Yea, those jersey head to 1-2 OH days can get gnarly and take some beatings. Have to be quick and paddle hard with that extra 10lbs of rubber in winter.
Is it just me or are the barrels on some bigger winter SE swells heavy? regardless if its Jersey or not, some of them give you a real pounding..plus the rips are stronger..that taught me how to prepare and get in shape for that season.
Surf Portugal regularly usually in September and chest-head high is normal and sometimes Supertubes gets double OH and that place is no joke with sand bottom--heaving barrels and serious beatings. But head high is enough for me at that place.