In summary, here's some big surf safety tips:

CheckmarkNever turn your back on the ocean! - Mai huli `oe i kokua o ke kai!
CheckmarkSwim at beaches with lifeguards
CheckmarkCheck with lifeguards for conditions
CheckmarkRead and observe posted sign warnings
CheckmarkWatch children carefully. Hold on to the younger ones.
CheckmarkWatch the surf for at least 15 minutes before entering the water
CheckmarkNever attempt to swim at the water's edge during big surf
CheckmarkNever surf or bodyboard in big waves unless you are an expert
CheckmarkNever rely on your board or leash as a substitute for your swimming ability
CheckmarkNever swim in big surf if you are not a strong swimmer
CheckmarkDo not drink alcohol or do drugs and swim
CheckmarkKeiki, "Newbies" & "Grommits:" Watch out for your own and others' surfcraft if/when you wipe out
CheckmarkIf In Doubt, Just Stay Out!