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  1. #1
    Registered 26scarab's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    st. clair shores mi ,us

    What is the real way to judge wave height ?

    In laymans terms. I read the definition on some weather site and didn't really understand it.

    I always thought that if you took a theoretical (sp) line which would represent the water if it was perfectly calm and measure up or down from there. For instance if the wave was 1ft above that line and 1 ft below that line (to the trough) then you would have a 2ft wave.

    Is this right or wrong?

  2. #2
    Gold Member Gold Member liquid asset's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Haslet, TX,USA
    I'm not sure , I guess everyone has their own way but I thought it would be from the lowest point to the tallest point

  3. #3
    KN is offline
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    Oct 2000
    Gorham, Maine
    26scarab thats my understanding, from the trough to the crest. when the seas are say 2-4 feet 70% of the wave are 2-4'. 15% of the waves are less than 2' and 15% of the waves are higher than 4' with an occasional wave of 6' or higher.


  4. #4
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Steve 1's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
    Beautiful Fort Lauderdale
    Wave Height
    The vertical distance between a wave crest and the next trough.

    Very simple

    Best Regards

  5. #5
    Charter Member #232 Charter Member Audiofn's Avatar
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    Oct 2000
    Carlisle, MA USA
    Yes of course everyone has their own ways of looking at it. Ask a surfer what you all call 8 footers and they will tell ya there are 2-3. Ask some one in Hawaii what those 8 footers are and they will tell ya flat to 1ft. There are many different ways to measure them. If you are measureing rollers ya ussually it is measured top to bottom. If you are measureing the breaking wave non surfers still measure it that way. Surfers measure it vertical face, and Hawiians measure it off the back of the wave. So when I hawaiian says that the bay is going off at 30-40ft that is easier then us saying it is 100+


  6. #6
    Charter Member #232 Charter Member Audiofn's Avatar
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    Oct 2000
    Carlisle, MA USA
    Man that guy is still allive. Kookie Corkey Carol

  7. #7
    Gold Member Gold Member Iggy's Avatar
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    Kissimmee, Florida
    I asked the very same question several months back.
    The answer I got was that it's measured from crest to trough.
    That makes the most sense to me.

    Many years ago I was on a boat trip with my parents and we got caught offshore in heavy seas. We were up on the flying bridge, about 13ft from water to eye level, and could not see over the waves when we were down in the trough.
    My question was, were those considered 13 ft+ waves?
    The answer I got was yes.
    I think I found on a Coast Guard site was that's the way they measure them.

  8. #8
    Registered Jayl13's Avatar
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    1991 41 Apache WarPath!!!
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    Aug 2001
    Boynton Beach FLORIDA!!!!
    I measure it as
    1 nothing
    2 huh
    3 ouch
    4 OH $HIT
    5 S.O.S

    and lets elaborate on that a bit
    nothing is nothing
    Huh is about a 1 foot wave
    ouch is about 2-4 when you land wrong
    OH $hit is when your stuck behind some monster barge and the swells are just rolling along and you get more air than your ever bargained for and most likely break your windshield, all the crap in the cabin is all over the place, the pin for your fridge pops off and all your grub is now all covered in carpet fibers and your beers are all nicely shaken not stirred and you sit there with your buddies and say OOPS

    SOS well lets hope all of us have NO NEED to use that little cool ass microphone you got under your steering wheel besides trying to order a pizza in 30 minutes or less and you are laughing hysterically trying to get them directions

    No it is crest and trough measurments as I always understood it
    but my little fabrication list there pretty much says it all

  9. #9
    Official OSO boat whore Charter Member
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    Oct 2000
    Mequon, WI
    ...and here I was always trying to measure the hang time.

  10. #10
    Registered speedrush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    wave size

    I would try and measure it like if the sea was flat how high the wave comes up above sea level. That is the wave heigth and the bottom of the wave is just under normal sea level. But that is just me opinion on how I would do it.

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