In AZ we swam in everything, canals rivers lakes and pools because it is so damn hot. Going to Cali, the ocean currents can kill you. I am rather thin but I can float forever.
Went to Kaui'i and the calm warm salty water I could barely dive below the surface it was so bouyant. First time I
snorkeled. Couldn't believe it I thought Cousteau was fantasy.
And it was right there, you wouldn't know looking from the beach. Went in November rainy as hell, beaches empty waterfalls all around. AZ tourist, go where it rains.
When I was there I saw surfboards on the sides of vehicles but saw no surfers, but they were ready. In CA I saw surfers all year round in wet suits even under the golden gate.