The Thrill-Seeking Bodysurfers of California’s Most Terrifying Wave
Meet the daredevils addicted to the iconic 'Wedge' surf break — no boards allowed.
Photos by Shane Morines
A soft wind ripples across the sand at Newport Beach, California, and over the jagged outline of the jetty, the tops of sailboats float by. A yellow flag with a large black dot, signifying a ban on boards in the water, hangs over the lifeguard stand.
The guard on duty is losing patience as he paces the shoreline in his cherry-red board shorts.
He raises his megaphone and announces to the surfers, boogie boarders, and skim boarders that it’s time to get out of the water. No one budges.
A few minutes later: “Once again, the blackball flag has been up for 25 minutes… Out of the water immediately, before P.D. gets involved!”
The ocean finally empties out, stragglers pulling their boards behind them.
The group of guys waiting by the rocks in their speedos, wetsuits and fins – some showing no shortage of girth and grey hair – make their way into the churning water.
Starting now, the waves belong to them – the bodysurfers.
The beach fills up with more people, including photog…
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