THE Gold Coast could soon be home to world-class artificial reefs and wave pools to combat the rising tide of surf rage.
The surfing industry generates $3.3 billion a year for the Gold Coast economy, but it is also in danger of being loved to death, with local beach breaks under increasing pressure from huge crowds.
With the surf cranking on the southern Gold Coast yesterday, some waves were being shared by up to a dozen boardriders, a recipe for tension in the water.
A new surfing taskforce has been formed with the mission of moving the industry forward, and taskforce chairman John Nielsen said that means bringing wave pools and artificial reefs to the Tourist Strip.
"Wave pools will be operational on the Gold Coast within two years. We are already talking with operators who want to bring them here," he said. "Can you imagine having wave pools with perfect waves, operating 24-7, and what that will do for the industry?"
There are already a handful of wave pools around the world, but Mr Nielsen said those be located on the Gold Coast would use the best technology.
"We're not talking about the kind of wave pool like at Wet'n'Wild - we're talking about pools that can generate perfect barrels."
It is understood Burleigh and Currumbin are frontrunners to host wave pools, which can cost from $5-10 million.
There already is an artificial reef at Narrowneck, which has been roundly criticised for its lack of success.
A second artificial reef would use better technology and would probably be based on the southern end of the Gold Coast.
Tourists, such as Switzerland's Silvia Uilliger, come from all over the world to surf our famous breaks. The 21-year-old said the Gold Coast's legendary surfing beaches had swayed her decision when it came to choosing a city to study English.
"I thought about America, but Australia is famous for kangaroos and surfing, so I came here instead," she said.
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