric setup. A surfing reef ain't gonna change that, unless you plan on installing it a couple of kilometres offshore.
What about the sand that is dredged from the mouth? Surely that could be put to good use. maybe a breakwall be put there somewhere as the gov. has no problems building weirs etc along the rest of the murray. Then maybe a type of North wall set up could be created?
No chance, Barley - the local bathymetry just isn't that flash between Middleton and essentially Kingston. You'd have to extend the training walls at least 800m offshore to get past the offshore bars (almost three times the length of the training wall at Ballina).
It's also worth remembering that an artificial surf reserve in the middle of nowhere - like the MM - probably won't sound like a good use of funds to any potential investor (such as the government).. you'll need supporting facilities and infrastructure close by, and local businesses will also need to benefit in some way shape or form. This is one of the main reasons the Chiton-to-Bullies coast is a good fit IMO.
True Ben it would be great if a reef(s) was built along that Chiton/Bullies stretch. You see heaps of good swell going to waste along there. There are some rocky patches to build a reef upon which would be more stable then building on sand too. What about Horseshoe Bay Ben? Do you think it might have had decent waves once? Swell must have got in there.
Maybe you could combine the idea's with the local fisho's as a decent boat ramp is missing in the area. The one near the bluff end is a rock trap. Kind of a West beach style that you could get waves on both sides. It seems fishers have a bit more of a voice than surfers. It is a tragic waste of beautiful coastline as it stays.
yorkessurfer - yeah, I've heard some very interesting stories about the point off the western end of Horseshoe Bay, but I don't know how true they are (can't seem to find any info about what year the breakwall went in either). It looks like potentially quite a great setup (sans breakwall), but then again if you scour the entire South Coast, there's a lot of promising setups that just don't do anything at all - I'm thinking Bashams Reef, The Chicken Run, Granite Island, The Bluff, Petrel Cove, and then a whole host of bays and points between Waits and Jervis (many of which I've hiked to, only to find that they're all sand dependent and very fickle).
Would have to agree that the Chiton area could do with a little artificial assistance. Could I throw Suicides into the mix. With a bit of a facelift that wave could be something.
The breakwall at Horseshoe bay has an exciting wave every now and then. Racing a few meters in front of bare rock makes it an adrenalin rich experience. I recon that a dredge and a small change in the angle of the wall would do the trick.
Ben, I don't think Suicides would be worthwhile. When the surf's above 4ft it breaks a pretty reasonable distance offshore, and beside - it's right next to the Bashams area which is where the Southern Right Whales often set up camp.
Perhaps there could be options to modify the breakwall at Horseshoe Bay in a way that favoured a peeling wave?
Ultimately though, in similarity yo Andrew Pitt's sand slug proposal in this article, I reckon the best option would be a series of artificial shoals offshore from Chiton and Railways that would break up long lines of swell into peaky A-frames on the shore.
This all sounds really good, the only problem is that in my experience the Pt Elliot stretch really needs a Southerly swell to fire up, and that doesn't happen very often. Would this change with the addition of some offshore shoals? I realise that your never going to create a powerful wave at Goolwa but once in a while it does get quite fun. Is there a way to mimic whatever happens on those days Ben? The real question is how we get enough support, funds and expertise together to make something happen. I think that there is a government organisation that funds recreational infrastructure such as bike tracks, skate ramps and so on. We need a way to get as many signatures together as possible to create a petition or something similar. Maybe we could to organise a rally or crash the councils bingo event?
There are locations everywhere that have potential for great waves given correct "bottom shape" being formed. We've all seen great protected spots with clean swell pouring in and just closing out, its what surfers do- search for perfect waves, its the surfers dream to find them....or make them. I've been concentrating on trying to make them. Its easy to say this, or that, would be a good idea, but to actually do something, and be sucessful, is another matter. The problem is that your average artificial reef is not something you can knock up over the weekend in the garage with a mate, like an innovation in surfboard or fin design for example, its a seriously large and complex project, requiring serious funding to develop truly successful designs. Govts usually haven't got funding for these sort of projects, and if they did, they want to purchase proven designs given they are responsible for the public purse. So my view is if innovation in surf creation is to happen its going to take the large players in the surf industry to put some R&D funds into successful artificial reef development. After all, surfers' core need is for quality surf, not a t-shirt with a logo on it.
If anyone from the surf industry is reading this, and think they may be in a position to contribute to the needs of surfers, and the future of surfing, in this regard, I would be pleased to talk with you further. Cheers
Just a thought ... why not merge wave power electricity generation projects with artifical reefs for surfing? That way costs could be shared and its a big win for the environment. Just a thought.
Could be a dangerous wiping out if there are moving parts.
What about Petrels? That uber fickle straight handed swell magnet could surely be enticed to break more like a real wave with a frequency greater than its current 1 day a year!
Plus, it would be nice to have another summer option for when the Sou-easters are relentless.
Petrels sounds like a good idea. A reckon only a few more boulders in that left hand corner and you could have a nice point.
Also a few off the west end of the beach to give a right hander into the beachy. Paradise!!
There can be all this talk, but just leave everything how it is, that defeats the purpose of surfing if we are creating "fake waves", we surf or at least i do because its a natural experience, were spoiling it if we start changing the environment. This will also be degrading to the environment, changing the ecosystem, much like the de-sal plant.
Some of the best waves in the world are man made, though isn't it funny how when they try to do it on purpose they fuck it up.
So surfing is a natural experience? We drive a fossil fuel powered car to get there, ride a board that is filled with foam and covered in fibreglass (both of which are synthetic substances that harm the environment) and burn electricity posting utter crap about how we "like it natural." Artificial reefs can be made of inert substances that do not harm the environment and provide additional habitiat for our already depleated fish stocks. If you're that keen on the mid, stay there mate.
when your in the ocean and in the moment its not the car you drive their that makes you feel good or as much the board under you feet, its the fact that your riding a wave, im keen to surf anywhere and building a fake reef down south is negative to the ocean, changing what the environment is already used, accustomed and natural to, is good in no way
The south coast does have its days but it is definetely a long wait. The mid is small but I do surf there during the week. I think we need to leave Victor as it is, unless the new reef/breakwall that 'might' be installed is as beneficial for the marine env. as it is for us. Definetely not keen on messing up another natural process.. (ie West Beach)
In the end it is about lifestyle, if you want to wake up every day/weekend and surf good waves... and it means that much to you, move to a spot in SA or interstate that has these good waves. We all know that country SA could do with a population increase to support the regional economy. If we aren't willing to do so, for work/family reasons then part of living in/near Adelaide and surfing involves driving to get world-class waves.
As for creating a good surf spot down south (ie point break at Knights), imagine how packed it would be? When we had that big swell just over a month ago and the pines was the only wave holding it was chockas!! Would just defeat one of the perks of surfing in SA.. Anyway, good idea but quite hard to manage negative impacts I reckon.
Nathan , man made reefs are part of nature, because man is part of nature, it is real so therefor it can't be fake, like a beaver builds a dam , it is a part of nature. Since we are a part of the natural environment every thing we do or make is a part of nature, every component in a car or a surfboard come from the earth so they are a part of nature. Oil and coal is there to be mined they are part of nature, when we burn it it creates pollution. That is also nature, because man created it. It is natural instinct for man to tweek things, so everything is nature.
You have taken on one of the most self centered sport/lifestyles in surfing, embrace it.
A few people missing the point here i think. We have been dredging sand from the murray for years and digging massive rocks out of the ground for centuries. Both processes have by-products neither of which are fake and they need to be put somewhere. If they can be used to change the way that waves break and provide habitat for fish, i cant see a downside. As for crowds, that's a measure of how good a wave is these days and its unavoidable.
There's a point? I didn't notice.
Yeah mate, but it wasn't you that missed it. If someone has actual facts about how we are going to damage the environment then lets here them. Otherwise the point is is simple, we need somewhere to place dredged sand, used tyres and lots of other things that could be used to improve our waves. None of these are harmful to any species or natural systems that i know of but if someone does have any valid info then would love to hear it. Otherwise i agree, surfing is self centred and just about everything that gets us there and actually able to ride the waves is damaging in some way. Creating more habitat may actually be a positive contribution.
Saving the environment is pretty irrelevant anyway, as every nation on this earth is trying to increase there population, so eventually mankind will kill itself and every other species, which in the end give the earth a chance to heal. I could be wrong, I don't care , whatever happens happens. I'll be well gone anyway.
On the opposite side of things, have you seen the doco on Jardim do Mar - the lost jewel of the Atlantic? and I'm sure there are other examples where mans influence has destroyed wave quality. It would be great to see this in reverse with a positive outcome for surfers and the coastal environment.
Fantastic to read from surfers who are passionate about their surf spots. As surfers - on boards, mals or bodyboarders - we are connoisseurs of wave breaking patterns and therefore, need to act as local stewards of local surf spots - in a formal capacity (committee,association, club or group) - otherwise non-surfers dictate the evolution of surf spots and the surfing experience (Tourism boards, Surf Clubs, coastal engineers).
The Fleurieu has a lot of coast, the issues mentioned in this thread can be accommodated: preservation of the natural values at surf spots, better managing the outcome when river dredging + beach nourishment occurs (to get temporary better banks), and perhaps - if enough local surfers want it - building more permanent reef setups with rock that is consistent with the insitu geology.
But for any of it (preservation/management/creation) to occur, there needs to be a guiding local group, club or assocation. By default this is usually the local boardriders club, though the National Surfing Reserve system and Sand Slug placement Committees appear to function also. Who is looking after your local spot?
There's a couple of local boardrider clubs but the Chiton Rocks SLSC seems to be the obvious one to me. The more i read about the "Sand slug" idea the more i like it. If that stretch had the swell broken up a bit I think it has enough power to create some pretty punchy little peaks. A bit of extra sand never hurt anyone did it?
Not sure if anyone is watching the Quik pro in NY but i think Goolwa may have been a better venue... Same poo brown water, same poo brown peaks, maybe slightly longer rides at Goolwa-tu...
Scratch that... Maybe Middleton is better???
How about a search event at an un-named location which provides better waves than NY... Maybe West Beach...
copy that in and take a look at that, its incredible what they have managed to do there!!
That's a cracker Rads.
You must spend too much time on the net.
I can picture something like that at sneaky lefts or at Petrels.
Rather than money spent on an artificial reef, perhaps a coastal road that hugs the shoreline from kings to fisheries, opening up many more options for surf and having the benefit to local business of increased tourism. Just a thought.
Nice link Rads! Imagine that at the left off the Dump?? It might actually break decently...
Cheers Mozzie and Benny btw ben i showed jack and he lost his shit when he saw this! haha
its pretty awesome, should be looked at, petrels would be a good place to have it
I agree, petrels would be a good spot. Gets a fair bit of wind protection plus a fair bit more swell than anywhere in India i'd be guessing.
Yeh mate its just way to expensive, it could ruin what is a beautiful natural coast line and surf breaks it would create would be PACKED! Middleton, Goolwa, Knights are SUPER consistant and although the waves there aren't always clean (70% of the time) we should be happy with what we have... if you want some super clean peeling - hit KI or go on a road trip to Yorkies! There are always incredible lines there! from flat days, tiny, 3ft cleans, 6ft barrels and even 20 foot monsters - we have it all mate - why possibly destroy it... even though I would love a closer break!
Jamesony (local Surfer)
That Video is RAD!!!! but if you read the comments - the reef only works every so often and the natural reef that was there is completely ruined!!!! Maybe if we got some better people in? who knows? If India can half do it - we should be able to...? but only if we don't ruin what we have!
I agree man - lets work on the officials! Should make sure that the environment isn't destroyed though ;)