Inflatable Surf Reef Seeks Funding

The dome-shaped reef airwave is looking to recreate. Image: Stu Gibson

Perth’s Troy Bottegal is the inventor and creator of the AIRWAVE inflatable surf reefs. The Airwave is a compact, inflatable bladder, shaped, positioned and anchored close to the beach, in such a way as to transform closeouts into surfable a-frame peaks.

After around 10 years of research and development he is now ready to manufacture and install the world’s very first AIRWAVE. Airwaves are designed to be quickly and permanently installed in multiple locations along the same stretch of beach. They are also easily removed or moved if necessary. Troy’s aim and passion is to bring many thousands of affordable and eco friendly surf reefs to the worlds surf beaches.

The AIRWAVE is basically an inflatable dome, typically around 12 metres in diameter, anchored to the ocean floor in shallow water, that mimics the back of a natural reef, peaking, hollowing and tapering the swell to produce a high quality, rideable wave.

The inflatable dome can act across a wide variety of swell and tide profiles. It will also promotes sandbank formation in the surrounding beach environment, as well as helping to protect beaches from wave erosion. AIRWAVES can be installed as close as 30 metres from the beach.

The AIRWAVE is simply constructed from a patented, super strong, environmentally safe compound and is designed to have minimal adverse effects on the surrounding environment. It is very simple and quick to install.

Original working drawings

These features make it very economical and affordable to install in multiple locations, along any stretch of beach, creating multiple surfing peaks.  The invention will mean more waves in more locations.

For example, six AIRWAVES could be installed along the same stretch of beach, in around 14 days. That equates to six new wave sites in two weeks. Compare this with the 12 to 24 months for a typical offshore surf reef, with only one wave site created and the benefits of this new technology to mitigate surf crowding, become obvious.

As it is installed close to the beach, it has the added advantage of being very quick and safe to paddle out to, ideal for beginner and kids. It can also turn into a bowling heaving peak with a jump in swell size. Filled with air, it makes for a safer surf experience all round.

Airwaves make swells peak and break behind the normal closeout bank. Image: Stu Gibson

For the world’s first AIRWAVE test to come to life, a crowd funding programme is in progress via Kickstarter in order to raise the AUD $300,00 to enable the completion of the final installation and testing. The test site (Bunbury, WA), manufacturer, and marine contractors are all poised and ready for the project to begin. All that is needed now is the funding for the world’s first ever inflatable surf reef.

Bottegal believes that the AIRWAVE will bring many more waves to the worlds surf beaches in a relatively short time frame. Which means more happier surfers around the world.

If this test project is successful, it will completely alter the way we think about building artificial reefs. Something he argues, will benefit the world in general.

Troy can be contacted with any questions via the details below or check out the website for more details.

Email: [email protected] | Mobile: l +61 407 954 904

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