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 surfing. 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.By using our Newport Beach online road trip planner, you can arrange your visit to The Wedge and other attractions in Newport Beach.
The 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 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.
Tours To The Wedge
Private Duffy Boat Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $900
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Luxury Duffy Boat Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $150
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
The Wedge Reviews
There were no wild surf in January, but standing at the wedge you can imagine the huge that approach between June to October. Hope to return to see the phenomena. more »
The Wedge is a beautiful place when the weather is calm, but most intriguing when the waves are crashing high with surfers enjoying he thrill rides. Located next to the harbor entrance, you can... more »
Limited parking, known for daredevils during high surf conditions. Otherwise it's a nice place to walk on the beach.
Great surf theater! Worth a visit. Parking difficult.
Places to stay near The Wedge
Plan your trip to Newport Beach
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
See all ›
Side trips from Newport Beach
Hidden gems in Newport Beach
Nearby attractions in Newport Beach
Wildlife in Newport Beach
Plans to The Wedge by other users
24 days in United States BY A USER FROM LUXEMBOURG May, romantic, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Los Angeles, Huntington Beach & San Diego BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM KUWAIT August, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 27 days in Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park & Big Water BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC September, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Laguna Beach BY A USER FROM CANADA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium