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Linear random wave theory (LRWT) has successfully explained most properties of real sea waves with the ex-ception of some nonlinear effects for surface elevation and water particle kinematics. Due to its simplicity, it is frequently used to simulate water particle kinematics at different nodes of an offshore structure from a reference surface elevation record; however, predicted water particle kinematics from LRWT suffer from unrealistically large high-frequency compo-nents in the vicinity of mean water level (MWL). To overcome this deficiency, a common industry practice for evaluation of wave kinematics in the free surface zone consists of using linear random wave theory in conjunction with empirical techniques (such as Wheeler and vertical stretching methods) to provide a more realistic representation of near-surface wave kinematics. It is well known that the predicted kinematics from these methods are different; however, no systematic study has been conducted to investigate the effect of this on the magnitude of extreme responses of an offshore structure. In this paper, probability distributions of extreme responses of an offshore structure from Wheeler and vertical stretching methods are compared. It is shown that the difference is significant; consequently, further research is required to deter-mine which method is more reliable.