The Wedge in Newport Beach has some of the biggest swell in Southern California, making it a popular surf spot for generations of surfers.
Located in the southeast of the Balboa Peninsula, The Wedge sits between a manmade jetty and the beach, creating waves that span up to 30 feet in height and are popular with both surfers and bodysurfers.
Big Wave Surfing at Newport Beach, California
During the 1930s, alterations were made to the rock jetty near the entrance to Newport Harbor.
When a south swell approaches the shore at a certain angle, it bounces off the jetty and creates a second wave, which in turn meets with other waves and makes for some great surfing action.
The steep-shaped sand creates a big shore break and a powerful backwash, which can create some very unique challenges for even the most experienced surfers.
Large waves are seen during the summer and fall months, as strong wave energy comes in from the southwest.
History of The Wedge
A 15-year old lost his life at The Wedge back in 1926.
His boat capsized and because he was wearing heavy leg braces, he was unable to right himself and ultimately fell victim to the waves.
As a result of this tragedy, the boy’s father devoted his life to renovating the harbor and ultimately succeeded in raising over $2 million dollars.
Unfortunately, he would later die of a heart attack while leaving the harbor in his boat. He is said to have died in roughly the same spot as his teenage son many years earlier.
In the 1950s, the beach became popular with teenagers and was known as “102 beach” after a cheap local beer that the teens would drink as they partied on the beach.
The Wedge Today
Not only is The Wedge a perfect place to surf some huge waves and test your skills in the Californian sunshine, but it’s a great place to relax and snap some pictures and videos of surfers and bodyboarders in action.
The area is also littered with beautiful oceanfront homes and you can see these in all their splendor as you watch the sun rise and fall over the horizon.