The horizontal exchange of momentum due to the organized motion in combined waves and current has been analyzed. The combination of the vertical orbital wave motion and the mean current gives a periodic variation in the horizontal velocity in addition to the wave orbital motion. This periodic variation, combined with the wave orbital motion, gives a significant contribution to the momentum exchange. Two examples are considered, the interaction of a pure wave motion and a current normal to the direction of wave propagation, and a wave driven longshore current with an undertow velocity profile. It is demonstrated that the new contribution changes the resulting momentum exchange considerably. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.