Wave Height, who's right?

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Wave Height, who's right?

Postby Rikds1 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:11 pm

Come on, somebody must have the definitive version of how a surfer assesses wave height. I was out a few weeks ago and the waves were big (I sail oceans and race dinghies, I have seen big waves!). Talking to a hotshot afterwards he reckoned them to be 3ft! He said it was a measure from the lip to the "bottom". Another guy said it was a measure looking at the back of the wave (you can't see that unless you let the wave go and then what's the point).
I measure waves from crest to trough (the flat bit in front of the wave before it starts rising), this seems right.
When paddling out through biggish waves I try to visualise how many times my height would fit onto the unbroken face thus I know if a wave is 6ft more or less. I have even tried standing on a longboard in front of a wave to see if I could see over it!

What do all you more experienced people think??
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Postby Monkey_Alan » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:18 pm

If your a surfer you are interested in the front of the wave, so the only one that makes sense is the face height, so yeh I agree it has to be a measurement of the crest to the trough

All this back of the wave crap and deliberately underestimating the size of the wave is just macho posturing

A lot of people these days acknowledge it is very difficult to estimate accurately so stick to knee-high, chest-high, head-high, overhead, double overhead etc.... Seems like a good idea to me
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Postby swordie » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:02 pm

tiny, might as well, small, ok, nice, big, too big for me, oh my god, back to bed.....whatever is good for you.
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Postby hippy » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:43 pm

[All this back of the wave crap and deliberately underestimating the size of the wave is just macho posturing

I read somewhere that it was started by hawaiin lifeguards - when it all kicked off over there the locals where pissed off when the radio forecasters announced there was surf to be had - everyone piled down and the shore was packed and people got hurt
from what i remember sizing was changed to prevent muppets like me being in waves they had no right being in , though can't remember whcih way they ended up deciding on.

and any ways as all the girlies say it s not size but girth that counts!
i should move closer to the coast
edit. i did move closer to the coast, but further from the surf.....
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Postby Freddie_89 » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:17 pm

i always say 3ft is headhigh, 6 ft double overhead etc. just seems the way everywhere else does it
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Postby puravida » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:34 pm

Al always says "it's about shoulder high."
Seems to fit circumstances pretty well I reckon.
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Postby Snowfun » Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:17 pm

fair to middling then give no other indications...stare into distance and mutter to oneself...no one ever asks again
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Postby thedeadly » Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:29 pm

the confusion imho comes from two different factors - 1- the open ocean swell and 2- the face size at the beach of your choice - depending on the beach itself you will get a different size wave for the same size swells its simple - the forcasts are the swell size then you have to convert that from your own knowledge of different beaches to the face size the swell period makes a lot of difference too - a high period swell will give a bigger face size (depending on individual beach) - so al long as you can translate the given figures to the beaches you surf then thats all that matters
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Postby Chewbecca » Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:36 am

Freddie_89 wrote:i always say 3ft is headhigh, 6 ft double overhead etc. just seems the way everywhere else does it


So you're only 3' tall then?!
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Postby Freddie_89 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:26 pm

are you saying there is something wrong with being 3ft tall?
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Postby jimo69 » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:21 pm

Freddie_89 wrote:i always say 3ft is headhigh, 6 ft double overhead etc. just seems the way everywhere else does it

spot on mate.
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Postby Freddie_89 » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:30 pm

8)
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Postby MediaSlut » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:10 pm

...
Last edited by MediaSlut on Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Hoff » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:17 pm

RRRRRRRRRRREPOST.
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Postby janner john » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:50 pm

YAWN
Made in Plymouth
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Postby Boobies » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:30 pm

i is a sponger, so 1 ft is head high, if i get to my knee 2ft is head high :shock:
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Postby freerider » Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:45 pm

likewise,

its all ways overhead on a sponge :D
Are you fucking stupid?
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Re: Wave Height, who's right?

Postby Teh Rubber Surfer » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:43 pm

Rikds1 wrote:Come on, somebody must have the definitive version of how a surfer assesses wave height. I was out a few weeks ago and the waves were big (I sail oceans and race dinghies, I have seen big waves!). Talking to a hotshot afterwards he reckoned them to be 3ft! He said it was a measure from the lip to the "bottom". Another guy said it was a measure looking at the back of the wave (you can't see that unless you let the wave go and then what's the point).
I measure waves from crest to trough (the flat bit in front of the wave before it starts rising), this seems right.
When paddling out through biggish waves I try to visualise how many times my height would fit onto the unbroken face thus I know if a wave is 6ft more or less. I have even tried standing on a longboard in front of a wave to see if I could see over it!

What do all you more experienced people think??


huh...what do you know worms everywhere.....
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Postby evil_g » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:16 pm

Shite or better than it's been for a while if your lucky at the moment :(
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Postby daveyt » Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:52 am

..or if you speak to a south african its flat unless its double overhead :!: :!: :shock:
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Postby the beast » Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:52 pm

only kooks disscuss how big three foot is :x
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Postby The Hoff » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:18 pm

True dat.
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Postby the beast » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:20 pm

truth
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Postby Alwayzthekook » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:36 am

I find myself sat staring at the walls & the ceiling (where ever I am) trying to work out how big the waves are/were. I try to compare how high the waves looked when I was duckdiving (coz then your eyes are right at the bottom of the wave) - & compare that to the wall in front of me.....
Never works though................
Mind you, I could never be bothered enough to ACTUALLY lie on the carpet to make the comaprison valid...... :roll:
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Postby FEESH Rider » Thu May 25, 2006 12:59 pm

Its macho bullshit!!

A wave face that is headhigh on a surfer is near enough 6ft
A wave face shoulder high is about 5ft
Chest high = 4ft
wasit high = 3ft
knee high = 1-2ft

The hawaiian measurement is as someone said designed to scare the living shite out of the tourists. It seems KOOKs have caught on and think its cool.

Anyone wanting to dispute this then have a word with the Billabong XXL Judges judging the biggest wave. They are measuring the wave face height not the back not the open ocena height but the ridden face. Thats all I am concerned about I dont give a crap how far I have to ride down the back of the wave when I kick out.

OH and for the record if you are going to use FT measurements you look absolute arsehole if you use 7ft, 9ft, 11ft,14ft etc those are not recognised sizes in the surfing world and show total KOOKNESS if used when talking shop.

YOu got to use this scale

1-2ft
3-4ft
4-5ft
6-8ft
8-10ft
10-12ft
12-15ft
15-20ft
(now jumps in 5ft increments)

and to avoid getting shite of the crew that think they are macho using the hawaiian scale. Just say it was probably 6ft faces etc that avoids them flexing up
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Postby Monkey_Alan » Thu May 25, 2006 1:23 pm

Well I personally like the waist, chest, shoulder, head high thing. It's specific enough without going to the Nth degree

My scale is -

Too small - paddle out and arse about on line up
Just right - try to surf
Fook that - Stay on beach and watch :shock:
When the shit goes down, you better be ready....
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Postby Freddie_89 » Thu May 25, 2006 1:24 pm

you have GOT to use that scale people :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby daveyt » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:26 pm

when your going down the line on the wave look to where the lip is in respect to yourself. if its the same height as your head (while standing, as opposed to crouching obviously :roll;), the wave is head high, thats wot i use
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Postby Alwayzthekook » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:23 pm

Where are YOU on the face of the wave when you decide this? If you're going down the line, you wont be at the bottom on the flat (sea-level) :wink:

I find it works best if, firstly decide how big you want to call it (e.g. 4ft), and simply amend by exactly 50% according to the talent/knowledge of the person you are talking to.

I.e.: A surfer better than me, it becomes 2ft
A beginner surfer, or non-surfer, it becomes 6ft

Either way, I'm making an effort to impress by making myself sound gnarly. Can't fail.
:wink: :lol:
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Postby bigfeller » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:02 pm

People say that this "hawaiian"system is old school, and should be used for that reason. Sometimes old school is just wrong, it's bullshit.

A foot is a set measure. it's 12 inches, it's approx 30cm, end of!

But like a few have said, there really is no good way to measure a wave. It doesn't matter as long as communication is served, so these days I tend to use whichever method I think the person I'm talking to would use. For myself, on the other hand, it's

Flat
Too small
Only just
Alright
Nice
good
Err...
Brown wetsuit.
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