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How to Get a Wedgie in Newport Beach, California

Description: Monster wedge-shaped freak wave not for the faint of heart

Downside: Breaks close to shore with an insane rip current

How to Get There: Located on the far east Balboa Peninsula, take East Balboa Blvd to East Ocean Front. Alternatively, you can take the Balboa Island Ferry for $2 which lets you off at Palm Street making a left at East Balboa Blvd to East Ocean Front. Park on one of the many residential streets since there is not parking for the beach.

Adventure Details:

The Wedge is an iconic wave located in Newport Beach, California. In the 1930’s, the Army Corp of Engineers made improvements to the jetty of Newport Harbor which resulted in the creation of The Wedge.  Waves are produced that reach up to 30 feet high with a strong south swell. The science behind the wave is impressive indeed. As the first wave crashes into the jetty, its energy is reflected off the jetty. This reflected wave then combines with the second wave resulting in it being pushed up further to form a much larger wedge-shaped wave. All of this occurs rapidly and creates unpredictable waves.

 

The Wedge Newport Beach, California

The Wedge Newport Beach, California

The Wedge Shore Break Newport Beach, California

The Wedge Shore Break Newport Beach, California

The Wedge is a high power shore break and has an unyielding current that can challenge even the most experienced swimmer. Bodysurfers and bodyboarders are the only ones reserved for the wave dynamics here, but occasionally you will see a surfer attempt to defy fate.

Waves are crashing on the shore at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

Waves are crashing on the shore at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

The backwash at The Wedge creates an outgoing wave that can collide with another wave or surfer with massive power resulting in complete carnage. Every year the lifeguards are put to test by those who think they can challenge The Wedge.

A bodyboarder is catching a wave at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

A bodyboarder is catching a wave at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

Impressive barrels are produced by the energy being reflected back into the second wave near the shallow water providing you find a way out before you get slammed into the shore.

Surfer being tossed over the top of a wave at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

Surfer being tossed over the top of a wave at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

I sat on the beach watching the waves churn as they spit out the brave one by one. However, as each one was spit out, they ran right back in again without hesitation until the sun began to set. It reminded me much like a bucking wild horse.

Skimboarder flies off a wave at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

Skimboarder flies off a wave at The Wedge Newport Beach, California

There are many great surf spots in Southern California, but The Wedge in Newport Beach is one of the craziest waves around. Beautiful and powerful, it has lured many into its lair only to return them without a second thought. So beware, The Wedge takes no prisoners.

Have you bodyboarded here before? Leave a comment and let us know how it was!

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Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae is the creator of The Traveling Vixen, which captures her adventures around the world. Her passion is to inspire others to grow by experiencing and learning new things in the world.

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