yes I hate those situations too. I enjoy surfing alone so much so if any a**hole was in the water and started yelling at me or giving me a hard time, I would just get out and find a spot down the beach to surf. however, if there were a lot of people I knew in that spot, then I would just stick with them and steer clear of any crazies.
I honestly had nothing to be sorry for. I was taking off deepest in the wave. BUT, I can see how the sorry thing could work since it probably would just diffuse the problem. You guys have some good points though. I've been thinking about what happened and the chance is I'll probably never run into these aggros again since I've never seen them before. I honestly hope they never come back, because I believe in coexistence. I think what I should have done is just smiled and paddled away, because talking to these guys was like talking to a brick wall.