If the lineup were crowded, I wouldn't go out at all or if there was something surfable further down that is always my option. Because of my experience level I don't bother with moving into the crowded lineups at all. It wasn't ridable or breaking further down beach that day, so there were no other options at IR that day (does it even break there at all anymore?). 3 people is not a crowd, it really was the difference between the advanced rude/selfish guy catching waves every 5 minutes if he were nice and patient with myself and this other guys vs. sitting to our right (looking to beack) 10 ft, then seeing a wave coming earlier than we did, paddling around us to take nearly every wave every 2 minutes and snaking us out. If he surfs everyday he's already lucky and blessed with lots of wave riding enjoyment, and someone like me who live 200 miles inland and can only get the enjoyment to surf a few times a year to be blocked out all together. I always respect and cater to the better surfer but there has to be some give and take so everyone can enjoy.
I used to play indoor volleyball for a decade or so. I played at an intermediate/advanced level. We'd have open nights, and when newbies showed up, we'd kindly let them fill into the teams for a few games. Sure it brought down the enjoyment level some for the more experienced guys, but we didn't tell them to get lost or refused to let them play because their skills sucked. After a few games, we kindly asked them if they minded sitting out for a couple games just so the more advanced guys could play a higher level game or 2. We'd even help coach them less experienced ones so their learning curve improved and made it less stressful for them. I don't know why that same civil philosophy can't work for surfing.
sure, surfing is just like indoor volleyball. lol. do you work? i'll assume you do. how do people usually react when somebody with limited interest/experience walks through the door and gets, and or expects, the same pay/benifits as those who have been around a while and paid their dues?