The key is this, says Mickey Munoz: “Surf between the cracks.” That’s it. Easy.
You’re working with two controllable elements here: Time and geography.
Surf at odd times of the day and your world opens up. Dawn patrols are for people who want to be cold, tired, and surfing in a crowd that gets bigger as time goes on. Far better to surf at sundown. Not an hour before sundown, but sundown itself. There’s generally an hour or so of surfable light after sun hits the horizon, especially in the summer. And unlike the dawn patrol, surfing at sundown gives the stress-relieving enjoyment of a crowd that thins with each passing wave.
Surf down the beach. Find a secluded beachbreak. This spot will not be on a map. It may not have a name. It likely might only barely be recognized as a wave. It might be on the inside section of an already C-list surf spot. But, you can rely on being alone there, and you can do a few turns, fly down the inside speed-track, maybe do a head-dip or get a cover-up.
What it comes down to is priorities. If your aim is to get wet, if it’s to do a few turns, or if it’s to “be alone with the surf and your thoughts,” well, you can do it, but you have to be willing to sacrifice to get it. Speed for solitude. Consistency for contentedness. The choice is yours.