Boscombe is set to become a new surfing mecca thanks to an artificial reef completed in November 2009.
That said is was to be ready a year ago but bad weather has meant delays hence it is only finished as I write in autumn 2009.
It is ironic how Bournemouth Council is spending millions of pounds on creating waves. Af friend of mine is the legal officer at Scarborough Council on the east coast of England.
There they have big problems of coastal erosion caused by, guess what, big waves.So they have spent millions of coastal defences to keep the waves at bay.Yet here in Bournemouth big money is spent creating them!
Some 55 bags are filled with sand and anchored to the sea floor.The intention is that the reef will create better quality waves.The reef cannot makes waves by itself.If there is no swell there are no waves.The reef is one hectare in size and positioned about 225 metres off shore.
You correspondent observed the new reef and it is clear the reef is creating bigger waves than can be found in the rest of the bay,but Hawaii it is not.Here is some video footage I shot in April 2010.It was a calm day and at low tide the reef bags can be seen.
This reef is part of a large redevelopment of the Boscombe sea front which can be found to the east of
To raise Boscombe's profile the pier and sea front have been refurbished.Behind the pier a multitude of apartments are going up built by Barett the construction company,with, we are told, 50% sold.Though like elsewhere the property market has gone into a nosedive due to the lack of credit,and sales have slowed.
Update April 2010:more apartments and being completed so the market must be up.Bad news is that a report by Plymouth University commissioned by Bournemouth Council found that the reef is only performing in 4 of 11 keys areas.The ride length in particular is too short.
As a result some £150000 will be withheld from the New Zealand company that installed the reef until the problem is fixed.
Some parking space has been lost to accommodate the new development and I can see this will be a problem in attracting visitors away from Bournemouth or Poole.What parking there is,is very cheap at £1 for the day so that will help.
Now the reef is finished it will be a boom for the Sorted Surf Shop up on Sea Road which offers lessons and equipment for sale or hire.Call them on 01202 399 099 to book.
From here you can walk west back to Bournemouth or continue eastwards to Hengistbury Head and
Being a vegetarian I am always on the look out for good cafes that concentrate on good veggie food,,not just add it as an after thought to cater for those "awkward" veggies.
Well at 667 Christchurch Road Boscombe BH7 6AA you will find the Salad Centre which offers great cooked meals,I had a chilli bean casserole when I was there, as well as many different types of salads, soups, and baguettes.
Lots of good cakes too, some gluten free.Bright airy cafe with some local art on the walls.
The casserole and salad cost me £9.10 (April 2010).Well worth a visit.Open every day except Sunday.