Europe’s first artificial surf reef is now undergoing its final adjustments to be ready for the start of the UK surf season in September, and it is already attracting surfers.

”Even as the finishing touches are made to the reef body boarders have already been surfing the hollow, powerful barrels that it was intended to produce,” says Paul Clarke of the Bournemouth Surfing Centre. ”It will put Boscombe on the map as the top south coast surfing spot. The water here is between three to five degrees warmer than around the rest of the country which makes the season longer as the water is still warm into the autumn.”

Dr Kerry Black, managing director of ASR Ltd, designed the Boscombe surf reef after travelling the entire Pacific Rim measuring 44 of the world’s best surf breaks to recreate a world-class wave.

Large geo-textile bags pumped hard with sand have been fixed to the sea bed 225 metres from the shore where they will mimic the effects of a natural reef. A reef does not create waves, but it pushes the naturally occurring waves upwards and shapes them into the powerful barrels coveted by surfers. The Boscombe artificial reef is expected to double the height and number of good surfing days. On days with good swell, the reef is expected to provide grade five waves.

”Like any major construction project, there are extensive checks to be undertaken before we can say the project is complete, says ASR Ltd technical director Shaw Mead. ”We are now starting to make all those checks thoroughly and according to the agreed specification and I remain confident that we will finish in September as scheduled.”

The £1.4 million project is part of the £8 million Boscombe Spa Regeneration Project funded through the sale of a seafront car park to a company that will use the space to build flats.