Last week, a film about the notorious Wedge in Newport Beach opened at the Newport Beach Film Festival, chronicling the history of one of the gnarliest waves on the West Coast. The Wedge was created when the break wall was built in the 1930s and has been a summer phenomenon ever since when big south swells pound the beach. The wave jacks up to 20 feet or more before barreling and terminating on the sand. Because of its shallow nature, it became a haven for body surfers and then boogie boarders in the 1980s and ‘90s, which, as is often the case in surf culture, created major conflict. Mix in surfers who started braving the wave, and the chaotic mayhem that is the Wedge is certainly film-worthy. The documentary was made by environmental consultant-come-movie-maker Tim Burnham, who recruited his filmmaking friends to get the piece finished. It’s run at the NBFF ended yesterday but it plays again at the San Diego Film Festival May 18. One of the main takeaways from the film? Ride it and you’re sure to be humbled at some point: “I've definitely had my fair share of beatings," Burnham said. "I ended up in the hospital in 2013 after hitting my head and tweaking my neck pretty good. It hasn't been the same since."
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