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The Wedge, Newport Beach

(4.7/5 based on 220+ reviews on the web)
The Wedge is a spot located at the extreme east end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California known for its large wedge shaped waves that makes it a popular spot for skimboarding, surfing, bodyboarding and bodysurfing. During a south or south/southwest swell of the right size and aligned in the swell window, the Wedge can produce huge waves up to high.The WavesThe waves are a by-product of improvements to the rock jetty on the west side of the Newport Harbor entrance undertaken during the 1930s. When conditions are right, and a wave approaches the shore at the proper angle (most generally a south swell), an approaching wave will reflect off the jetty creating a second wave. The reflected wave meets up with the following wave of the set and forms a peak, and this pattern can repeat for several following waves as well. The combined effect of the reflected wave and the incoming wave creates a combined wave much larger than either of the two separate waves and occurs very rapidly and forms waves in a very unpredictable and "unstable" pattern, so that no two waves are alike and the exact breaking point is difficult to predict even for an experienced surfer.Although this condition primarily occurs with large, south swells, it can also occur, with considerably lesser frequency, during "normal" conditions.In addition, the beach at The Wedge is very steeply shaped sand, resulting in what is known as shore break (see below) and a very strong backwash which often drags people back into the surf. The backwash itself frequently creates another, outgoing wave, which can hit an incoming wave or surfer with enormous force. With the combined effect of the unpredictability of where the incoming waves will break, and the strength of the backwash, the resulting wave action can be highly unpredictable and therefore both exciting as well as very dangerous. The combination of danger, along with the chance to get pitted (enclosed in the tube, barrel, or "pit" of a wave), draws many to surf The Wedge.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This unique piece of beach and ocean has been formed by the placement of the jetty that protects the entrance to the harbor. The placement of the Jetty causes a backwash that often creates hazardous i...  more »
  • The Wedge is at the opening of Newport Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. It's a great place to watch surfers and incoming boats. It's my favorite Zen place to just sit to watch and listen to the waves. I ...  more »
  • Located on the Balboa Peninsula near the Newport Harbor entrance. A large shore break has been a sight to see when waves get big. Also just a great wide beach to enjoy sunny days  more »