Since it's so hard to successfully ride a barrel wave on a longboard, shouldn't you just always bail when they show up? Unless you have fewer than 5 points in your score pile, I mean?
That's what I always do when I have points to protect, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
And, just double-checking--you can do that, right? You can bail before a barrel wave makes you wipe out, right?
Just depends on your play style as well as the game state at the time really. For instance, if I NEED to get a higher score than what I've currently got on my longboard and the end of the game is close at hand I'll be more likely to risk the barrel. On the other hand if it's early in the game I'm more likely to bail.
And yes, when the barrel card shows up you will have the opportunity in the next Advance / Play phase to choose either the Ride action or the Bail action prior to flipping the barrel wave card over.