Presents studies of gabion revetments, including a theoretical analysis, after summarising previous work on rubble mounds. Considers the momentum flux of the impacting wave jet and its destabilising effects. Laboratory wave tests were made for slopes of 1:4 and 1:1.5 for a variety of waves and different modes of failure were encountered, downslope slide predominating at steep slopes, with uplift or buckling at flatter slopes. Thin mattresses showed a pronounced tendency to buckle. Experimental assessment of material behaviour and toe stability. Two prototype revetments were designed and constructed in accordance with the proposed design rules.