it is very much true as super fish said, that when we get a big swell, it really separates the crowd out. Generally, the less experienced will be on the shoulder watching most of the time when it is solid.
except for me! i am no where near as good as most of the locals but i am not some kook who doesnt know the deal
For me it is alot like the others have said. If it is clean size is really not the limit, then it would be croud, usually at that size is not a problem, then it come to the paddle out and how on my game I am feeling.
When it is slop like a washing machine head high or so (6' +) is usually the limit. Also depends on how my game is feeling.
When we get a sizable wave in around here it can be pritty powerfull!! But stick to you confort zone and push the limit some. The more you go out and size up some when you can the more you and your abilities will grow.
If your heart starts pattering too much then it's too big. I'lll remember what a expierenced surfer said too me while waiting for a bus in Cobano to Mal Pais last year when I was starving for any and all information. "Always respect the ocean, and if you get a feeling that today is not the day, then it's not the day for you my friend, pura vida."
Never underestimate the power of the ocean and always be aware of your surroundings...With that said a long paddle out will make me think twice if I'm not feeling 100 percent, and if the wave is twice as big as my board...
if you have only surfed a few times this year, you must not surf that often to begin with, even if you do have a merrick. my advice to you if you are new at surfing and the bigest waves you caught before were waist to chest high, head high is probably your limit, especially getting into the fall/winter storms when it packs a bigger punch then the summer time mush. anything over head high you probably shouldnt enter the water because most likely dont know the ocean well enough and the conditions that go along with bigger waves...in other words it seperates the boys from the men and the idiots from the experienced
I've been surfing for about a year a half to two years and hanna on sunday was definately my biggest, and favorite day surfing. Big clean faces and long rides, it was worth fighting a couple of people of a wave to get one that broke at the end of the jetty.