Need a brain break? Watch surfers take on the "Wedge," one of the gnarliest surf spots in the world
· · Jul 13, 2022 ·

Any surfer in the United States will be aware of the majesty of the Wedge, a surf spot in Newport Beach, California, and one of the most popular surfing destinations in the United States. It's renowned for its massive and intimidating wave sets.

Maybe the best part about the Wedge is that it's actually, in effect, man-made:

The waves are a by-product of alterations 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.

And these waves aren't just huge—they're wild and crazy:

If the reflected and incoming waves align the resulting wave is bigger than either alone due to constructive interference. This 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.

You'd better believe it. Here's some shots from a couple of years ago, on July 4, when the forecast called for some of the biggest waves in years. And boy were they right:

You already gotta be kind of crazy to surf big waves. Surfing the Wedge, meanwhile, requires a special kind of insanity:

Here's some more madness from a few years ago:

Yeah this is what I like to call a "get out of the water and never go back in" kind of wave. (As an aside, I love the lone guy who managed to ride this one before quickly wiping out.)

Here's some 30-footers. For reference, that's about the height of a telephone pole.

The sheer majesty of it all is something to behold:

Thanks to all the brave, nutso surfers willing to entertain us with these feats of surfing magnificence!

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