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Last Updated: Tuesday November 03 2009 15:32 GMT

UK's first fake surf reef opens

An aerial shot of the surf reef at Boscombe

Surf's up! An artificial reef which is designed to make waves that are good for surfing has launched in Dorset.

The reef off the coast of Boscombe near Bournemouth cost around £3m to build - and is the first of its kind in Europe.

It should have been unveiled a year ago but bad weather held up the plans. But on Tuesday the conditions were perfect to open the reef.

The slope, which is the size of a football pitch, acts as a ramp which makes the waves bigger and stronger.

It's not a wave machine and it can't make the sea choppy but it can double the size of any waves that are already there.

Some surfers are worried that this reef has been put in the wrong place and should have been on the other side of the pier. Some people are even concerned it might be dangerous.

But the people behind the reef reckon it's too early to tell if it will be a success.

Mount Maunganui reef

This will be only the fourth artificial surf reef in the world. The others are in Perth, Australia, and there are two in California in America.

The reef is free to use and is only meant for experienced surfers.