the mandurah wedge
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DESCRIPTIONThe Mandurah Wedge. By: Dan Lockward & Katie Cerami. Description. Arguably one of the most unique breaks in the world, the “ medge ” for short is definitely not for everyone - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
The Mandurah Wedge
By: Dan Lockward & Katie Cerami
• Arguably one of the most unique breaks in the world, the “medge” for short is definitely not for everyone– It is located on the west coast of Australia near the
town of Wannanup. The bigger town of Mandurah is located around 14 miles north, and the break got its name directly from its close proximity to this town.
– This convoluted jetty break is the result of the mouth of the Dawesville Channel
– Its bottom is mostly sandy with a little rock
• As depicted by this screenshot from Google Maps, the shape of the groins form a backwards “L,” responsible for the very special waves that break here
• The best swell direction spans from W to NW, taking into account the way the energy is refracted off the groins. NW is optimal, since the balance between the refracted waves and the energy coming straight in is able to create longer rides– Firstly, the main groin refracts the energy in the opposite direction, which is responsible for the wedging
effect where it joins up with a wave that is coming straight in. The result is a right breaking wave that is almost triangular.• This is why many refer to the medge as a mirror image of the famous “Wedge” in Newport Beach, California. For a wave
rider who prefers rights, the medge is the place to be– Depending on the specific swell direction, the second groin may also refract a nasty backwash that also
promotes big airs, but creates frothy conditions• The break can handle swells with a little south in them, but the waves may not be as big and
tend to close out more. The break behind the second groin, called Pyramids, is the place to be for lefts on a decent south swell since the energy is more focused. Luckily, it’s within walking distance of the medge.
What You Need to Know• Access is free and parking is abundant, but there are a few things to consider.
– The surf culture is this area is booming. With that comes a lot of localism, even though the break is ridden by bodyboarders.
– Its only a matter of time before people start standing up, since on certain days, it is completely feasible, and would be taking this break to a whole new level.
– The problem is that the locals are very competitive and not too welcoming to unfamiliar faces. Ones best bet is to paddle out and sit all the way at the end of the break and try to slowly work their way to the peak, displaying courteousness and even letting the locals take the better set waves even if they aren’t in prime position.
– If one has what it takes to paddle out, they would need to time it just right, otherwise a powerful set could wash them right into the rocks, since the break is bordered by two groins and no beach. Also, the climb down to the shoreline is risky, since jetty rocks are notoriously slippery and one wrong step could cause serious injury
– While a lot of people frown upon bodyboarding, a decent crescent tail board and a pair of Churchill swimfims are a necessity at this break for holding barrels
– It is very possible that surfing has been attempted here. It might not be a bad idea to rent a sturdy 6-6.5ft. board if it’s a small day. Pyramids, the break located directly south within walking distance, is perfectly surfable if all else fails.
LOLA Wave Model
• While the medge does not have its own specific wave model designated for the break, surfline provides an overview of the Perth area of the west coast of Australia. The medge is located somewhere in the lower half of the model.
Weather, Seasons, and Travel
• Statistically, this break is known to fire the most in the summer months of Australia, which is actually December to February– Still, it remains fairly consistent during all of the other seasons
• Unfortunately, the summer months are also during the wet season of Australia
• Overall, if one wanted to travel to the medge, then a trip in December or January is still the best bet regardless of the fact that the rainy season is in full swing
• The following figures are for trips with two different timeframes flying with Continental Airlines– A two month trip from December to February would cost
$4305 round trip for one person flying out of Newark– For a week in December (ideal Christmas break trip), it’s a
little more expensive at $4330 per person• For the full experience, it is best to take a longer trip in
order to experience more than just some good waves at the medge. The whole coastline is teeming with amazing waves and quite possibly some uncrowded breaks.
Pictures and Video Footage
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwVa6dIAqSM• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Sr386B4Sk
• www.surfline.com• www.westernaustralia.com/en/About_Wester
• www.continental.com• www.wannasurf.com • http://maps.google.com