Dirty Old Wedge

Synopsis: The Wedge, located at the end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California, is a world famous, man-made beast of a wave. Since its creation, people have flocked from all over to see it in its mythical form. Wedge waves can be as powerful as any on Earth. It is a place where injuries are common and where even deaths have occurred. Dirty Old Wedge is a documentary film that will showcase the history of the Wedge starting from its creation in the 1930's. A unique assemblage of body surfers which has come to be known as the "Wedge Crew" will be one of the focal points of this film, highlighting their relationships with the wave and with one another.
Director(s): Tim Burnham
Production: The Orchard
62 min


(water running)

(ethereal music)

- [Voiceover] 1936, the

army corps of engineers

completed construction of the

west jetty

of the Newport Beach harbor


It's intent was to protect and


but what this grouping of rocks


was something that no

man could've expected.

(rock music)

(waves crashing)

- The Wedge in one word, psycho.

(Entrance Song by The Black


- That wave is a

standout, freak of nature.

- The Wedge has as much power as

any wave

I've ever surfed in my life.

- I would say Hawaii power in

the middle of Orange County.

- And it kills people and it

breaks necks

and you go, sh*t.

Bending time feeling fine

Entrance song

Entrance song

- It's the most famous body

surfing wave in world, duh.

- When you talk about this

mysterious place the Wedge

you finally go down there

and it's just all hell breaking


- It was a venue and it was

like a gladiator pit arena

watching a few of us pretty

much like risk our lives.

Rolling fast down 75

Cutting through like a knife

- [Voiceover] The wave was the

reason all of us were there.

It wasn't anything more

than that, it was the wave.

(water rushing)

(gentle, piano music)

- [Voiceover] My name is Ron


Some call me Romo.

I'm a shaper, a photographer,

one of maybe, I don't know,

three or four billion of them.

And I'm a hopeless and

insufferable Wedge addict.

(pencil scraping)

Our story begins at Wedge,

25 or so years after the

jetty construction was over.

There was already an established

group of guys at Wedge.

Fred Simpson and Roger

Goodan were among them.

(plucky, guitar music)

- When I first went to the


this would be in the late 50's,

there were no crowds.

There were no lifeguards.

A max crowd would

be three, four,

five people.

There were always enough waves.

- When I first arrived at the

Wedge and starting meeting

the different people that

were riding it already,

there was one gentleman

that I already knew.

He was the first high

school kid to swim faster

than two minutes in the 200.

And he did it in ninth grade.

- The wave physics at the Wedge

is unique

for a couple of different


Firstly, that you have

the wave that is coming in

from the south.

It banks up against the jetty

and so you end up with a side


being superimposed on by another


So you have two waves

on top of one another.

- It essentially doubles

the height of the wave

and it is as big as it gets on

this coast.

- It was routinely all body


Surf boards were too long and

too heavy

to be able to handle the big


And, to be able to experiment

with different techniques,

it was really remarkable

because we got a lot

of riding in.

It was very, kind of

egalitarian, sweet environment.

- [Voiceover] No

magazines, no social media.

People communicated on

phones, land line phones.

Those early days at Wedge

were really a simple time.

- [Voiceover] In the

early 70's Danny Kwock

was on the beach, I

believe, but I don't believe

he had yet gone in that water.

- First experience at the

Wedge for me was

I'd moved from

Gwaii, I've kind of

always heard about


cause I grew up at

a place by Sandy


The guys down there,

the kind of guys like Mark

Cunningham guys

that were like the

legend body surfer guys,

they'd always be talking about

the Wedge

and it was this infamous

place, even in Hawaii as a kid.

And then I moved to

California and we ended up

in Newport Beach.

I all of a sudden knew like,

this must be where the Wedge is,

I think,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Dirty Old Wedge" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Jun 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/dirty_old_wedge_6964>.

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