THE WORLD-FAMOUS WEDGE
There is a world-famous place located at the south edge of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach where waves are produced that can be far more intimidating and dangerous than any other place in the world. It’s called the Wedge, and it happens to be located at the mid-point of my longest beach bike ride.
The danger is created when a wave is deflected by the jetty causing it to crash into the approaching wave creating a powerful and dangerous wedge wave. These wedge waves are then sent high into the air crashing down only 1-2 feet from the beach – sometimes even on the beach. For this reason, they are referred to as beach-breaking waves and are extremely dangerous.
On this particular day a few weeks ago, there was a storm in the Pacific creating some spectacular beach breakers. I’m hoping the perspective of the surfer will help you grasp the enormity of these waves. This wave is crashing onto the jetty. It will then deflect and join the existing wave pictured at the right creating a wedge wave, and finally crash onto the beach.
You may notice this surfer has no board. That’s because surfing with a board is simply not possible. I’ve never seen anyone with a board here. The people who surf the wedge, body surf. On this particular day there were 8 surfers in the water. To compensate for those eight surfers, I counted no less tha six life guards at the only life guard station for the Wedge. Each lifeguard, assigned to a particular surfer, watched intently as the waves crashed only a few feet from their position.
Only the most experienced body surfers ever attempt the Wedge. Sadly, I had not packed by wetsuit! Right!
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Thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you tomorrow.