From the age of 15 to about 40, surfing was either a passion for me or one of the ways I stayed in shape. In all of that time I took some risks on big days, but usually I stayed out of the water on especially crazy days. I enjoyed this one with my camera, since these conditions at this legendary place were best left to the most experienced and fit surfers and boarders.

On August 28, 2014, huge swells from Hurricane Marie, far offshore, were slamming Southern California, particularly at The Wedge in Newport Beach—where a notoriously and abnormally fast and steep wave breaks in shallow water, even on some not-so big days.

On this day, I got up before dawn in my home in the San Bernardino Mountains and drove 80 miles to the beach to catch the peak of this swell, in which some waves were breaking over 20 feet at this spot. During the three-hour period I was there, more than two-dozen people had to be rescued from The Wedge, You can see why in these photos. Click on the photos for a tour. All photos © 2014 by Lee Reeder.

You can find The Wedge at 33°35’34.27″N 117°52’51.73″W

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