If it washes you and your kayak back onshore ...................... in 2 different spots, it's probably too rough to launch.
I usually don't launch when it is rough enough to wash over the bow of my kayak. I don't like to go out wet, I want to get wet out there from dragging in fighting splashing fish and not from breakers 3' from shore. That just isn't my idea of fun.
i've been out it some pretty hairy stuff as long as you get past the breakers the fishing is pretty easy..be careful on the recovery though..i lost a gaff and a pair of pliers on the way in on my last trip to navarre beach..
I usea 2-foot surf forecast or more as a no-go rule if that helps. If I show up and the surf isrolling I won't do it. (anymore) It is just not worth it to me.I have been there and done that, believe me. Even if you do manage to get outin big surf in the morning the surf usually builds in the afternoon and youwill most likely get dumped. Coming in is a lot easier to get dumped that going out. One of the worst parts is getting sand in your reels. (Of course, almost drowning in a rip current, almost breaking my leg, losing costa sunglasses and other stuff and breaking my kayak isn't that great either.)
It depends on your kayak and your experience. And I'm definitely still learning (see my post about rolling a week or so ago...). Above knee deep on me (waist deep on most other people...), usually makes me nervous in my yak.
After a few times you'll probably just "know" by looking if it's too rough. I usually get a gut feeling, which I ignored that other day and got flipped for it. I've since become a fan of leading the yak out by holding onto the bow handle. And then coming in, bailing behind the breakers and swimming the yak in to shore.
Thanks for the inputs. I went out the other day and was pretty intimidated. The waves were waist high. I attempted and was almost instantly rolled off. I tried one more time and decided it was ridiculous for me, especially with my minimal experience. I haven't given up though, I will hit again only with a smaller surf and hopefully build some confidence and experience.
You're yak is short and maneuverable enough (12ft if I recall...) try stripping all the gear off and go out for a play-day. Try catching some waves and just have some fun in it without having to worry about losing any gear.