Also, getting gas in the middle of the day on the water can be a biyatch (long lines) at least up north, like at the Buckskin.
We generally thought the water up around there was better; one spot we like was the stretch basically between the Roadrunner and Buckskin.
Last couple time we went, at least, the traffic never really died down enough in the evening for really good boarding (at least nothing like how great it is in the early morning).
I think the water's pretty safe, just keep to the middle on your first run through an area, and do be more carefull in the morning, especially if it's a weekday (like he said, way lower water level).
Also, I'm sure there are worse places, but middle of the afternoon on a weekend is crowded and drunk, so be careful.