No one likes to admit defeat. Especially when money is involved. This is probably why many blackjack player for-go the option to surrender when the house rules allow for it.
But what a good blackjack player has to keep in mind is the overall picture, not just one round. What surrender does is let you out of a hand that you are more than likely going to lose, for half the cost.
When a player decides to surrender, he makes the decision when his turn to play comes. He can either surrender or play out his hand. If surrender is chosen, he loses half of his wager and surrenders his cards