I retract the rudder or skeg for a surf landing. Usually I deal with nasty surf by allowing the kayak to go into a slow, controlled broach, leaning into the wave, and riding in sideways. Having the rudder/skeg down can easily cause damage when the kayak touches bottom and washes sideways up the beach, or if you wash high up the beach and then start to slide down.
The OP mentioned Freya, on our Iceland circumnavigation she also retracted, but that was an Explorer with a skeg.
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