Wax On, Wax Off: Surfing the Newport Beach Harbormouth
|Flickr user Talo66|
|Newport Harbor Inlet|
The harbor patrol agrees that it's not the safest place to surf. They bark at surfers over a loudspeaker, telling them they're breaking the law and they need to get out of the water. But for many, the experience of surfing the harbor is so rare, they pay no attention. "Most people know the drill. You get your wave or two and get outta there. But then there's these guys who just start lippin' off to the harbor patrol," said another anonymous lawbreaker. In recent years, the harbor patrol has gone so far as to use a high-pressure fire hose to knock surfers out of the line-up. If you push it too far, or don't know how to be sneaky about it, NBPD officers will cuff you in the parking lot at big Corona and take you for a chilly ride in your wetsuit to be booked at the station.
On Monday, a direct South storm swell created the rare conditions that make for some of the longest rides in Orange County. For a few hours, a bunch of citizens ignored the law in pursuit of the strange novelty. Luckily for them, the harbor patrol was kept busy pulling pieces of boats, plywood and other flotsam from the water most of the time. Nevertheless, you had to be sneaky about it. Today, the harbor is supposed to break again for the second time this week, but locals are skeptical that it will be as good as Monday.