i just moved from the nags head area of the obx and ill tell you the cane swell is nuts down there. its about the only time your ever gonna get decent(i use thart term loosely, decent to us is paddling through rip tides and washing machine chop just to get chest high waves) waves that arent all the way down in hatteras during the fall. the surf is so inconsistent alot of the locals around the obx took up skimming. since more often then not theres tons of good shore break year round.
60 was bareback-able out on the east coast and for some reason we'd only get a week of 65+ degree water temps all sumer and fall. but we ate it up. you'd caravans of peeps riding up and down NC-12 trying to find where the best break was for the day.
We'd probably get a couple days a year of epic surf and that was enough to keep us happy for a while. i cant imagine what its going to be like to get out in the water out here and surf a consistent spot.
im in north LA county whats one of the better breaks to surf around here? trrust me i wish i was further south but for the time being this is where im stuck at
that first barrel in that video was unbelievable... can't believe that dude made it out.
north bay in LA county is full of mostly beachbreaks... hit up the santa monica or hermosa pier for the more consistent waves and avoid the rivermouth in playa del rey because the water gets gnarly there. if you want the better reef breaks you're going to have to head west to malibu on PCH or south into palos verdes for some sweet point breaks.
of course, LA is highway heaven so if you have the time and money hit up the 405 to orange county or take the 101 to ventura. if you don't have a wavefinder guide i suggest you get one because it will save you a lot of time exploring your new digs
I was born in Santa Cruz county but raised in north Jersey... so I'd say I'm familiar with waves on both coasts. California definitely has the consistent swell going and pretty much all the major metropolitan areas are right on the coast. You can go have a good session whenever you please, really... as long as you have a nice quiver built up.
The east coast... I would take a clean hurricane or noreaster swell over clean combo swell here any day. The waves in the Atlantic are much more glassy and tend to wall up over the sand and it makes for fast, intense drops and BARRELS. If it's one thing about surfing NJ or NC that I remember most is how freakin hollow it gets when it's good. Crowds are more sparse, the vibe is much cooler in the lineup, and yes east coasters are way more passionate about their waves. They come around so rarely and when they do everyone shares them and has a good time... not like that out here. When it gets good, the local crowd will flip everyone else off that they don't recognize.
So basically I'd have to say on a day-to-day basis I prefer to live in California where I can surf whenever I want and the weather is always pleasant. But on the other hand, the things that are gnarly out here (douchebag locals in the lineup, crowded take-off zones, lots of beginners, etc) the east coast lacks. Living in NC I really didn't mind driving 2 hours to get to the beach because when I got there I was stoked to find clean waves almost all to myself and it wasn't uncommon for me to be in the water for 4-6 hours without even realizing it. People talk to each other in the lineups and it was normal to go out for a beer with a stranger after it got dark. Out here there's definitely more kooks and bullsh.t to deal with. Although yes someone said it before the west coast caters to surfers while the east coast does not.
It's a toss-up I guess... if you like to surf every day then you want to be next to the Pacific. But if you're in it more for that satisfying feeling you get after it's been flat for a month and then it blows up to 4-6 ft heaven then the Atlantic is the place to be. I like to surf daily so I'm here now... but hell if the east coast was consistent at all I'd certainly rather be back in NJ with the majority of my friends and family.
You've got to be joking - NJ & NC better than California - what are you smoking? Sure a day or 2 here and there produce some nice waves (during Aug/Sep, especially in the OBX or rocky point breaks in New England) but day-in day-out the West Coast trumps the East Coast - its all science - the geography, ocean shelves topography differences, weather, swells in the Pacific vs Atantic, etc. Also it seems like the entire history of surfing culture is pretty much in CA (w/. HA and AUS thrown in for good measure). I wish NJ for surfing (and weather) was better then CA, unfortunately for me, it just isn't.
haha i smoke a lot... california trumps the east coast in tree too chances are the girl you bought your coffee from this morning or the guy walking his dog that you said hi to on the way back to your place had a rip or two just like you
but for real you are correct california obviously has waves every day while the east coast does not. it is science - weather patterns move across our planet from west to east so west-facing coasts tend to see more energy for a longer period of time, no matter where you are. i was just in the philippines for 2 weeks and the locals there reminded me of east coasters in the states - waiting for storm systems, skim boarding when it's flat, etc. west coasters have waves all the time - i get it.
STILL, i would take one glassy 3-5' NJ barrel over days of 4-6' walls of water here in SD any day. the lineups here are crowded, so any good peak you see has all kinds of people waiting for it to roll in. i'm also the kind of person who tends to lean towards man-made waves (jetties, piers) than natural waves (reefs, beachbreak) so i guess i'm a little biased. although my favorite kind of wave is a point break but all of them usually tend to be ultra crowded around here when it's good. it's all a matter of opinion.
i feel for you east coasters who have been checking the ocean every day only to see it's completely flat. there really are waves here every single day. either right out front or nearby. but there's something about the ruralness of spots in carolina, the jetties in north jerz, and the overall hollowness of the typical east coast beachbreak that ignite me. that's why i fly to NJ or NC at least once every year again i smoke potent stuff so no bashing plz thx
i lived in ob at the corner of newport and santa barbara for a couple years in the late 80's. it was nice to go out every day and get some waves to ride, jet noise aside, get ice cream at olaf's ( is it still there) and buy some screens for my bowl at the black before i walked back up the hill...ahh. the good ole days.
today i did my 50 mi one way trip to north HB from the IE to find no waves other than blown-out sand busters, but the day was sunny (albeit a bit windy, 65 F) so a nice walk to the surf shop to get wax and some new booties made the trip worth it. it is rare that the weather is so horrible here that surfing is impossible, and while i hear tell the water gets VERY warm even up northeast in the summer (72 is unusually warm water up here for summer) the temp here rarely falls below high 50's even in winter, so it's just a bit more bearable on a regular basis. as for territory issues, the city beach alone is 3.5 miles, bookended by bolsa chica's mile or two and HB state beach another couple of miles, no private property...there's a lot of territory to spread out. i can't imagine having to fight crowds and ordinance for sporadic beach break...yikes. btw, if i want snow, i drive 20 minutes to baldy or 45 to big bear, but i don't have to shovel it to get to work.
theres never waves in jersey, there has been under 6 days of rideable surf since christmas , = 6/37 days have been rideable yewww , not counting the other factors, such as work, and school. so even on the 6 days of swell, you only get to surf the last 2 hours before dark if your busy that day with work or school then your beat. The other day was great waist-chest ocas Head sets , how can you ever enjoy surfing here you surf one day have so much fun think your improving your surfing but then the next 3 weeks are flat, this happends too much.