Outdoors: Building The Perfect Backyard Wave

No longer just a pastime among bohemian types, surfing is becoming an increasingly popular sport all over the world. But nothing can spoil a day at the shore like calm waters. Now there's a new solution to the demand for good surf. A New Zealand-based company called Amalgamates Solutions and Research makes and installs artificial reefs that improve waves in places where they don't naturally occur. Made from ecologically friendly sandbags that can create a habitat for marine creatures like shrimp and sea turtles, they also provide coastal protection by absorbing the energy of the water before it hits the beach. The high-tech company is already in the business of making reefs for luxury resorts and hotels in places like Costa Rica and India. But for a starting price of $3.5 million, the scientists at ASR will even design, test and build the ideal reef for surf-loving seaside homeowners (asrltd.co.nz). Gnarly.