Scarborough Beach in Perth isn’t exactly a surfing beach–not right now, anyway. But a proposed $16.9 million artificial reef could change all that… if they can get the funding, that is.
The plan would be part of a massive $100 million development plan that aims to make Scarborough “Australia’s best beach,” with a surf club facility, gym, a skate park, basketball courts, and a playground for the kids. The artificial reef–if all goes according to plan, at least–will produce good waves in a bunch of different conditions. Right now, Scarborough is to straight and too flat for anything much other than closeouts. “I’m very confident a reef will make things significantly better at that location,” DHI engineer and spokesman Simon Mortensen said to Perth Now. DHI is the company that’s been hired to figure out whether an artificial reef wouldn’t be a huge waste of money. There’s another artificial reef in Perth that was installed two decades ago, but it doesn’t do much for waves.
As it stands right now, the plan for the massive reef create an A-frame setup, and according to Perth Now, the right will be a more critical wave while the left will be a little less punchy. Farther out to sea, a giant funnel called a “wave-focusing toe” would be built, directing swells toward the reef and magnifying the power of the waves. That idea, in fact, is already at work in many places in nature: the Nazaré canyon is a deep underwater trench that works in a similar manner, only on a much larger scale.
The reef would be made up of two arms, each about 300 feet long and made of granite. As well as hopefully creating waves, the reef would create a protected area on the beach with reduced rip currents and shore break to attract swimmers. Right now, though, things are looking a little bleak for the project–although DHI believes it’s a reasonable idea, the price tag is a little too steep. The bill “would need to be proposed by a private developer to be realized,” said a spokeswoman for the City of Stirling.