One of the places my friend took me that felt quintessentially Southern California was Venice Beach. Even though it was windy, the place was mobbed with tourists and locals alike. You can do ANYTHING there- get evaluated for a medical marijuana prescription for 40 bucks (what a racket!), buy a yummy corn dog, and spend quite some time watching the skateboarders.
Dogtown and Z-Boys was about LA's skateboarding culture in the 1970s. A bunch of kids skated in neighbors' emptied pools, and you can totally see how (if you could do it!) skateboarding in a pool would be a ton of fun.
I practiced using the "burst" feature on my camera, taking multiple pictures in quick succession. It was still hard to catch these kids in flight.