After ten years of research and development, the first-ever inflatable surf reef is ready for placement at a beach in Bunbury, Western Australia. The inventor, Troy Bottegal, calls his device an Airwave.
What makes the Airwave so special is that when installed up approximately 50 metres from shore on the ocean floor it mimics the actions of a natural ocean reef with the ability to produce a long peeling wall. The concept is to convert those beach areas with unimpressive low wave action into areas that become an active surfer’s paradise.
Surfing is a fast-growing water sport with an estimated global population of 28 million surfers. Bunbury City’s leadership is excited about the opportunity to test the first trial of the Airwave. Current plans are for the first-ever in-the-ocean inflatable surf reef to be operational for the 2019-2020 summer season while it is being tested.
Gary Brennan, the town’s mayor, expects that the future of the surfing scene in Bunbury will greatly improve with the installation, and the successful performance, of the inflatable reef. The Airwave has the potential to be effective for all types of swells and to change the complexion of the surfing experience around the world.
The advantages of creating a Surf-spot in an oceanfront community without good rideable waves will improve the recreational beach activities and contribute to an increase in the commercial appeal to investors. In particular, a community with an active Airwave surfing location can:
- Offer residents a local Surf-spot sports venue as an alternative to travelling to other surfing locations.
- Attract surfing enthusiasts from other communities.
- Attract sports-related businesses to develop in the local area.
- Promote tourism in the local area.
- Promote the improvement in the local economy with an increase in vacation, shopping, and sports-related business opportunities.
- Encourage residents to learn the sport of surfing without travelling outside of the area.
- Increase the area for surfing along a stretch of the beach with additional Airwaves put in place in the ocean.
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