The Cali guys must get a kick out of the old NJ vs FL thread.
Funny you mention it. I am from Long Branch NJ and have surfed a lot of east coast breaks including Florida (both north and south) as well as the OBX (just cape hatteras, rodanthe and frisco pier), wrightsville and carolina beach NC, and south carolina (the washout and all over myrtle beach). Now, I live in California because I had a chance and just went for it.
I have to start by saying the worst surf is in south carolina. Never anything worth mentioning or photographing (and definitely not worth living there)...
Brings me to the next point, California beats the east coast overall just by having the most rideable days year round (rideable i define as head high or bigger) the longest you wait inbetween swells is no more than a week. but NJ on the december 21rst doomsday swell as it was nicknamed was the best barrels I have had all year, by a loooong shot. Mind you, after I surfed the doomsday swell (I was lucky to be home from college on winter break) I returned to california and road tripped all the way up north to santa cruz to do some bigger wave surfing.
Florida is fun, but I enjoy cold water, so I vote NJ. I did have a slight laugh reading this forum, but not in a bad way, I just remember living in the east and debating who gets the best waves. Itīs whoever receives the brunt of the storm. Every storm has a new track, giving new swell to waves in different regions all over the east. There is a wealth of great point breaks up in the northeast region between nova scotia (for the avid travelers with time and money) and plenty more down ending at Montauk.