Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

how to measure a surf wave???

Forum for kitesurfers
macca
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1273
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 1:00 am
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

how to measure a surf wave???

Postby macca » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:20 pm

Me and a work mate are havinga debate over how big waves are measured.

hes a surfer/kiter, i'm windsurf/kiter

I say from front, bottom (flat) part of wave to top, logo high about 2m.
He says Hawians measure from the back of the wave, flat to top.

Any one have a definitive, world adopted way.

Cheers
my waves are all ways 3' higer than his :wink:

User avatar
R Soul
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:02 pm
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Str8 From The Horses Mouth... Ravens and Shinns... Love 'em.
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Postby R Soul » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:25 pm

From the back. Water surface to peak when just about to break.

gonewiththewind
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 796
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:23 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: how to measure a surf wave???

Postby gonewiththewind » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:58 pm

macca wrote:I say from front, bottom (flat) part of wave to top, logo high about 2m.
He says Hawians measure from the back of the wave, flat to top.
You're both right. Depends on whether or not you're talking to Hawaiians or not.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/surfing/site ... size.shtml

http://www.hawaii.rr.com/leisure/review ... hawaii.htm

One argument against measuring it from the back is that surfers only ride the front, and nobody can see the back anyway. But of course, none of that is true for kitesurfers!

User avatar
R Soul
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:02 pm
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Str8 From The Horses Mouth... Ravens and Shinns... Love 'em.
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: how to measure a surf wave???

Postby R Soul » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:11 pm

gonewiththewind wrote:One argument against measuring it from the back is that surfers only ride the front, and nobody can see the back anyway. But of course, none of that is true for kitesurfers!
Ahh, but surfers also experience the back when stoking like mad and just making it over that lip. Or sitting in the line up, watching the swells pass by.
Depending on the bottom contour a wave will suck more water from the front, but the height at the back remins more consistant. It's also very easy to over estimate the front, because of the 'curve'. And the fact a surfer is off the bottom leaning in on a bottom turn. I know it all sounds a bit irish, but a 4 foot wave is generally a good head high. A six footer is getting to be rather serious in height at the front.

but you're right, what's that got to do with kite surfers?!

jonibebadd
Medium Poster
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:20 am
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Postby jonibebadd » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:38 pm

Hawaiins measure from the "back" but actually it is in the chanel or deep water before it feels the bottom and gets pushed upwards.
for instance when the boating forcast calls for 3 foot swell at 15 sec period, that will reflect a head high wave or 6 ft. face when breaking.
the period has a huge roll on the face height.
a 3 ft. wave at 8 sec. will only be about 3 to 4 ft.

so when the hawaiins say the swell is 10ft. its more like 20' faces.

Halomon
Frequent Poster
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:57 am
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Maui,Hawaii
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Postby Halomon » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:49 am

Hi guys; I'm a lifelong Hawaii resident and have been eyeballing waves for over 40 years,in and out of the water. Here's my take on estimating wave sizes. Without someone riding the waves it is a little more difficult as you have no size reference to start with. But generally speaking I make my estimations by looking at the front of a wave and guessing the height from sea level to the top of the crest; vertical,straight up and down. Unless one is using scientific measuring devices[like lasers] you are only able to guesstimate wave height and you will always be off by a few feet, especially with bigger waves in the 15ft plus range. Also there is a huge difference when you are actually out there on a large day[10ft plus] and are dealing with not only the size but also the power involved with thick ocean swells unloading on shallow reefs. Very humbling!! But IMHO judging wave height from the back isn't very accurate. Here's some easy answers; head high= 6ft; overhead=8-10ft.; pretty big=10-15ft.; really big=15-20plus; huge=20plus and beyond. Have a good time and ride safe and try not to fight about wave height[ unless you are forced to testify in court before Judge Laird Hamilton].

macca
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1273
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 1:00 am
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Postby macca » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:25 am

Thanks for the input guys.

I just look at the front of a wave and head hight looks about 5' to me, but as said Hawiian 3'.

But your right, every one measures a wave different, or has a different idea of wave size.

I dont want to inflate my ego by saying i'm a big wave rider as i'm not, i know when to bottle it, and thats because we dont often get very big wave days. So dont get the experince to go for it.

Just know i like 6' waves, head high, 3' hawiian or what ever and some good wind to go with it.
Cheers

User avatar
liv2surf
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:50 pm
Local Beach: Waddell Creek, Scott Creek, Miramar-Half Moon Bay, Coyote Point, Pillar Point Harbor-HMB
Style: waves & foil
Gear: Cabrinha Drifters 7, 9, 11. Firewire Dominator surfboard (quad), no straps. SS SpacePickle adapted to foil (LF Foilfish foil), two foot hooks, front and back.
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Central Coast, CA
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Postby liv2surf » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:42 am

I am also a lifelong surfer, originating in California and Pacific Northwest, who has also surfed all over the world including Hawaii, South Pacific, Europe, East Coast US and Central America.

For me, it is the face of the wave that you primarily experience, it is what you drop into and ride, it is what you face and paddle over and it it what slaps you if you don't make it. While backs can be quite impressive, they are less important than faces. I judge the face heights by anatomical measurements ankle, knee, shoulder, head, overhead (OH), double OH, triple OH etc etc based on the height of a surfer such as myself standing and riding the face of the wave. I live 5 minutes from Mavericks so we also use 4x OH, 6xOH etc etc. I believe this is a very relevant and functional scale. It's what I do.

just do it
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 676
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 5:26 pm
Gear: Airush Varial-X, Airush Apex
Brand Affiliation: Airush
Location: Bavaria
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: how to measure a surf wave???

Postby just do it » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:24 am

macca wrote:Me and a work mate are havinga debate over how big waves are measured.

hes a surfer/kiter, i'm windsurf/kiter

I say from front, bottom (flat) part of wave to top, logo high about 2m.
He says Hawians measure from the back of the wave, flat to top.

Any one have a definitive, world adopted way.

Cheers
my waves are all ways 3' higer than his :wink:
Just measure it from the front. Base to top of the lip.
The way they suppositly measure in Hawaii is just a big macho show off thing.
There are some waves which have almost now back to them like the crazy wave in Tahiti. It might be 3-4m from the front but the back is almost none existant.

Rogue Wave
Frequent Poster
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:18 pm
Local Beach: Wasaga Beach Ontario Canada
Style: None
Brand Affiliation: Rogue Wave Custom and Jimmy Lewis boards.
www.roguewaveboards.com
www.jimmylewis.ca
Location: Wasaga Beach Ontario Canada
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Postby Rogue Wave » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:05 pm

I think Halomon has said it best ;)

I've been thrashed by some pretty large waves -- when you're in the impact zone, a 15 footer feels BIG!


Return to “Kitesurfing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 48 guests