The World Wave Project team is comprised of Dr. Shaw Mead and Ed Atkin in New Zealand and Anthony Marcotti from World Wave Expeditions in the United States. Shaw and Anthony met in 2004 during the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami where they worked together to coordinate the travel and research to study the impacts of this devastating event along the coast and offshore islands of Sumatra.

Shaw, Ed, and Anthony have a shared interest in the conservation and preservation of the ocean. They seek to unlock a greater understanding of the dynamic mechanics of breaking waves in the ocean and strive to use the knowledge gained from the concept of Wave Engineering to develop a new category of surf exploration around the world based off the research and techniques they discover.

Listed below are some of the relevant resources and research initiatives that we support to lend credibility to our pursuits; all of which are based on a sound scientific research method.

Predicting the Breaking Intensity of Surfing Waves

Dr. Shaw Mead and Kerry Black published this abstract in the Journal of Coastal Research defining the four types of breaking waves and the science and mathematics that have been developed to understand each wave types breaking characteristics. The methods formulated in this abstract form the foundation for the goals defined in our concept for the World Wave Project and will be used to develop the best shape and breaking intensity for optimal surfing conditions.

Link to Abstract (PDF file from the Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 29, 2001)

pic by Andrew Shield

Multi-Purpose Reefs – A Decade of Applications

Dr. Shaw Mead published this abstract which provides a brief update on the performance of man-made multi-purpose reefs. This article is a great overview of the MPR’s that were created, the impact and results each of them produced, and the scientific lessons learned from each one to help make future MPR’s more successful. It also provides a solid case for our objective to remove material from existing structures in the ocean thus giving us a greater chance at creating real surfing breaks that will withstand the force and power of the elements.

Link to Abstract (PDF file from eCoast)

Watch: Palm Beach Artificial Reef

This link is of the still under-construction Palm Beach multipurpose reef (MPR), which has a primary purpose of coastal protection through the creation of a wider beach (known as a salient) – Dr. Shaw Mead and Ed Atkin had a part in this design with respect to the surfing amenity review and design. (Already looking pretty good for a wobbly swell.)

Article by Stu Nettle, link courtesy of Swellnet

Narrowneck Reef: Australia

Narrowneck reef on the Gold Coast of Australia was the first Multi-Purpose Reef Shaw and his team designed in the late 1990’s.  It produced very similar waves to those that are now being seen on the Palm Beach MPR .  However, it was one of the early reefs that were constructed of sand-filled containers (20 m long by 5m diameter).  Unfortunately, these structural units remain fluid and also fail in the surf zone, meaning that the structure loses its design shape.

There’s a little debate about how effective it is at widening the beach in terms of creating a salient – there are volumes of data that show how well it works, the thing it that the salient is around 80m-100m wide, but stretches up to 2 km to the south, so is not a distinct feature that the layman is expecting to see.

pic by Cory Scott

Surf Break Research

Dr. Shaw Mead and Ed Atkin in New Zealand are currently involved in a three year scientific research project in New Zealand funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

“The project entitled, “Remote Sensing, Classification and Management Guidelines for Surf Breaks of National and Regional Significance” began in October 2015. The website provides information and resources concerning research on surf breaks in support of their sustainable management. Here you can find out about where and when research is being undertaken, what methods are being employed, and what data is already available.”

“The project is undertaking detailed studies at 7 sites in New Zealand: Aramoana, Lyall Bay, Manu Bay, Piha (South), Wainui Beach (Pines), Whangamata, and Whareakeake.”

pic by Jack Smith

Surf adventurer Anthony Marcotti is the epitome of mixing business and pleasure

A brief interview with the World Wave Project’s Anthony Marcotti on Magic Seaweed; November 7, 2018.

“Surfers are adventurous by nature and we’ve covered the vast majority of possibilities already. I think, the real future of surf exploration is developing the technology to create our own waves in the ocean and using the ocean’s energy to our benefit. To alter waves that are close to being good into waves that are actually good and to find a harmonious balance between the environment and the science and techniques behind creating those waves; the next 20 years should be interesting.”

Link to article

pic by Grant Ellis

The Eight Best Manmade Waves (That Ain’t Wavepools)

“Wavepools, so hot right now. From Tokyo to ParisPalm Springs to Yeppoon, they’re all anyone can talk about. And for good reason—they’re exciting, and novel, and (arguably) kinda chic. But lest we forget, the concept of manmade waves ain’t exactly a new one. While the 24/7 surf news cycle would lead you to believe that human-built waves became canon with the drop of Kelly’s infamous day-after-Pipe Lemoore clip, the truth is us humans have been making and remaking waves around the globe for decades. From Sandspit to Sebastian Inlet, here’s a roundup of the most notable human-influenced waves to be found on earth.”

Link to Surfline article


South Coast Surf Legend Proposes Plans to Build New Point Break in Bournemouth

Guy Penwarden has put a proposal into the council detailing how a slight tweak of existing sea defences could create a Malibu style point-break a stones throw from Bournemouth! But will it work?

Click here to read this article on Wavelength Magazine’s website.