i took a picutre the day noel moved out the wave was i would say around 12ft but theirs no refences in the photo
Assateague was breaking very nicely on Saturday late afternoon of the Noel swell. Offshore winds and breaking on those outer bars. I would say averaging 8-10' with semi-regular 12' sets to keep you alert. No crowds!
Let's apply some wave science. A wave can only be as big as the water is deep in a particular location. As soon as any wave feels the bottom, it breaks, so a 10 ft wave will start breaking in 10 feet of water. How deep is the bottom where that wave is pictured?
AKA Teahupoo doesn't break unless its about 3 ft high
Its not how big it is to how deep the water is.
A lot more goes into it, like Micah said, period is the driving factor.
Why do think that tsunamis have such a big impact? A tsunami's period is usually 2-5 minutes as opposed to a swell's 20s (on a bombing swell)
Basically, as Micah stated, in his fancy formula, wave starts feeling the bottom of the ocean much farther than just where it breaks. When the wave starts feeling the bottom of the ocean, it'll start to slow down (again tsunamis travel over the ocean extremely quickly, moving at rates upwards of 200mph... ) When the wave starts to slow down, the period length shortens drastically, and then the wave starts to be formed.
Again, in relation to a tsunami, this wave with a 2-5 minute period is moving so fast, but is only a few inches above normal. This is MUCH lower than any swell that you'll be attempting to ride, which is easily seen through the buoys and open swell height.
Now when this wave slows down, the wave builds... tremendously if the period is 2-5 minutes, and builds... and builds until eventually the wave height is as it should be for the given area. An area that has a dropoff (deep waters to very shallow water drastically) will see a different type and size wave then a continental shelf will (like the East Coast) because the shelf is a lot higher, a lot farther out. This is why you'll see places jack up real quick. Usually over reef or other random ocean floors or the west coast.
Take teahupoo for example, when the wave hits that reef, the wave just jacks up and becomes heavy. The quicker a wave builds the heavier it will be, obviously, because for the front of the wave, the period is dramatically slower than the back, which is still pushing with a pretty good driving force.
Now, you understand how a wave travels, why it becomes ridable and how it builds. Now you want a barrel... of course!!
A wave begins to barrel when the back of the wave is still pushing faster than the front of the wave. AKA the period in the back is still longer than the front (which is the case for every wave coming to the shore) however, which you've all probably noticed, a wave with a 5 second period is crap. Why? Because theres no driving force to it at all. So when you get that 5' swell with a 10s period, chances are you'll be having a blast getting shacked, but a 15' swell with a 5s period, you'll be getting back into your cozy bed.
So when the wave has a good period, it'll mean much more than just the size of it.
As for what this relates to the biggest east coast wave, well spots that have breaks that break far from the shore (like spots stated, OBX, Manasquan, etc...) will be able to hold and give a ridable wave that is dramatically larger than one that is breaking on shore... simple as that.
Jesus christ re-title this thread "Claims Thread". I feel like I am in Pac Sun listening to a bunch of 12 year olds talking about the 20ft waves they caught at Rehoboth Beach. That Tim wave was during Ernesto, all the "surfers" were either watching from the beach in OC or in a cluster **** of 300 at North Side.
I'm not sure if you are joking or trolling. If that is Frisco it looks like about 100yds and 6 to 8 foot (and very nice).
The shots deceptive. shot with a wide angle lens 18mm.Nic lugo,Chris Joyner and a few others would say it was pushing 20' I'm sure. The waves breaking at the pier where 2+ft over head.I have pics somewhere of surfers in str8 up hands over they're head barrels.
I'm not claiming nor joking. It's fact.And it IS Frisco pier.
I don't know about 20' on that picture, the way the wave is breaking makes it look large, its got that big mess of whitewater, falling, not even barrelling anymore... this wave doesn't looke 20' but I'm sure there were some that was...
Ok. I just want to chime in with what I know of Manasquan. The way the inlet there is set up. The point beach side, holds a decent swell and will break good on a pretty big sized swell. That being said, with compared to point, Manasquan's beach is set back... an extra 500ft. So all those photos you see of Jenks going off 200' past the end of the jetty, its about 400-500' offshore... the same distance is gonna be between 900-1000' offshore in Manasquan... You tell me, but I'm pretty sure that a big wave can be held there that far off shore. Thats not the only photo I've seen of waves breaking that high onto the rocks on either side of the inlet, and I personally have seen waves that big crashing inside the channel of the inlet...
I'm not gonna say these waves are ridable... but there has definitely been 20-30' waves in Manasquan...
just one thing to note, i've seen manasquan break much smaller than that near the tip of the jetty. Depends how much sand has been moved around. And remember that was taken before they dredged squan so it broke much different than it does today. It's a big wave though, somewhere in the 20' range