^^^ THIS ^^^ Best option for sure.I'd argue it: The current was pulling you to the pier and you were obviously trying to get a wave to come in and walk back up the beach. PLUS you would have wound up UNDER the pier had you tried to paddle all the way in so too the best of the two options you had available to you--taking a wave, even bellying it in is way quicker and easier to get to your reference point on the beach because you can make more lateral headway while heading in. There were no fishermen on that side of the pier because only an idiot would try to toss bait up-current and up-wind and another pier fisherman would correct them very quickly in the event they did--so you thought you had a little room. You don't carry a tape measure with you surfing and due to the drift and angle to where the marker is on the beach (we have red pilings, I assume you have something like that) it was very hard to judge your distance and you thought you were at least 250' from the pier. Lastly, there were skimboarders swimming and riding waves UNDERNEATH the pier who the officer didn't seem to care about.