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  1. #1

    Question about wave heights

    need some help here in deciphering the surf report, fellas...
    coming from the islands, we tend to have a different version when it comes to wave sizes. for instance, a 3-5 ft surf with the occasional 6 ft sets would be a double overhead. here on the east coast, when sites like swellinfo and magic seaweed calls for a 2-3 ft surf, is it really 2-3 ft, as in 24-36 inches before it breaks, or after, or something else?
    be taking a trip to OBX next week, and just trying to get some idea on the place.
    mahalo

  2. #2
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    here on the ec 5ft means 3ft.2-3ft means flat.its basically the opposite of Hawaii.for instance,it says waist high today but check a cam,its flat

  3. #3
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    On the east coast, when the report says 2-3ft it is usually around 2-3ft. Meaning 6ft would be about head high because the average head is about 6ft high. It is reporting the size of the breaking wave. I've never really understood how or why a double overhead wave would be reported as 6ft but maybe just because I grew up on the east coast and we rarely get big waves.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Dog View Post
    I've never really understood how or why a double overhead wave would be reported as 6ft but maybe just because I grew up on the east coast and we rarely get big waves.
    Because it's moronic. There's plenty of places that get as big as hawaii that don't report wave heights like that. California reports it just like the east coast.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shark-hunter View Post
    Because it's moronic. There's plenty of places that get as big as hawaii that don't report wave heights like that. California reports it just like the east coast.
    maybe they just want to make seem like bigger waves to scare away hoales or maybe they are super methed out and they think the wave are bigger.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sandblasters View Post
    maybe they just want to make seem like bigger waves to scare away hoales or maybe they are super methed out and they think the wave are bigger.
    it's actually the opposite, sandblaster. hawaiian scale makes the waves sounds like it's smaller that what it is, ergo 6ft=double overhead. i've heard a lot of explanations on why it's called that way. but the one i'm partial to is that the measurement is taken after it breaks...
    thanks for the explanation on the east coast version, mad dog

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by cepriano View Post
    here on the ec 5ft means 3ft.2-3ft means flat.its basically the opposite of Hawaii.for instance,it says waist high today but check a cam,its flat
    it certainly wasn't flat today, my friend...had a blast, winds died down a little.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunjer View Post
    it's actually the opposite, sandblaster. hawaiian scale makes the waves sounds like it's smaller that what it is, ergo 6ft=double overhead. i've heard a lot of explanations on why it's called that way. but the one i'm partial to is that the measurement is taken after it breaks...
    thanks for the explanation on the east coast version, mad dog
    your right idk wtf i was thinking ha i forgot it was the other way around

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koki Barrels View Post
    it certainly wasn't flat today, my friend...had a blast, winds died down a little.
    Agree...its wasn't clean but there were some nice lefts coming through this morning. if the WSW @5-10 wind forecast comes through for tomorrow morning, it could be clean and pretty fun.

  10. #10
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    Wave heights are measured off the back in purest terms so it's about half the face or so. Here is a great article about it http://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/8...ght-in-surfing. The more common way of stating wave height now is by the face or surfable area so 6 ft would be head high to a 6 ft person.