From the experimental studies in recent years, it has become known that when a wave breaks directly on a vertical faced coastal structure, high magnitude impact pressures are produced. The theoretical and experimental studies show that the dynamic response of such structures under wave impact loading is closely dependent on the magnitude and duration of the load history. The dynamic analysis and design of a coastal structure can be succeeded provided the design load history for the wave impact is available. Since these types of data are very scarce, it is much more convenient to follow a method which is based on static analysis for the dynamic design procedure. Therefore, to facilitate the dynamic design of a vertical plate that is exposed to breaking wave impact, a multiplication factor called "dynamic magnification factor" is herein presented which is defined as the ratio of the maximum value of the dynamic response to that found by static analysis. The computational results of the present study show that the dynamic magnification factor is a useful ratio to transfer the results of static analysis to the dynamic design of a coastal plate for the maximum impact pressure conditions Of P-max/gammaH(0) < 18. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.