NEWPORT BEACH — Here's one gnarly example of a righteous form of federal government intervention: If it weren't for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we'd never have those gigantic waves at the Wedge.
It's a stretch of beach at the southern tip of the Balboa Peninsula that's been overrun with bodysurfers these days due to swells coming in from three storms in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the 1930s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the rock jetties to separate the sea from Newport Harbor, creating a more finite channel and subsequently holding the open waters at bay.
The construction put an end to the boats that were capsizing on their way in and out of the channel.
The end result, however, from a bodysurfer's perspective, were beautiful sets of waves that would come crashing up against the man-made rocks, doubling back on themselves.
The effect was a "wedge-like" wave, that choice white foamy stuff that's been compared to the big surf in Hawaii and Australia and nowhere else in the continental U.S., except for Newport Beach.