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The set of hypotheses calling for bar formation at the break point was tested with field data. During two different experiments, waves were measured across the surf zone coincident with the development of a nearshore bar. We use a criterion, based on the wave height to depth ratio, to determine the offshore limit of the inner surf zone. During the first experiment, the bar became better developed and migrated offshore while remaining well within the inner surf zone. During the second experiment, the surf zone was narrower and we cannot rule out the possibility of break point processes contributing to bar development. We conclude that bars are not necessarily coupled with the break point and can become better developed and migrate offshore while being in the inner surf zone landward from initial wave breaking in the outer surf zone. ?? 1989.