California is known for its rad surf scene, and Newport Beach is home to many of the gnarliest spots. Surfers from all around the country come to this coastal city to experience ferocious waves and breaks. If you’re looking to catch some of the most epic swells in Southern California, here are the five best Newport Beach surf spots.
One of the most popular areas to surf in Newport Beach is The Wedge. This colossal swell is a merging of two different waves. One wave comes from the side and hits the main swell, causing it to form what looks like a wedge. The Wedge can get anywhere from 20 to 30 feet tall. Due to its gigantic waves, The Wedge is a hot bodyboarding locale as well.
The summer and fall seasons are the peak times to surf The Wedge. However, if the Blackball flag is raised, only bodyboarding is allowed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. due to unavoidable wipeouts from the monstrous swells. Those who wish to stand-up surf can still do so, but it has to be either before and after this designated time.
If you’re new to surfing, 36th Street is the perfect place to get your bearings in the water. Waves here are calmer and there is less of a crowd. When the swells are a little bigger, you can ride fun peaks. If you want to stick to smaller waves, stay closer to the pier. Check out 36th Street in the summer or winter for an enjoyable surf without any of the intimidation.
Newport Point can be a fickle surf spot, but when the waves get going, they’re a legendary ride. In 1988, Hurricane Linda brought what is known as Pipeline to Newport Point. The pipeline is when large waves break in shallow water, creating a curl of water that surfers can tube ride. These elite waves are considered the most challenging in the world.
Spring is the best time to try and catch the waves at Newport Point, especially in March. So if you’re ready to take on the Pipeline, Newport Point is the place for you.
For high-speed surfing, check out both 54th Street and 56th Street. The shape of their crossed-up waves creates exciting peaks and ramps. These outstanding swells are an ideal condition for solo rides. 54th and 56th Streets are great for year-round surfing, making it a favored locale.
Nestled between Newport Pier and the jetty at 28th Street, Blackies is a surf spot that has been beloved by locals since the 1960s. The whole family will enjoy the waves here, with big enough breaks for seasoned surfers but a stretching sandbar for newcomers who aren’t ready for the deep. You’ll find the best swells here in autumn when winds come from the south and west, but ride the crests all year round.
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