I should really rely on my instinct and knowledge, and like taste in foods, each person like, or should I say pretend to like, certain size of waves. That is not the case with me, I prefer to get into wave with good quality shapes. I even like to surf knee highs if the shape is good, I can often create long rides out of such small waves.
When I go for bigger waves as just a criteria, then it happens like yesterday where I did not ride much instead, rolled and pulled under in close out sets.
Today the swell eased a bit more and it was a lot smaller but the waves popped up at the right size and shape, and I had some fun quality rides.
I am not scared of big waves as much any more. I have been on bigger quality waves where it is double my short stature too, but these are far and few between around where I hang around. Again it is the shape, and the crowd, and not the size that really matters whether I have fun or not.
NW 8-9 ft and not much more than 9-10 seconds and no wind, and when that comes, I know some surf forecast says "small, not fun" but that's when I pick up a short board and head out when the tide is medium. I know there will be fun wave out there just for me.