There is maybe one person I know who has the presence of mind and physical strength to do this in surf. I was talking about less challenging conditions, bumpy water that could create a capsize without the added thrill of undertow and rip currents and large rock surfaces coming at you.
And there is what you mention - by the time a paddle is secure enough to make it thru the surf, there is a decent chance it'll be a bear to rip off in the time you need.
My own limited time in surf resolved to only one paddle solution - hang onto your primary paddle no matter what.
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
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