Big waves roll into Newport Beach

NEWPORT BEACH — The big waves are back.

Surf was up Tuesday on the Balboa Peninsula and in West Newport, where 6- to 7-foot waves have surfers out in full force, said Jim Turner, the lifeguard battalion chief.

It's the best surf since the Fourth of July weekend.

"We've got hundreds of surfers out there right now," he said. "They're taking advantage of the great conditions."

Every good "surfable spot," he said, has had dozens of surfers since this morning, especially The Point, which is at 17th and 19th streets on the Peninsula. There's good surfing to be found on West Newport, which extends from 28th Street to the Santa Ana River, where the border of Huntington Beach begins.

For families who are looking for gentler and kinder waves, there's smaller surf at the Newport Pier at 20th Street and at the Big and Little Corona beaches at Corona del Mar, where the surf is only 2- to 3-foot waves.

Turner said the terrific swells are the result of a winter storm in the Southern Hemisphere, either off of New Zealand, Tahiti or the Antarctic.

Wherever the storm started, this much is for certain: 6- to 9-foot waves were crashing ashore at the popular boogie board spot, The Wedge, where the waves often break close to shore due to the nearby jetty that separates the Newport Harbor channel from the rest of the ocean.

"The summer hurricanes in places like Mexico give us shorter interval waves," he said, adding that the winter storms in the summer hemisphere "travel over a longer distance," thus providing longer intervals between waves.

The water temperature is 67 degrees.

— Tom Ragan

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