I live in san diego, so it is damn near impossible to find an empty wave. I do know of a couple though. I go out at a spot on sunset cliffs that is always empty. Its like a 1/4 mile paddle out and a fickle wave. I like surfing that break alone in the summer time. If a nice south swell hits, its really cool to go out alone and see deep into the ocean and play around. I get off my board and swim around... Its nice when all the elements work out for you.
But on the other hand, when the winter comes and its colder water and 10feet plus. I like to have a few guys around. I mean, I have been 1/2 mile out on the 3rd reefs and had the whole lineup cleaned out. There is no more eerie of a feeling than being alone in huge surf all of the sudden.
And in the spring, after there are sightings of 20 ft white sharks in north county, one of which killed a guy last spring, yeah for sure you think about it.
I remember surfing that same day last april. Knowing tha a guy a few miles up the beach was just eaten by a shark. So me and my buddies acted like we didnt even think about it, but every duck dive felt cold and creepy.
SO, as long as there is good surf, I like surfing with others.
And in OB where I live, I have the pleasure of surfing with like 10 guys that are on the QS and can surf pretty ridiculously, so yeah, its also nice to watch other guys techniques. That is how I started getting good at airs and weird tricks... YOu watch these high flying 15 year old super groms for a few days and you will be learning fast.