Los Angeles County's surf is as diverse as its population. From big-wave bays to the most gutless longboard reefs, LA has all the bases covered. The span from Point Mugu to Santa Monica faces almost due S, and its beaches want solid S and W swells to transform them into surf spots (although WNWs do wrap in to some nooks and crannies). W swells generally have no problem in producing quality surf along this stretch of coast. To the south, from Santa Monica to Rancho Palos Verdes, the coast bends into a WSW-facing direction, thus picking up loads more swell than anywhere else in the county. Winter swells are funneled directly into the Palos Verdes Peninsula, thanks to a deep-water submarine canyon, thus the large seasonal reef surf here. The Long Beach area is basically shielded from all swells by the Peninsula and the gargantuan breakwall.
In the years before the breakwall was constructed, Long Beach was a great place to be a surfer. As a whole, Los Angeles County is as consistent as Ventura and picks up a tad more swell than San Diego and Orange counties, especially in the South Bay and around the Palos Verdes Peninsula. However, with the exception of the Peninsula and the area north of Santa Monica, most of LA is beachbreak; you can cruise for hours looking for a wave that holds up longer than five seconds. But, summer or winter, you can almost always find a decent wave around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which is essentially the crown jewel of LA surfing, apart from Malibu. Onshore wind is a problem on more-westerly-facing beaches, as it usually begins like clockwork at about 11a.m. unless there's a storm.