Written by: Shannon Marie
Monster hurricane swell hit Southern California this weekend, and big wave chargers came from all corners of the world to take advantage. The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory and coastal flood watch for Orange County beaches. Formed by a South Pacific storm combined with tropical storm Ileana off Mexico’s coast, this summer swell was promised to slam against the jetty boulders of Newport to merge and morph into what is infamously known as “The Wedge.”
Built in 1918 to protect the harbor, the man-made jetty generates a reflected wave that bounces off and moves sideways behind the original, hitting the next incoming wave to combine and form a huge mutant triangle. The ocean shore abruptly rises preciously where the waves converge.
“The Wedge” in Jetty View Park of Newport Beach is one of the most dangerous waves to surf in all of California. The abnormal wave only takes shape a couple times a year, and with Saturday’s 15 – 20 ft+ face, even the best surfers and bodyboarders beware of the extremely shallow floor. This year, just like in 2011, September was the month for the bravest of surfers to try to take on the infamous Wedge.
The conditions had fans asking, ‘Is this really California’? Check out the view from the beach, Saturday, September 1st, 2012:
Hawaiian Red Bull athlete, Jamie O’Brien, was in the mix putting on a show for the massive crowd gathered to hoot and holler on the brave surfers. From gnarly wipeouts, brave bodyboarders, to Jamie’s right (no one goes right at The Wedge), it was an all-star day of conditions and Hawaiian appearances, named “Red Bull Wedge Session.”
“It’s the real deal. The Wedge is a real heavy wave,” O’Brien confirmed. “You have to be careful, but you have to takes risks, too. I’m stoked to be here.”
Check out the photos from the Red Bull Wedge Session, from Labor Day weekend’s massive September swell:
For more photos of Jamie O’Brien’s epic Wedge sesh, be sure to see the OC Register’s Laylon Connelly’s photo gallery.