If you go to N. LA you will have insta friends! No, seriously. You will.
I know approximately 15 people that live in that area that all go to mt high/bear/mammoth/baldy/wherever on the weekends. Your best bet would be to live closer to the ocean and hit the resorts on the weekend as a carpool rather than trying to get in 2 hours of night skiing.
Pasadena, La Canada/Cresenta, Burbank, Echo Park, Mt. Washington. All very nice areas (although going north or west of Burbank freaks me out a bit cause of all the breast implants).
Back to the surf in the morning thing. If you want an affordable surf community, south bay (Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach) would be a prime area to live. I used to work in Manhattan Beach and I love that area. Furnished bedroom rentals were going around $600, unfurnished around 500/550. The surf isn't quite as great right there, but it is good enough that my boss some how did it every morning. And with Long Beach, there are likely some solid job prospects since that area is being massively rehabilitated right now.
If you want to feel like youre in the california version of NYC (but on a much smaller scale)... Downtown LA is super affordable right now with less time in traffic since you can take a train pretty much anywhere and your commute would likely be leaving LA rather than trying to get into LA. That and a lot of cool things are moving into downtown. The fantasy factory, the berrics, 686 just moved in... Shepard Fairey lives there. Skate shops everywhere. B4BC is there now. Seems the skate seen is slowly shifting into LA. But... you may not be into that at all.
Anyway, lots of good neighborhoods. If you are still thinking about corona, at least go north... Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Clairmont, Montclair, La Verne, Chino Hills (not so much Chino)... lots of lovely places.