Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-13-13 2:58 PM (EST)
confused, with lots of rebound waves (clapotis) from the rocks, but otherwise, I would not call these big waves. In fact, I've done surf practice with novices in larger waves.
That the water had a lot of rebound waves, however, makes a rescue rather difficult. The cameraman rolled up no fewer than three times and did so pretty easily, so I can't fault his rolling skill.
I didn't see the camera on the paddler who lost the paddle, so I have no idea why that paddle broke. It would be nice to have that and see if he was bracing or trying to roll up. If rolling, there may be a technique issue there (or an old paddle :)), since it doesn't take that much force to roll or brace a boat.
Once the paddle failed, all bets for a reasonable rescue got a lot more difficult. As pointed out already, it would have been nice if at least one of them had a backup paddle.
I would love to take the moral high-ground, but I can't since there were times I didn't carry a backup paddle, either.