Marzeddu, A., Gironella, X., 2013. Impulsive wave loads on rigid structure, an experimental approachWithin the European project ‘Hydralab IV', HyRes we aim to improve the characterization of wave loads on rigid structures and the associated response by carrying out some laboratory experiments. Wave loads on rigid structures are divided into quasi static loads and impact loads. If the physics of quasi-static loads due to waves is well known, this cannot be said the same for wave impact loads. A comprehensive method to design maritime rigid structures under impact loads does not exist yet and the actual design method suggests avoiding scenarios where impact loads can take place. In the last decade, some laboratory experiments have been carried out; however some questions remain still unanswered. The use of different sensors can lead to significant changes in the results and an “exhaustive comparison” between dissimilar types of sensors has not been done yet. Even the magnitude of these forces can be underestimated during a laboratory test just for the choice of sample frequencies which are too low. This paper describes the experiments performed on a small scale flume at UPC on a scaled vertical breakwater in order to compare the results of pressure transducers and force load cells. Moreover, a high frequency sampler (up to 20 KHz) was used in order to understand the importance of sample frequency on the magnitude of the results. A simplified scenario has been set up in order to make the data analysis easier.