Surfers speak a different language when talking about the ocean and surf conditions. The surf reports that surfers use to gauge ocean conditions can get confusing to the beginner. So, below is a surf height chart to help illustrate wave heights according to body scale:

General Surf Height Measurement Scale:

  • 1 to 2 ft surf is typically knee to thigh high.
  • 2 to 3 ft surf is typically thigh to waist high, with some chest high sets.
  • 3 to 5 ft surf is typically waist to head high.
  • 4 to 6 ft surf is typically chest to head high occasional 1 ft. overhead.

Anything above 6ft. is considered to be overhead. As wave sizes increase higher than 6ft. so does the measure of how many feet overhead the waves are. 6 to 8ft. surf is said to be 2 to 3 feet overhead. Meaning that the waves are 2 to 3 feet above the surfers head.



Medium to Large Surf Heights

Once wave heights reach 9 to 10ft., the surf height is said to be double overhead or 2X overhead. Meaning that it’s 2 times as tall as the surfer riding it. This is medium to large surf. Once wave heights reach triple overhead or 3X overhead, it is considered large surf, and begins to spark the interest of big wave surfing enthusiasts.