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!

Don’t forget to leave a comment casting your vote for your Friday Favorite shot of the week!

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

~ by photographyfree4all on September 2, 2010.

13 Responses to “THE WORLD-FAMOUS WEDGE”

  1. Must be an amazing place to be. That picture is beautiful. I had a hard time deciding between that one, or the Pine cones–but, I’m going to go with the cones. 🙂


  2. Ouch! I think I would pass on trying to body surf this location! The truth is, I much prefer taking photos of those doing the surfing. Last winter I watched and photographed surfers in Costa Rica.


  3. It is pretty amazing. There are a lot of people who come to this area specifically to watch those who surf the wedge. The pine cone – good choice! Thanks for stopping by, Heather.


  4. Yeah, I would have to give it a pass, too! I did capture some shots of the surfers that day, but there isn’t much to show. They rarely got up out of the water. Most of the shots showed surfers under water. I’ve heard Costa Rica is beautiful! Thanks for your comment, Robert! I hope you’ll stop by again, soon.


  5. Nice composition! You’ll have to show us a pic of your bicycle.


  6. thanks for your nice comment, Chris! I’m glad you stopped by and hope you’ll come back, soon! I will post a pick of my bike, soon.


  7. What a great shot! I, too, love the composition with the surfer and the jetty.


  8. Thank you for your comment, Catherine. I was glad there was a surfer analyzing the wave when I capture this shot. I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’ll come back, soon.


  9. That’s a nice shot, loved that you caught the surfer in the scene with the impressive crash of waves!


  10. Thanks, Michael! These waves are usually very impressive, especially when there’s a storm in the Pacific! Thanks for stopping by.


  11. Nice shot!
    I get up to a bit of bodysurfing myself as there a couple of good secret spots aorund where I live in the Basque Country (in the South West of France), but I would never dream of tackling the Wedge!


  12. The wedge is too dangerous for anyone who is not a very experienced surfer and swimmer. the rip currents are often extremely dangerous, not considering the fact that the wave has the potential of dumping you squarely on your head right on the beach. Much too dangerous for me. Thanks for your comment, Kai. Stop by again.


  13. […] Inspiration Point looking toward the north.  Just across the Newport Beach Channel you can see “The Wedge.”  Not much action today, though.  As you continue to look northward, you’ll see the […]


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