Swimming out is fun and relatively easy as you jump over the waves or dive underneath them. This is exciting and challenging.
The real skill in getting back to shore safely. If the surf is moderate, ride in on a wave by swimming forward with it. Dive to a shallow depth to end the ride just before the wave breaks.
In high surf, try to swim toward shore in the trough between waves. When the seaward wave approaches, face it and submerge. After it passes, swim toward shore in the next trough.
If caught in the undertow of a large wave, push off the bottom or swim to the surface and proceed toward shore as above.
This should only be done as a last resort as there is a risk of injury.
If you must land on a rocky shore, look for a place where the waves rush up onto the rocks. Avoid places where waves explode with a high white spray. Swim slowly when making your approach. You will need your strength to hold on to the rocks.
After selecting your landing point, advance behind a large wave into the breakers. Face toward shore and take a sitting position with your feet in front, 60 to 90 centimetres (2 or 3 feet) lower than your head. This position will let your feet absorb the shock when you land or strike submerged boulders or reefs.
If you do not reach shore behind the wave you picked, swim with your hands only. As the next wave approaches, take a sitting position with your feet forward. Avoid small crags where your feet could get stuck. Repeat the procedure until you land.
Climb up as you would on land on a rocky hillside.
Keep your feet close together and your knees slightly bent in a relaxed sitting posture
to cushion the blows against the rock.