The Wedge is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of the California bodyboarding scene.
We threw some quick Wedge related questions at Tanner McDaniel and Craig Whetter to get their insights into what it’s like taking on the beast.
Best thing about surfing wedge?
CW: The best thing about surfing wedge is probably the amount of power you are guaranteed when you make the decision to go out. Whether it’s 3 foot or 15 foot, you are basically always gifted an opportunity to get a sick ramp or barrel as long as you put in the time, which you can’t really get at most of the other spots in the area.
TM: From a Bodyboarders point of view the best part about the wave is definitely the end section. There’s so much potential for doing some of the biggest airs ever out there. Aside from actually riding waves it’s a really fun time just sitting on the beach and watching everyone go wild out there, I’d definitely recommend it instead of paddling out 😁.
Worst thing about surfing wedge?
CW: The worst thing about surfing wedge is probably the crowd (surprise surprise). There’s more often than not a lot of people out there who are kind of in the way just trying to float around and even sometimes blatantly snaking people, making It more prone for injury for the people who more so know what they are doing!
TM: The crowd. It’s pretty hectic to see some people’s lack of ocean knowledge out there. I’m not only talking about blowing good waves here, I’m also referring to the safety of themselves and other people in the lineup. Problem is there’s really no paddle out. Anyone can just hop into the lineup with ease, then they wind up in way over their head if/when things go wrong.
Who rules the line up?
CW: I wouldn’t say there is one person who fully runs the lineup, but there is a pretty solid group of respectful guys who rip and put in the hours and also know how It works out there which makes It nice to be able to trade off waves when its on. But when we get an empty day with a random pulsing swell, It’s a lot more special because your wave count shoots up real quick!
TM: The guys who have put in the time, regardless of what they’re riding. It’s interesting that no specific surf craft really has priority over others out there. Just how it should be right?
The blackball. Nessesary or stupid rule for an entitled group?
CW: The blackball rule basically means you can’t surf at Wedge with a board of any sort from 10am-5pm from May 1st to October 31st. I personally hate it. But if i was a bodysurfer I’m sure I would thoroughly enjoy It, but it’s pointless sometimes though because there have been days where it’s 6-10ft without even any bodysurfers on it, and we still can’t go out. I wish there could be some rules tweaked in the rule, but the bodysurfers have It pretty locked with the city so It is what it is!
TM: Necessary? Nah I don’t think so. I’m probably just jealous though.
Worst injury you’ve suffered or seen out there?
CW: I’ve had a few little shoulder sprains from landing in the flats, some minor back pains, and most likely some undiagnosed mild concussions but other than that, I’ve been fairly lucky out there so far not breaking any bones or anything! (knock on wood).
TM: I got a decent concussion and some mild whiplash taking a backwash flared lip to the back of the head last season. Luckily that’s been the worst I have had. I also haven’t seen anyone get seriously hurt out there so fingers crossed that trend continues.
Makeable wave to close out ratio?
CW: When the sand’s really really good i’d say the first few waves of most sets are makeable / rampable. The rip currents can make It bouncy sometimes, but like I said when the sand is good you can even get launched on a closeout section.
TM: Well essentially every wave is a closeout. But on an average day out there I’d say 25% of the waves are makeable enough to either hit the lip or squeak out of a barrel before it shuts down.
Weirdest place you’ve found sand afterwards?
CW: The weirdest place I’ve found sand was actually found by my dentist in between my teeth after surfing wedge for an entire morning. He was like, “Have you been to the beach lately?” and I said, “Uhhh yeah, why?” He replies, “There’s sand grains everywhere!” Thought It was pretty funny.
TM: You definitely find it in some pretty unsavory places. I have definitely coughed up a few grains a few days after surfing it.
Watch the boys ripping ( Including Tanner on a soft top stick) below.