I can never log onto the artificial reef forum, so im posting this here.
Does anyone think it would be possible to have an artificial reef that is actually mobil, that you could basically park just offshore a beach, and anchor.
Okay think a huge barge type structure that can be towed by boat with sections that can be filled/pumped full of air to raise when moved from beach to beach or coast to coast
Then once the ideal beach is found the sections full of air could be filled with water and anchored or pumped full of sand in parts to anchor.
The barge/reef would be pretty big, made i guess of steel and have sections that can be adjusted by hydraulics.
For example you put the barge in place when tiny or flat, anchor it so firm, then you can adjust the shape of the reef to suit swell size, direction, tide.
Surely this could be possible in 2013? if money was not an issue.
Id say yes its doable.
One of the main problems with the artificial reef in NE NZ I think is that the sand bags slowly sunk into the sand below.
So being permanently on a sandy sea floor doesn't seem to work. You need a rocky ocean floor for a permanent artificial reef.
Another problem was the reef had no outer shoal to focus and lineup the outside swells into the reef.. They seemed to just come in all out of joint and slab onto the reef.
So I think you not only need a good shaped reef for the main wave but an outside shoal or bombie. Shark island has one, phantoms and other outside reefs out there are the reason it wedges so heavily. its not just the shape of the inside reef.
Aussie pipe is another.
On the other hand swells wrapping around a point into a protected corner tend to lineup better and they seem to lose a lot of lumpiness and get a lot smaller but a lot more quality swells. I don't think this is JUST due to the winds being offshore on the protected corners but the swells becoming more quality lines. They might also lose some swell speed on the inside which is why id say they lineup into quality lines.
Think Jervis bay spots or bawley point, padang or kirra.
I saw an interesting idea for a art reef on the net somewhere, it had a triangle type reef as the main reef with there being a straight runway extension.It went from the outside corner (peak) going well outside to see at a depth that the good sized waves wouldn't break, just jack up and focus into the triangle reef.
Theres lots of beaches in oz id love to have a reef like you mention. There are so many beaches and nooks and crannies that could be epic in any wind, its just 90% of them lack good banks or reef shapes.
Outside corner at La Perouse cape banks is one place you can see se and south swells wrapping in beautifully with NE winds perfect, yet the existing reef is pretty shit most of the time. It wouldn't take too much effort to fill in the gaps and put in more boulders or slabs all the way around the headland to make it a quality point reefbreak.
Yes the narrowneck gold coast reef had the same problems (yes i know that was also meant to be a wave buffer for erosion control or some BS)
Its crazy that with all the money and brains they should have, they cant figure out what is quite obvious, that sand bags must sit on a solid bottom, personally i think the whole artificial reef thing and getting a quality wave is very doable and the failures we have seen are only because the people behind it don't have the knowledge to make it happen and possibly aren't surfers or atleast people who understanding waves/swell and a lot of things that you mention, like you said offshore bottom shape is really important and places where swell wraps has a higher chance of creating a good wave especially for a point or reef.
What sucks is the failures also make even surfers believe its not possible.
Like you have said, you have to start with something that could possibly be a wave first, there is endless places like this, theres even plenty of places where the dots just need to filled (even in the mentawais a place people think has a perfect wave on every reef, there is countless reefs that you look at go, if only this or that)
I totally agree with everything you have said and thought it all myself before, offshore bottom shape is actually really important, and in some cases just changing the offshore bottom shape itself, adding and taking away could even possibly make a good beachie IMO beachies like South straddie, D-bah, 13th beach, Wedge in tassie (another i wont mention here) offshore bottom shape is the main reason why the waves come in as peaks even on the most straight swells, IMO the banks are more a result of how the swells hit the beach.
I guess it all just comes down to money, there has to be money to be made in it somewhere?
Can't imagine there being a 'mobile' artificial reef. I think the idea for a reef would be to get the shape right and then make it permanent. Of course, history shows that this hasn't happened yet - either the shape of artificial reefs has been average, or they haven't been permanent (geotextile bags move around and/or become damaged).
As has been discussed in other articles, the idea of the sand slug is probably the best solution in my eyes.
However I also think that if the sand slug idea works, there's no reason why we couldn't consider a permenant slug option - a deep offshore reef that breaks up lines of swell into random peaks along an otherwise straight/guttered beach. Essentially mimicking what already exists at a number of excellent beaches around the country, but in a more permanent way.
I think we have to steer away from the idea of trying to create a G'land/Pipeline/Summercloud/insert-perfect-break-here scenario, as the costs would be too high and the chances of success are as yet still unproven.
If this was such an easy project, and there was money to be made, I guarantee it would have already been done.
First question - who pays?
Its crazy that with all the money and brains they should have, they cant figure out what is quite obvious, that sand bags must sit on a solid bottom, personally i think the whole artificial reef thing and getting a quality wave is very doable and the failures we have seen are only because the people behind it don't have the knowledge to make it happen and possibly aren't surfers or atleast people who understanding waves/swell and a lot of things that you mention
The majority of artificial reefs built worldwide have been made by made by NZ firm, ASR. ASR have, and had, many surfers in their research team. They also conducted lots of modelling before each installation. None of the reefs have been a great success due, I believe, to funding shortfalls and our rudimentary understanding of ocean processes.
The fundamental mistake being made, at least in regards to wave quality, is that wave shape is only determined by the ocean floor directly underneath the breaking wave. The seafloor offshore from breaking waves also plays a part in focussing energy and priming the wave in readiness for it to break. Great waves are formed by seafloor influence beginning a great distance offshore. To ignore that aspect entirely is a huge oversight. At present there's not enough knowledge to fully understand what is occurring and to replicate it.
For the reason outlined above I also believe the sand slug, or augmented bombora, method is the best way to construct an artificial reef. Interrupt the swell lines well outside the break so they peak and wedge inside. It keeps man-made materials away from surfers and swimmers, and also very importantly, doesn't effect littoral sand flow (the cause of downstream sand erosion).
Lastly, our new website is coming soon and it'll have a dedicated forum (one that works!) on artificial reefs and associated info. I know there's a few people very keen to contribute.
yeah Stu, I think ASR did a lot of research on the seafloor bottoms at Raglan? Correct me if I'm wrong, I did hear of this somewhere.
As for sand slugs, I'm with them too, as what you have said. "Interrupt the swell lines well outside the break so they peak and wedge inside"
All the good beaches I have surfed in NZ and OZ seem to have this phenomena.
"It keeps man-made materials away from surfers and swimmers, and also very importantly, doesn't effect littoral sand flow (the cause of downstream sand erosion)". I agree with you here, especially with Bens article about the artificial reef down in the Shoalhaven? the fish'os had funded it. Imagine getting wrapped up under the water in one of those 7-10 tonne concrete structures.
I know of a couple of waves that do have structure and break really well, i.e. Cobden river mouth West Coast Sth Is NZ, Another I think is at Newcastle NSW, these are in seaways and are sheltered to the ocean and have water flowing against them back out to sea? Is that what you are referring to as "(the cause of downstream sand erosion)."
Looking forward to reading more about this topic, as it has potential if done correctly, Shit we can get men on the moon and robots on Mars!
Nah Welly, what I means by littoral sand erosion is when the coast gets severely eroded downstream from a fixed man-made structure. Belongil at Byron Bay is a classic example. Many years ago Byron Council put in a rockwall near The Wreck and it has slowed the sandflow to areas immediately to the north at Belongil Beach. Now homes on the Belongil Spit are losing their backyards to the sea because there's not enough sand to build a foredune buffer.
On Australia's East Coast longshore drift moves the sand south to north so if a man-made structure is placed in the littoral zone it effects sand transport via longshore drift. Hence a rockwall, groyne, or artificial reef will capture sand and the area immediately to the north will erode due to lack of sand.
And yeah, Dr Shaw Mead is an ex-director at ASR and he lives at Raglan. Probably did a lot of seafloor research there.
So due to the man made structures like the Seaway (Spit) and Tweed River, they have sand pumping jetties on the south side, pumping the sand North of the man made structures?
Have you surfed or checked that reef in NZ Wollymon?
What did you think of it?
@ groundswell, I love it how you say wollymon! Thats gold. even tho I'm bald, I like the pun tho.
Yeah I have surfed Cobden River Mouth really good once, kind of like Stradie on a perfect 5ft day, round and heavy.
As Raglan a very good ripable long wave, surfed Indicators 4-6ft a good few times, which has great big walls, gets pretty good thru the Valley section, before Whale Bay. Every one has to go surf Raglan on a good day. The waves break so different in NZ compared to OZ, Im not sure why but they are slower, maybe the cold water, maybe the Swellnet fellas can answer that question?
I have a good mate who lived in Rags for years, shaped for Rusty over here in OZ and now lives in Perth which he hates. But not long ago I asked him where his best waves ever he had surfed, from 30 years surfing and travelling all around world.
As you would think groundswell its a good question to ask to a dedicated surfer shaper for 30 years?
His answer was 8ft colosseum, which is outside of Indicators.
oops i should have re read the 1st page spelling, of your name oops..wasnt meant to be funny. I was more wondering if you surfed the artificial reef in that NE area.
But good info, id love to camp in front of raglan in a camper van for a while, it seems like such a nice place with good people. But it probably attracts crowds from all over. I heard good things about Taranaki, if i remember correctly, surfing in the morning snowboarding or skiing in the arvo. Maybe i shouldnt share that web wide not sure if Taranaki is secretive or not. all the NZ people ive met have been good people. One i really respect from Taranaki, full Karmic energy feeling sort of guy and kind of hippy. Good times.
Have you checked that artificial wave? is it not worth driving to with all the other good waves you have there?
Groundswell, all good, I thought Wollymon was a crack up.
As for Tarananki, its no secret at all, the main waves everyone knows, but the locals have even better spots to go too on its day, that no- one knows about. I think as yourself being a good Aussie surfer you will have no worries about getting waves in the line up. As always respect.
Great point and boulder reef breaks in Taranaki, 3-4m low to high tides, awesome waves gs. More options than Raglan for sure.
Feb to May good time.
Thanks, im not "good" though. Would a 4'3 hooded be sufficient?
@GS Yeah a good 4mm, 3mm would be fine,The hood Mmmmmm.... I wouldn't bother but you can always take it off.
Booties can help also, as in Taranaki rock hopping on the 3-4m tides up to your waist in water, can produce the odd "Kina" sea urchin!
Yeah and sorry GS, I have not surfed the artificial reef in the NE coast, I don't really think you need too, as the North Island is littered with good point reef i.e. breaks. Get a NZ surf guide, all the main breaks are in it, as with OZ, so I don't know why people get upset on the internet naming a spot, unless your from SA? Down there they feel your exhaust pipe and a big blonde gay boogie boarder will threaten you.
I went up to Newcastle two years ago for surfest and some guy had invented a mobile surfing machine on a trailer that was like a flow rider. There were some videos on their face book page at the time. They were called "Board Rush" or something like that? Wouldn't mind one in my back yard!
Idea for a mobile offshore swell focusing bombie that may not work:
Build a large, wedge shaped inflatable object from heavy duty plastic ie like they use for bouncy castles.
Anchor it to the sea floor, then inflate it with seawater rather than air. Given that the water inside will not be in contact with the water outside, if it's at an adequate pressure it should(?) act like an immobile object with a greater density than water.
Waves reach the bouncy castle, swell lines break up, then are focused on the beach wedge style.
Still not quite sure if it would work given the fact that it's water vs water. Pretty easy to test on a small scale though
Patent pending, Slater
What about a curious swordfish?
(btw, I do like this kind of creative thinking though!)
This project will be coupled with an intensive program of swordfish sword-end corking in conjunction with game fishers. Catch and Cork.
Groundswell, just picked up on the camper thing.
Myself and a couple of mates hired one of those Britz camper vans and cruised around the North Island for 3 weeks. We were pretty careful where we stopped but we were only asked to move on once.
We had the best time! We surfed Piha and some other beach on the west coast. Didn't get Raglan on but a cool local fella in the Raglan Fish'n'Chup shop gave us directions to a smoking beachie not too far away. Couldn't believe it, Raglan was 2 foot and this beachie was overhead, not 20 k's away.
Went over to the east coast and got great waves at Whangamataa, Hotwater beach and a few other places that I can't remember the names of. We scored epic A-frames at Mt. Maunganui (spelling Wellymon?) and were told that this place was pretty ordinary for surf. It was far from ordinary, it was awesome.
We were lucky for swell, we went in Autumn and happened to luck into a dying swell on the west coast and a long slow building swell for the remainder of our trip courtesy of a stationary cyclone somewhere out in the Pacific on the east. One memorable sesh we scored a nice long point at double overhead with only the 3 of us out. Some bloke videoed us from up on the hill and then when we got out invited us back to his caravan to watch the vid. We bought him some beers and his wife a bottle of wine and had a nice night with this totally random bloke sharing a few beers and stories.
The food was great and cheap, beer cheaper than oz and everyone we met, without exception was friendly and welcoming. If push came to shove, I would move to NZ in a heartbeat.
I never did meet my Maori princess, but I was told by another Kiwi on Swellnet a long time ago that I would more than likely find her nicking my chips in KFC. We never went to KFC;)
I so recommend a camper trip through NZ.
Spot on Zenagain.
Ruapuke was probably the beachie not far from Raglan.
Theres not that many Maori princess's, you were lucky!