Measure the Height of a Wave Accurately? One Drone Company May Have the Answer

Given the world’s easy access to all human knowledge, it’s often tempting to feel like everything has been discovered. Yet an objective way of measuring waves has remained elusive. A new drone company claims to have found a solution.

Given the ever-increasing number of claims from surfers about record-breaking waves, the need for a proper measuring tool becomes apparent. For example, it took over a year for Guinness World Records to confirm that Sebastian Steudtner surfed a 26m wave in Nazaré in October 2020.

Called Henet Wave, the startup has announced a drone-based method for obtaining “objective” measurements of waves in real-time.

A recently released YouTube video shows the company’s first demonstration of their drone technology in collaboration with surfing pro Andrew Cotton.


This new technology, if successful, could modernize surfing competitions.

“Henet was conceived late one night in 2020 in an office overlooking the Soup Bowl in Barbados,” according to the company’s website. The Soup Bowl is a popular surfing spot on the island’s rugged east coast.

“An article debated the XXL female wave of the year entry…[whether] the surfer needed to complete the ride in order to win the award. To us, the bigger debate should have been the ability to differentiate between a 73-foot wave and a 69-foot wave using subjective methods. Henet was born.”

Henet Wave drone

Henet Wave’s ‘aerial buoy’. Photo: Henet Wave

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.