In the booming seaside town of Newport Beach, California, thousands of surfers flock every year to take on the challenge of The Wedge.
Created by a long rockface that brings swelling waves crashing into a tight spot on the beach with fierce regularity, this notorious monstrosity is a challenge to top surfers everywhere looking to make a name for themselves and find the biggest wave around. Swells can reach 30 feet in height, and a number of factors make it dangerous for even the most experienced surfboarders.
Riding it is no easy feat, but those who do have earned bragging rights that any surfer anywhere will respect.
What makes it hard
The Wedge is wildly popular. There’s virtually no chance you’ll be surfing it alone - chances are there will be a lot of activity on all sides of you from other surfers also trying to tackle the wave. That poses a challenge.
In addition, the Wedge has a sharp, long rockface where the wave breaks, the rock face that created the surf in the first place Installed in the 1930s by the Army Corps of Engineers, the jetty juts out 2,000 feet into the sea. Surfers who aren’t pay attention can be swept right into this rock face, earning some nasty bruises at best.
Along with the rockface posing a risk to surfers, there’s also the nature of the wave and where exactly it breaks. When the wave crashes, there’s just a couple feet of water between you and the sand, which means it’s not uncommon for surfers to get injured or break their boards attempting the challenge.
People have broken teeth, bones and even spines trying to master this force of nature. It’s no mild challenge - surfers travelling to Newport Beach to take it must know what they’re risking.
How to take on the challenge
First of all, don’t surf the Wedge if you’re not ready. It’s for experts - not novices.
The best way to surf this particular wave is to take your time with it. Before heading out, watch other swimmers take it on and observe what they do. Knowledge is power with this particular challenge. It’s a left-hand wave, so make sure you don’t turn right because you’ll just send yourself straight into the jetty.
The best time to surf is at around mid-tide, and if the waves look like they’re actually approaching 30 feet, pick another day. If you’re going to fall in a close-out, fall horizontally, because the shallow water will hurt you if you try to land vertically.
Your best chance of taking on the Wedge is visiting in the late summer or early fall, when swells are regular but not severe. You can escape your cold climate if you live in places like Toronto, where SEO Toronto businesses continue to thrive in the winter months.
Remember when swimming to stay aware of where other surfers and spectators are located. Since it’s such an iconic surf, the area is always crowded which means a surfer who panics under pressure or in a crowd is going to be at a significant disadvantage. Make sure you’re comfortable riding a wave in that environment before you dive in.
Thrillseekers everywhere are drawn to the attractive, dangerous splendor of the Wedge. Riding it a form of adrenaline unlike any other wave, if you can master it. Wiping out hurts like nothing else. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but it’s not impossible.