What Is A Wedgie In Backboarding?

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As more people discover the joy of bodyboarding, it’s important to get familiar with the sport’s terms. One word that you may hear is “wedgie,” which has different meanings in various contexts. In bodyboarding, a wedgie is a type of wave that can be challenging to ride but also exhilarating.


What is a Wedgie in Bodyboarding?

A wedgie is a type of wave that occurs when two waves converge and form a peak. The wedge shape of the wave creates a steep front face and a less-angled rear face. When bodyboarders ride a wedgie, they typically position themselves on the rear face and use the steepness of the front face to gain speed. Wedgies are powerful and fast, making them exciting but also difficult to ride.


What are the Characteristics of a Wedgie?

A few features distinguish wedgies from other types of waves. Here are some of the characteristics of a typical wedgie:

1. Powerful: Wedgies are created by the convergence of two waves, which means they can be quite powerful. The steepness of the front face generates a lot of water energy, which bodyboarders can harness for speed and maneuvers.

2. Fast: The energy of the wedgie translates into speed, so riders need to be prepared for a fast ride. Additionally, the acceleration from the front face can be intense, which is why wedgies tend to be more challenging to ride than other waves.

3. Steep: The angle of the front face of a wedgie is steeper than that of other waves. The wave’s shape makes it easier to get vertical, which is why wedgies are often associated with aerial maneuvers.

4. Hollow: The peak of a wedgie often produces a barrel, which is the hollow part of the wave that forms as it breaks. Bodyboarders often try to ride inside the barrel as it can be an exhilarating experience.


How to Ride a Wedgie?

Riding a wedgie requires skill, practice, and courage. Here are some tips to help you ride a wedgie successfully:

1. Position yourself: To catch a wedgie, position yourself slightly behind the peak. This position allows you to drop down the steep rear face and then angle towards the front face for speed.

2. Generate speed: Once you’re on the front face, lean forward and use your weight to generate speed. You can also use small adjustments to your body position to maintain your balance and stay on the wave.

3. Time your turns: Wedgies are fast, so you need to time your turns and maneuvers carefully. A common technique is to do a bottom turn on the rear face and then use the energy of the front face to launch into an aerial maneuver.

4. Stay centered: As you ride the wave, try to maintain your position on the board’s centerline. This will help you stay balanced and avoid being thrown over the side of the board.

5. Be prepared: Wedgies can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to be prepared for anything. Make sure you have the right equipment, including a leash, fins, and a suitable bodyboard. Additionally, always respect the ocean and its power.


What are the different types of Wedgies?

Wedgies come in different shapes and sizes, depending on various factors such as tide, swell direction, and wind. Here are some of the most common types of wedgies:

1. Walled Wedgie: This type of wedgie is formed when two waves meet at a 90-degree angle. The wave’s face is almost vertical, making it difficult to ride but also ideal for aerial tricks.

2. River Wedgie: This type of wedgie is created when a wave collides with a river or other waterway. The river’s current produces an additional water force, creating a challenging wave to ride.

3. Wedge Break: A Wedge Break occurs when a wave meets a steep underwater incline, causing the wave to bend and create a heavily-angled face. This type of wave is a challenge to ride but also offers some of the best aerial opportunities.

4. Reef Wedge: A Reef Wedge forms when two waves collide over a reef. The reef’s shape allows the wave to peak up and provide a steep front face, perfect for advanced tricks.

5. Outer Reef Wedgie: This type of Wedgie is created by two waves coming together in deep ocean water. The result is a giant wave with a steep, powerful face that may be too much for all but the most skilled bodyboarders.


What is the Difference Between a Wedgie and a Shorebreak?

Although both Wedgies and Shorebreaks are challenging waves to ride, they differ in some key ways. A shorebreak is a wave that breaks directly on the shoreline, making them shallow and powerful. Shorebreaks can be dangerous, as the water is shallow and the wave can throw bodyboarders hard onto the sand bottom.

On the other hand, a wedgie is formed by two waves converging, and it can break further offshore. The breaking water then comes closer to the shoreline, making it easier for bodyboarders to navigate.


What Are The Best Spots To Find Wedgies?

Wedgies aren’t easy to come by every day, but they are great when you do find them. Here are some locations where you can catch a ride with a Wedgie:

1. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California – This location is a popular spot for Wedgettes because of the shallow waters that create perfect peaks for bodyboarding. Peak hours are in the late afternoon, and during spring and summer.

2. Supertubes, Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa – This location is famous worldwide for its phenomenal waves, including Wedgies. The beach is very crowded due to its popularity, and it reaches peak periods in the early morning.

3. Wedge Island, Western Australia – A spot favored by experienced bodyboarders with wicked Wedgies providing a natural playground for bodyboarding tricks and skills.

4. Zicatela Beach, Puerto Escondido, Mexico – A picturesque beach that offers a variety of waves, including Wedgies. This Beach has huge Wedgies that can only be ridden by experienced bodyboarders.

5. Fronton, Galdar, Canary Islands – A world-renowned bodyboarding spot. The tides, actual waves, and sharp reef combine to make incredibly powerful Wedgies that are sure to please even the most intrepid wave warriors.



As more people discover bodyboarding, it’s essential to understand the terminology and features of the waves you’ll be riding. Wedgies are powerful, fast, and steep, which makes them exciting but also challenging to ride. By mastering the techniques and choosing the right locations, you can make the most out of these exhilarating waves. Whenever you go bodyboarding, stay safe, and be sure to respect the power of the ocean.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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