Surf instructors properly teach beginners and groms how to jump off the back of the board safely. But they should teach beginners (especially heavy adults who can afford 10 ft. classic longboards) how to bail when they are riding the white water straight in at Mach3 and a bunch of guys are paddling right at them. Kicking your board straight out as you demonstrate a proper butt flop isn't the best option. Maybe they should teach how to surf where no one else is.
Im someone that always runs to the smaller uncrowded spots. Mitchell has gotten me into a few of the more popular breaks lately and I have to say even though it looks crowded to me from the beach I have been able to do ok and still catch a few without much hassle.
I used to sweat the crowds when I first moved to Jax. Now I know a bunch of the guys when I paddle out, so it's not crowds so much as meeting up with friends and acquaintances. That being said, when school lets out, game over.
Oh yeah, congratulations on being the 1 millionth person to post about crowds Waternerd. At least you owned it.