I’ve had it happen to me both ways. I’ve been on a surf trip where I rented a car so that I didn’t feel trapped surfing the only spot closest to my hotel or hostel, and ended up surfing just that spot the whole time and having a blast. On another trip, I chose not to waste my hard-earned on a vehicle only to have the spot out front from the hotel go flat as a pancake while places around (that I couldn’t access) were pumping. Point being, mobility is great when you need it and a waste of money when you don’t.
The only solution, as far as I can tell, is a mobile accommodation that’s stationary when you need it to be and mobile when it’s time to explore. Granted, mobile hotels aren’t anything new – one couple even created a moving hostel out of a bus! – but there’s something to be said for a pick-up-and-go adventure while on a surf trip.