kumbaya attitude?? come on guy... i'm sick of hearing people who've been surfing on the east coast for "12-15 years" as you say, complaining about how every summer has gotten worse and worse. weather is weather, and trying to blame the waves on global warming is absurd. the southern hemisphere indeed gets better waves, namely b/c a much larger % of it is ocean, thus more room for fetch and increased swells. case and point would be pacific coast of central america, say, for the last 4 months. i can assure you i have no "kumbaya" attitude towards surfing during the summer, but there are plenty of things you can do to "improve you performance" as you say...aside from the obvious of riding smaller boards, go skating...skate some bowls or hills on a tiny piece of wood and i guarantee that will increase your turning ability in the water. plus it's fun as hell....and if you can;t find things to do to stay in shape other than surf (so as not to be "blindsided") then i feel sorry for you..
as far as equipment, i ride a 6'1" thruster and a 5'9" twin fin, and i've been surfing everyday the last week just about. yesterday in CB we had stomach high waves all day, with some chest high sets. i probably got about ten pretty fun rides, and would've gotten more if the longboarders weren't taking off on everything... (btw, swellinfo was dead on with its forecast - props there) if you're in SC, then yeah, you get gutless surf 95 days out of 100....probably more. anyway, my point is that complaining about it is fruitless, particularly if you've been surfing the east coast for 15 years...you should know what's up. i've only been surfing for 3 years, and i would say this summer has been better than last...the flat spells have probably been longer and worse, but i think the waves have been better when they've been there. obviously i'm being a little semantic here, but, if people want to complain about not getting rides, and keep referencing CA and rippers that move out there....then why don't you move out there??? just be glad for what you do have....