A vertically-integrated nonlinear dispersive wave model in nonorthogonal curvilinear coordinate system is used for simulating linear and nonlinear wave forces on bottom mounted circular and elliptical piles. The wave model is in terms of the contravariant velocities hence the wall condition for arbitrarily shaped objects is satisfied accurately and easily. As basic test cases, computations of linear wave forces on vertical cylinders of circular and elliptical cross sections are compared with the available analytical results. Cnoidal waves incident on circular and elliptical cylinders are also simulated for different wave steepness ratios and wave shape parameter values to observe the effect of nonlinearity and wave form. Comparisons of linear and nonlinear force coefficients and relevant discussion are presented in closing. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.