The whole "when in doubt , don't go out" definitely applies here. Know that there's no shame in knowing and acknowledging your personal limits. I've been surfing for 15 plus years, and I know that when it's 3 ft overhead and draining barrels in Jersey, at my age I don't have the skill set for it, and I will either get worked risking injury or just plain not have a good time. If you look at the ocean, and you're initial reaction is one of trepidation instead of stoke, then skip it and know that the smaller, beginner friendly days by far outnumber the heavy expert only days.
Plus, if there's a crowd of guys, and they are all visibly above your own beginner level, skip it as well and find another spot... no one likes a turd in a punchbowl.