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NEWS
February 16, 2002
June Casagrande BALBOA PENINSULA -- With its short, steep, intense waves, the Wedge is known worldwide as the ideal bodysurfing location. But one local man wants to make it official. Kevin "Mel" Thoman said he wants the city to officially designate the spot as the world's top bodysurfing site and to punctuate the point with a statue. "I used to drive through Huntington Beach -- Surf City, USA -- past the surfer statue on the way to the Wedge," Thoman said.
NEWS
September 23, 1999
Jessica Garrison NEWPORT BEACH --It had been nine years since Peter Finch studied CPR as a junior lifeguard. But Wednesday afternoon, when a Riverside man was pounded by a wave, lost feeling in his leg, and couldn't get out of the surf, Finch knew just what to do. "I ran over and stabilized his neck, and asked someone to put a board under his feet," Finch said, noting that he remembered from his junior ...
NEWS
July 4, 2004
Ever hear of the Sports Illustrated jinx? That's when the sports magazine touts a team or player (usually on the front page) and then said player or team tanks like no one since, well, the last Sports Illustrated cover darling. We can hope that jinx sticks just with cover subjects, otherwise it might be a small, calm summer at The Wedge. The bodysurfing Valhalla just was included in SI's state report on California. It was listed Who & Where section of 31 sports hot spots and was described as "America's toughest bodysurfing waves."
NEWS
May 1, 2000
Sue Doyle NEWPORT BEACH -- The guys look like everyone else at the beach on Sunday, sprawled in the sand and soaking up the sun. But they didn't hit the beach to relax. The bodysurfing enthusiasts came to clean "the wedge," a favorite surf spot at the end of Balboa Drive. Bags of garbage lie by their sides. They call themselves The Wedge Preservation Society, a group that worships the art of bodysurfing and claims the wedge as precious territory.
NEWS
May 25, 2002
June Casagrande Let's face it, while the weather in Southern California is user-friendly almost year-round, the water isn't quite as welcoming. In fact, if you want a Floridian's opinion, California waters are flat-out cold most of the time. But for a few months of the year, the water is warm enough for even the least-hardy land mammals. So here are some ways to get wet and some of the best places to frolic. Everyone knows surfing is a dish best served cold.
NEWS
July 2, 2004
Simon Brown If you're less than the best, stay away from The Wedge. It's something locals know and others recognize. The July 5 issue of Sports Illustrated named The Wedge the toughest bodysurfing spot in the United States as part of its profile on sports in California. During its 50th anniversary celebration, the magazine has been featuring all 50 states in the United States and focused on California in its latest issue. The Wedge was included in the state's Who & Where section of 31 sports hot spots and was described as "America's toughest bodysurfing waves."
NEWS
By Brianna Bailey and Joseph Serna | July 24, 2009
Newport Beach’s world famous bodysurfing location, the Wedge, claimed its first life in more than 20 years Friday afternoon when a wave slammed an unidentified man into the serrated jetty off the edge of the Balboa Peninsula, authorities said. The 50-year-old Los Angeles man was apparently body surfing at the Wedge about noon Friday when he got pinned in by the rocks after a large set of waves, some up to 25 feet high, said Jennifer Schulz, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Fire Department.
NEWS
April 10, 2001
The recent big surf brings up memories of the 20-foot surf at the Balboa pier during the 1920s. This was before we knew about surfboards or bodyboards. Bodysurfing was the sport, and there were two main places we went -- Long Beach and Balboa. Specifically, the Balboa pier. Surfers are notorious for inflating the size of waves, but we had a foolproof system of measurement. When you were on a big wave and you looked to your right at the pier, if you saw water running down the face of the pier you knew you were on a 20-foot wave because the Balboa pier was a 20-foot pier.
NEWS
September 7, 2003
"After the dot-com companies faltered, we felt the pinch. But now, we see the more stable corporate clients coming back. They've tightened up a little bit, but they are starting to spend more." -- Susan Emmett, secretary of the Newport Beach Restaurants Assn. and manager of Villa Nova Restaurant, commenting on summer business in Newport-Mesa. "Coyotes usually eat the insides. They usually leave the carcass behind. So it's horrible for the family to see their pets killed like that."
NEWS
September 25, 1999
A textbook arrest Costa Mesa police officers responded quickly -- and successfully -- to an attempted bank robbery Thursday morning. The two suspects were caught not long after they tried to make off with $3,200. Police Lt. John FitzPatrick said that the chase demonstrated the discipline of the officers, who waited for the suspects to run into a wall of officers. No one was seriously injured in the robbery or the chase, a fortunate ending to what could have been a much sadder story.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | October 22, 2013
For surfers, everything hinges on balance - even when it comes to local politics. A forum Monday night kicked off the public's involvement in a review of local surfing rules in Newport Beach. About 200 surfers of all ages, mostly male, filled the Community Room at the city's Civic Center, eager to offer city representatives their opinions about the fairest and safest way to share the waves. All hoped to set straight the rules, which have remained untouched for nearly 20 years.
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NEWS
By Emily Foxhall and This post has been corrected, as noted below. | October 18, 2013
An old surfing battle may be resurfacing in Newport Beach. A city panel, the Blackball Working Group, will take the first step toward a possible review of surfing regulations at a public meeting Monday night. This has set off murmurings among surfers over one particular place: the Wedge. A storied spot at the end of the Balboa Peninsula, where the west harbor jetty extends from shore, the Wedge has set the stage for world-famous waves that have brought thrills to generations of surfers and spectators.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | April 12, 2012
Instead of celebrating at a bar with friends or around the dinner table with family, Gene Petersen celebrated his 66th birthday this week at Western Medical Center, where he's being treated for a spinal injury he suffered while at The Wedge. The Seal Beach native is part of a tight-knit crew of bodysurfers who frequent the renowned by dangerous Newport Beach surf spot. Most days, Petersen can be found in the tumultuous waters, said friend and fellow Wedge regular Tim Burnham. About 10 bodysurfers, bodyboarders and other beachgoers assisted in the effort to save Petersen from the March 30 accident, according to former Laguna Beach lifeguard Tyler Stanaland.
NEWS
By Tom Ragan, tom.ragan@latimes.com | August 25, 2010
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.
NEWS
By Brianna Bailey | September 4, 2009
Bodysurfer Robert Khoury is known as “the guy who goes right” to members of the so-called New Crew, a group of bold, young swimmers who head to the famed Newport Beach body surfing spot the Wedge each day during the summer. At the Wedge, the jagged rocks of Newport’s West Jetty are to the right for body surfers who brave the waters there. A 21-year-old Newport Harbor High School graduate and aspiring professional tennis player, Khoury sustained a serious spinal cord injury while body surfing at the Wedge last week.
NEWS
By Brianna Bailey and Joseph Serna | July 24, 2009
Newport Beach’s world famous bodysurfing location, the Wedge, claimed its first life in more than 20 years Friday afternoon when a wave slammed an unidentified man into the serrated jetty off the edge of the Balboa Peninsula, authorities said. The 50-year-old Los Angeles man was apparently body surfing at the Wedge about noon Friday when he got pinned in by the rocks after a large set of waves, some up to 25 feet high, said Jennifer Schulz, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Fire Department.
LOCAL
June 20, 2008
A bodysurfer may be paralyzed after he wiped out and landed on his back at The Wedge on Friday morning, lifeguard officials said. The man, whom lifeguards could not immediately identify, went over the top of a 12-foot wave and crashed to the ocean floor at about 9:15 a.m., Lifeguard Capt. Brent Renek said. “He went over the falls, got caught in the lip and smashed into the bottom,” Renek said. “He said he heard cracking. He was incapacitated there in the surf and had other bodysurfers take him out of the water.
FEATURES
By Joseph Serna | May 2, 2008
In case anyone missed the symbolism of May 1 at The Wedge, Mel Thoman brought the real symbol, just in case. “I got it at a swap meet years ago,” Thoman said, proudly unrolling a lifeguard’s Black Ball flag — square yellow cloth with a big black circle in the middle. The flag stood tall, frayed at the edges and worn thin, much like the men out to celebrate its unraveling Thursday. With the beginning of May comes the beginning of body surfing season at The Wedge.
NEWS
July 4, 2004
Ever hear of the Sports Illustrated jinx? That's when the sports magazine touts a team or player (usually on the front page) and then said player or team tanks like no one since, well, the last Sports Illustrated cover darling. We can hope that jinx sticks just with cover subjects, otherwise it might be a small, calm summer at The Wedge. The bodysurfing Valhalla just was included in SI's state report on California. It was listed Who & Where section of 31 sports hot spots and was described as "America's toughest bodysurfing waves."
NEWS
July 2, 2004
Simon Brown If you're less than the best, stay away from The Wedge. It's something locals know and others recognize. The July 5 issue of Sports Illustrated named The Wedge the toughest bodysurfing spot in the United States as part of its profile on sports in California. During its 50th anniversary celebration, the magazine has been featuring all 50 states in the United States and focused on California in its latest issue. The Wedge was included in the state's Who & Where section of 31 sports hot spots and was described as "America's toughest bodysurfing waves."
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