I have been going to a lovely beach on the Oregon coast (Agate Beach near Newport) to work on surf and bracing skills. My beach is all sand for a half mile or so each way, with no logs, large rocks or other obvious hazards. Just that big, cold Pacific Ocean out there.
I go into the surf near the shore, where waves are typically about shoulder or head height and practice my bracing skills. I can spend 2-3 hours playing in the same spot, getting whacked by big waves, surfing a little bit, and ocassionally capsizing. My roll/capsize ratio was 5/8 or 60% this afternoon which is a very good number for me!
Usually when I swim, I'm in quite shallow water and the boat and I are on the beach in a few minutes. On one ocassion today, I swam and got separated from the boat in deeper water. I have a great respect for that big object in the surf and usually try to keep a healthy distance away from it so that I won't get beaned. I was dismayed to see the (very expensive) boat appear to head out back into the deep water for a few minutes, it took a while for the boat to wash in.
My question to the thread is in the event of a capsize in the surf, should I just swim away from the boat and let the surf bring it in, or try to get on the outside (seaside) and hang on and come in with the boat?
I realize that there is no single right answer. Are there scenarios where the boat can get washed OUT to sea? I have a tremendous respect for the power of these waves to project a large object at very high speeds ....
BTW, I know that I should take lessons. I wear very warm clothes and a hard shell on my noggin. I don't have any surf buddies but don't want to let that stop me from learning. I would welcome some company.