Offshore wind turbines on floating platforms will experience larger motions than comparable bottom fixed wind turbines—for which the majority of industry standard design codes have been developed and validated. In this paper, the effect of a periodic surge motion on the integrated loads and induced velocity on a wind turbine rotor is investigated. Specifically, the performance of blade element momentum theory with a quasisteady wake as well as two widely used engineering dynamic inflow models is evaluated. A moving actuator disc model is used as reference, since the dynamics associated with the wake will be inherently included in the solution of the associated fluid dynamic problem. Through analysis of integrated rotor loads, induced velocities and aerodynamic damping, it is concluded that typical surge motions are sufficiently slow to not affect the wake dynamics predicted by engineering models significantly. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.