Surfing At Cables Artificial Reef

With a million dollar budget and a decade of project development, the Cables Station Artificial Reef now produces some of the world's most expensive waves. There is something mildly satisfying about surfing a wave which cost more than the average family home.

A Genuine Artificial Reef Wave

Missing a Cables wave can be both a humiliating and expensive mistake.  We reckon this riderless monster cost Perth taxpayers $820 000.

Cables works best for about two weeks during winter.  To ride a wave, you must first kick 300 metres out to the take off area.   Luckily, the surfable waves only appear on calm pleasant days, so the whole experience is really quite enjoyable.

A wave for a wave!

A surfer expressing joy after securing his first Cables wave. The guy on the right is on his second wave.

One day in one hundred and forty, or so they say.

University research suggests there may be as many as 140 surfable days per year on the reef.  It all depends on how you define a surfable wave.  Studies also suggest it takes some serious inducement to kick 300 metres out to sea.

Cables in action as seen from the cliff top.

The reef was constructed in 1999, by lowering granite blocks from a barge onto the ocean floor.  The reef is shaped like a boomerang and measures an amazing 140 metres from north to south.  The whole structure sits between 1 and 2 metres below the surface, on an existing limestone reef, which was originally up to 6 metres deep.

 Looking out towards the Cables Reef from the cliff top.


The Artificial Wave Riders Association, was established to promote surfing on the reef.  They meet only two days a year.  Once for the AGM and the other for a surf.  Rumour has it, they now record more "minutes" at the AGM, than they do out the back of the reef.

A pleasant day at Cables Reef.


An AWRA member clocking up some "minutes" for the next AGM. Watching carefully is a fellow surfer, who also sits on the "board".

Looking south from the end of the South Cottesloe Groyne.

Cables Reef was designed to reduce some of the overcrowding on  Perth's popular surfing beaches.  Strangely enough, on the few days that Cables works, every other break on the coastline is usually performing at its best.  Never the less, Cables does produce a nice wave, and is definitely worth a visit, if only for it's curiosity value.

 Looking south towards Cables Reef on a surfing day.  

The inner reef in action.

Even if the outer reef is quiet, it is still possible to catch a wave on the more consistent inner reef.

Copyright 2007