The hydrodynamic behaviour of an oscillating wave surge converter (OWSC) in large motion excited by nonlinear waves is investigated. The mechanism through which the wave energy is absorbed in the nonlinear system is analysed. The mathematical model used is based on the velocity potential theory together with the fully nonlinear boundary conditions on the moving body surface and deforming free surface. The problem is solved by the boundary element method. Numerical results are obtained to show how to adjust the mechanical properties of the OWSC to achieve the best efficiency in a given wave, together with the nonlinear effect of the wave height. Numerical results are also provided to show the behaviour of a given OWSC in waves of different frequencies and different heights.