you guys are making this more difficult than it really is. When you wear a wet wetsuit, that junk is heavy. When you get your sh*t packed when it's cold, it flushes, and that sucks. Therefore, you have this mental battle of not flushing, but your duck dives and drop in's suffer because you are too heavy, and you get pounded even worse. Also, I have found that most good days in the winter have stiff off shore winds, so wave faces are steeper and more water is moving around in the impact zone (rips, whirl pools, etc). You also don't get the chance to ease into a wave in those stiff offshores, so you end up going for broke on every wave, which often translates to eating more sh*t. (or getting deeper!!)
Put it all together now... it's cold, and you are heavy. Cold off shores are holwing making for vertical drops. You blow a drop because you are too heavy and slow and now you are stuck inside. The next wave comes, just as vertical, just as cold, and just as heavy. You are scrambling to get some momentum going, while catching your breath, and you throw down a half ass duck dive. Stop, repeat, make the walk of shame, try to blame it on science.
Oh, and I think that the CR logic sucks because I took the worst wipeout of my life in costa rica. Water in costa rica can feel "soft" to the touch because of the high salt content. Go ride anything over head high in Playa hermosa and come talk to me about the waves being soft.