Ron Romanosky rode Wedge for decades as a knee boarder and bodysurfer and has long been known as a strong supporter of Wedge bodysurfing. He has photographed and documented Wedge in its entirety, its standout bodysurfers and its unique ongoing story for years, long before the www and social media discovered and exploited the place. From its inception the Surfers Journal has published Ron’s photos of Wedge and of surfing in general. The Journal also published three Wedge-related pieces written by him, the last of which was Our Wedge, Our Way. His photos have appeared in print media around the world. He continues to shape kneeboards under the logo ROMANOSKY and has websites for kneeboards and photography: www.romanoskykneeboards.com and www.romanoskyphoto.comNote: A battle with late stage throat cancer necessitating weeks of chemo and radiation treatments in 2009 led to Ron’s decision to leave the wedge lineup.
This is the Wedge California and I knew years before the internet and long before every attention-craving social media post would immediately be known to the world. The image, from a 35mm slide and one of a several shot sequence, was captured at mid-day in the summer of 1990 or 1991. No, the transparency was not scanned to facilitate photo-shop to remove anyone from the image or to add anything. Minutes prior to this wave – one of a 3 or 4 wave set, several bodysurfing friends and I had been in the water. Scattered about on the beach was a small number of beach goers more interested in tanning. The word mellow adequately describes that day. The only camera there was mine. There were many days such as this one – of a pristine Wedge, etched into my memory banks… and, for both substantiation and history, archived in my film collections.
First called ‘The Hook’ Wedge (it’s ‘The Wedge’ to the TV and news media and the great masses directed there) has hooked riders and fans for decades. And since the advent of the internet (and consequently, due to it) this once bodysurfing-only spot during big south swells has become ground zero for riders of every persuasion and trend who would challenge it, test themselves and hope to “star”. Unfortunately, Wedge’s fame and notoriety have not escaped the usual commercial and promotional interests (specifically, skim and surfboard companies and many photographers) who covet the break for its earning potential. Wedge bodysurfing would likely become a memory if these interests had their way. Fortunately the Newport Beach City Council has not yet allowed Wedge to become California board surfing’s first whorehouse… nor, it is hoped by bodysurfers and Balboa Peninsula homeowners alike, will it ever.