‘The Wedge’ is classic Californian surf lingo for *THE SPOT* in Newport Beach where you can find “like, the most radical swells, bro.”
At the farthest tip of the Balboa Peninsula, past the marina and the cutest houses, lies the place where every pro surfer in the world comes to surf. If you’re in the know, you know about ‘The Wedge’.
If you are looking for a quiet, calm-water beach, this is not the place for you! If you’re looking for the biggest waves in Southern California- keep reading!
Local surfers nicknamed ‘The Wedge’ in the 1960’s. The Wedge, also known as 102 beach back in the day, is a corner spot of beach, between the sand and the rock jetty. The way the water crashes in at an angle creates some of the biggest, baddest waves in the world! The waves roll in from one direction, hit the jetty, and then roll in the opposite direction. This action creates waves that are shaped like a wedge! This beach is historic in the surfing community, and only the best can hang here!
The jetty is fun to climb on and you can even take a beautiful stroll along the top.
On a great day, the waves can hit up to 30 feet high! (30!!!! Is that crazy or what??! I am only 5 feet tall-those waves would take me down so easily. Good thing I’m not a pro surfer!)
When its high tide and the waves are 3o feet is when you’ll see surfers, body-boarders, and skim-boarders hitting the beach with their boards in tow. Want to see a video of these crazy waves in action? Click Here.
I decided to explore The Wedge on a nice, April day and although the waves were calmer, I still ended up getting soaked! I had the greatest luck to have an amazing tour guide for the day who showed me around Newport Beach and explained what makes this place so iconic. Thanks J, for showing me the ropes!
J told me that, although this place is beautiful and full of skilled surfers, it’s actually pretty dangerous here! This isn’t the *best* place to take kids to swim. The way the undertow and waves crash directly onto the shore causes a lot of people to get sucked into the tide! The sand is really steep here, so when the waves roll back, it’s tough to get back out, unless you’re a great swimmer.
If you do want to bring your kids here, come on the off-season and keep an eye on them when they’re swimming.
There’s something peaceful about laying on your beach towel, listening to the waves crash onto the sand, isn’t there? You’ll feel the hot California Sun and smell banana boat sunscreen all day long. Just be careful not to leave your towel and gear too close to the water, these waves are unpredictable. Expect to get soaked if you come here. I sure did!
Tips for Enjoying The Wedge
- Surf, body, and skim board only if you are experienced or on the off-season
- Don’t bring your kids to swim here
- Park on the street for free
- Keep your stuff a little farther back than usual- the waves will get you wet
- Wear sunscreen and bring your camera to document these huge swells
- Pack a picnic because the picnic tables have excellent views of marina
Can life get any better than this? Proud to be a California girl! I’m so happy to call this state my home. If you like sun and sand- I suggest coming here for labor day weekend… and then staying here forever!
Other great things to do within walking distance:
- Eat delicious pasta at Mama D’s restaurant
- Walk around Balboa Pier, ride the Ferris wheel, and try a Balboa Ice Cream Bar!
- Ride beach cruiser bikes up and down the peninsula
- Take a whale watching tour that leaves right from the marina
- Explore the quaint shops that line the main street
- Eat fresh, family-style seafood at the Crab Cooker
- Sit at the end of the rock jetty and watch the boats sail in and out of the marina
Some days it’s nice to play hooky and explore a new beach with great friends. If you feel like playing hooky too, grab your beach towel, your aviators, and your boogie board! Head out to The Wedge to experience some iconic California Surf Culture.
Spot you soon,
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