IT'S a concept that could see a world-class surf break appearing almost overnight on erosion ravaged Stockton beach.
Not simply a pipedream, the outcome is a possible by-product of a Newcastle concept designed to save Stockton beach's sand.
Surfdom, an artificial reef aimed at halting Stockton's worsening erosion problem, was named as the winner of the Smart Seeds innovation program this month.
Smart Seeds, run by GHD, is a design-led global program for young professionals focused on generating new ideas to solve complex challenges.
Harry Gibson, Zoe Rogers, Peter Brennan and Jesse Gartner won the Newcastle round of the competition with their artificial reef design, inspired by the Airwave concept being developed in Western Australia by Waveco.
What is believed to be the world's first inflatable surf reef, Airwave, is set to be installed at a beach in Western Australia later this year.
Ten years in the making, it is a two-metre dome-shaped bladder that builds on the natural swell of the ocean and uses air to create bigger surf waves.
Ms Rogers said the idea inspired the creation of Surfdom that has the potential to evolve into an export industry for Newcastle.
"A lot of the solutions that have been costed and modelled for Stockton beach no-one is willing to pay for," she said.
"They are very expensive and here we have something that would be far more affordable."
Surfdom is an artificial sandbank that can be used in areas where there is severe erosion and is designed to withstand the marine environment.
The modular device is filled with seawater. It has an outer skin made of highly-durable rubber which protects a series of inflatable internal cells.
The internal cells are filled with water and can be variably inflated depending on the conditions.
"It is anchored under the sand and the height is adjustable to create customised waves and also to ramp up beach protection by dissipating wave energy during storms," Ms Rogers said.
"The device is intended to bring back the surf break and help prevent sand erosion as well."
The surf break is created by the swell wrapping around a series of artificial reefs that would be placed along Stockton beach. It is designed to provide optimal nearshore protection, especially in storm conditions.
"We really hope someone can take this concept and develop it into something can tackle the Stockton problem," she said. "It's definitely got scope, but it's still in the concept stage. It needs research and development to take it to that next stage."
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