Wednesday, March 11, 2009

1971 Sports Illustrated--Bodysurfing

"Bitchin" article with an interesting bit on the way new styles and techniques developed and moved from Hawaii to the Wedge and beyond. Head hopping, busted spines, goons, jerks and other assorted Wedge characters. Sounds all a bit bizarre from over here..

The Closest Thing To Being Born

February 22, 1971

Body surfers are prone to hyperbole, but anyone who rides the waves at the Wedge in Newport Beach, Calif knows whereof he speaks. With breakers up to 22 feet, it's the hairiest trip going.....
Curry Kirkpatrick


  1. I body surfed the Wedge once when I was about 14( 1969). There was three of us and it was about 3pm. There was great sets coming in and a short period were you could get out about 50 yards north of the jetty. We should have known better because the white wash was about head high. We swam out caught 1 wave and got pummled! I lost my Voit duck feet fins. My fiends lost 1 Churchill apiece. We waited for about an hour and a half and no fins washed up. The wait did pay off to see the power of the Wedge. I was subscribing to S.I. and had that 1971 issue. Never forget the three page spread were it showed a guy ready to go over the falls higher than the jetty. Also had a picture of a guy in a wheel chair that had broken his back body surfing the Wedge. Very sobering picture. We drove back to LaMirada Ca. that day with a whole new respect for the Wedge and stuck with the South side of the pier at Huntington Beach Ca. I still get down there and check out Dick Dales old house and remember going out just once. I worked in the oilfield at the Goldenwest & PCH for 26 years. Was great working out side and next to the Ocean for all those years. Peace

  2. i just don't know how you guys even consider going out there. The pounding on the shore just looks horrifying! Do those guys ever get comfortable getting smashed onto the sand the way they do??..

    thats a great story, thanks for sharing