The Wedge is a skimboarding, surfing, bodyboarding and bodysurfing spot located at the extreme east end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California. During a south swell of the right size and direction, the Wedge can produce huge waves up to 30 feet high.
The waves are a by-product of improvements to the groin 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, 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.