There are a lot of angry socal locals, but I moved to SD from OC MD 8 years ago and never looked back. Surfed everyday since. I visited SD and looked around the coast. I chose to live in OB in city and have never moved out. OB is super loc'd out and there are a ton of heads in the water, but we have like 17 reef breaks that go freaking ballistic all winter. I have been surfing points and reefs for 2 straight months now. And hit the OB beach breaks all summer. I chose OB because its 5 minutes from downtown San Diego. And in a metro area of 3 million, there are a **** load of jobs. I run a restaurant in La Jolla and have been hiring people all year. We have never been busier. So, its all how you look at it. I miss the east coast because of family, but im wet everyday out here all year pretty much. You can hit the beach any time of day when its convinient and surf. You can surf more ideal conditions in the AM, but there are evening glassoffs. Point is, the surf doesn't dictate when and where you can surf like back east. There is litterally always somewhere breaking around here.
So, again, SOOOO many people just foreclosed out here, and all my east coast transplant friends are all long gone and back east, so for once, the past 2 years with the baad economy, the only people moving in here are Military. So, now is a perfect time.
Not that we need another person and all =), but again, im no angry local. There are so many waves out here, if you are bitter and sh**, you are doing something wrong. Wake up earlier, or whatever... there are always spots with a smaller crowd.
PM me if you would like any specific details, I know everyone on here won't want me to tell you about all the "Secret Spots" out here like blacks and swamis =) They hate it when I ruin the secrets of the most surfed stretch of coastline in the country.
Check out Dana Point. I'm 16 years old and I'm not intimidated by locals anywhere. My friends' single mom just moved across the street from the parking lot for Strands beach. Judging on from where they moved and what she does for a living, it's affordable and you can roll out of bed and be at Strands and a walk away from Salt Creek (my beach). California is definitely different from the East Coast. I moved here from Jersey. Check out Dana Point, inland from Newport, San Clemente ( Cristobal Street, north of the pier, or even on the other side of the freeway), Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, and Laguna Niguel. Please check these out you'll like them. Have a great move!