I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my halves...
this just happened to me. outside set came, first wave broke infront of me so i got under it. 2nd wave right on my head, ripped my board out. 3rd wave i said F it and dove to the bottom, came up to a snapped nose. so pissed. always try to hold onto your board.
from the comments on the site listed on pg. 1, (surfing handbook.com/knowledge/duckdiving)..after the article, the part by Dave D. sets the tone:
"otherwise, trying to hold your board under big snarling whitewater is just going to get it ripping uncontrolling out of your hands, you may get a torn shoulder ligament or cut by a fin, or knock you unconscious..."
The last time I tried turning turtle under a smaller but still overhead and powerful wave, the board hit me above the forehead, put a cut ding in the epoxy and gave me a slight concussion.
Aside from the circumstances where the number of people in the water at the time meant that such things could happen, and that this set was sort of a sneaker, not a whole could have been done. Luckily no one was hurt.
Looked at another way, surfing DOH waves is a little like sailfish, swordfish or marlin fishing. It's called big game fishing because like big game hunting, there's a chance you could get killed. You take your chances.
Doing just about anything is better than bailing in a situation like the OP's. If you bail, your board is left at the surface to be picked up by the wall of whitewater and it will promptly snow plow into the guys behind you. A turtle roll or even a duck dive, that you know won't be successful, will at least get you and your board under the initial wall of white water. While everyone will probably still end up near each other, there is less chance that there will be a hard impact between fiberglass and their faces.
But the ocean can throw a lot of curve balls. Sometimes it's just not your day and sh1t happens.
Double overhead you are ditching and diving as deep as possible.
A) I think the days of true DOH clean beach break days in Low Country will be few and far between, but yes out here it is FAR more dangerous to be in a crowd at a beach break.... so when the numbers get too high, its time to move down the way a bit.
B) In CA where DOH are common place in the winter, no one really surfs beach breaks... There are two beach breaks that I would surf in true DOH conditions... One is North PB and the other is Blacks... Aside from that, once its 6ft+ every beach break in town is a closeout and although you can maybe snap a nice wave here and there, the detonating conditions and various sets sizes never plays out... Out west, you simple go to a reef break or a point... And the scary thing about that is: I.E. Sunset Cliffs... You can paddle out on a 15+ft day through a channel and make the lineup with dry hair... No duck diving. I know the ins and outs of a few spots and it is a LOOOOONNNNG paddle, but you NEVER deal with the realities of the wave sized until you are in the lineup... With that being said, it creates a very confusing environment... Everyone gets really comfortable out there... start to pack together, jocking each other for position on the set waves, but then BAM, that rouge puppy starts coming and everyone realizes that they are basically on top of each other and then sh** happens. People get stuck in someones line that is riding the sets, cant get out of the way...The last minute scramble and dump.... It gets really bad when that happens cause everyone gets too comfortable...
I think back here on the east, if you are dealing with a true DOH scenerio, just the wearwithall to get out in those conditions and hold your ground already has everyone on their toes and they are ALWAYS paying attention. The currents, the drifting, the peakiness, the unpredictability of the beach breaks we have to surf... I feel like its cant be too common to be in a serious crowd out here in DOH conditions... which is true 10-12 foot surf....
Furthermore, this is no bash at swellinfo, but if you guys ever put in a surf report, it breaks down what the wave sizes are, and for instance, It considers waist high to be 3 feet. To mean, waist high is 1 foot. 3 feet is a solid head high wave face when you are riding... So there are many factors to consider, but based on the rational of this website and many east coast surfers it seems like, a true double overhead day here would be about 15 feet by their standards....
You know how there's always a dude that's like "hey bro, do you have any wax?" I've seriously had one dude ask me if I had an extra leash on a big day.