How to Skateboard in LA – Best Skate Spots

how-to-skateboard-in-la-best-skate-spots

Los Angeles has long been the mecca of skateboarding and for good reason. Skateboarding as a sport and an industry was born in Southern California, specifically with the DogTown skaters in Venice Beach – a city in Los Angeles near Santa Monica – and remains as a cultural hub and landing spot for future pro skaters.

But as skateboarding has evolved and gone on to see its four wheels touch down on all corners of the globe, Los Angeles is still home to some of the best skate spots in the world.

So in order to make your skate trip to LA as amazing as possible, we’re going to provide you with a skateboarding guide to Los Angeles, highlighting some of the best skate spots and places to skate in the City of Angels.

We’re also going to give you some general tips from our GOSKATE instructors who teach in LA – so you know the safest, most productive and fun ways to GOSKATE in LA.

Best Street Skating Skate Spots in Los Angeles

With Los Angeles being 72 and sunny nearly 7 days a week and for 365 days a year, skaters have flocked to this metropolis for decades to explore its neighborhoods finding some of the best skate spots in the world.

However, what a lot of people don’t realize is, unlike a city like New York City which is built upwards, LA is built outwards. You can hop in a car and travel 50 plus miles in any direction from the center of the city and still be in Los Angeles county.

With so many suburbs and smaller cities within the LA umbrella, government buildings, schools, universities, and public areas host iconic skate spots with unique architecture.

In order for you to know the best skate spots in LA, GOSKATE presents some of the more accessible and well-known skate spots for your skate trip to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles High School

Los Angeles High School, known as LA High, is famous for its brick banks surrounding the outside of this mid city highschool. Over the years, skaters like Anthony Van England have made this spot iconic with banks stretching for over an acre of varying sizes. Some of them you can only skate like a bank or ramp, others are low enough to be skated like ledges. The sounds of the brick beneath your wheels is one of those feelings every skater needs to experience when coming to LA. Inside the school, there are also more skate spots, including a large 4 blocks, a giant white bank over a dirt gap, and the remnants of other famous skate spots (the iconic handrail) that are no longer with us.

Address: 34°03’23.3″N 118°19’57.8″W

Mid City, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Hollywood High

If you’re reading this you might be thinking, I can’t skate the famous Hollywood High 16 stair handrail. And hey, we wouldn’t blame you. But nonetheless, this famous skatepark is worth seeing in person. With so many iconic tricks making people’s careers on this special piece of pavement in Los Angeles, you’re literally stepping into skate history. Additionally, the whole school has plenty of ledges, manual pads, stairs and other obstacles throughout its grounds. While during the school day you will most likely get kicked out, the outside of the school has a few of these obstacles, including the 16; so no matter where you are in your skate trip you’re bound to get a glimpse of the historical Hollywood High.

Address: 1601-1611 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA

USC University Ledges

Obviously, the majority of these skate spots are going to be legendary, they are in LA after all and have been in some of the most iconic skate videos ever made. That being said, the USC ledge spot is probably the most beginner skater friendly spot in terms of space, flat ground and enough skating area to not be in anyone’s way. The USC ledges used to span a large area but have since been heavily skated, preventing making only a handful of the skate spots still perfectly skateable. But with such a large area and so many tricks going down at these famous curved ledges, we recommend you check them out.

For a bonus: check out the USC Rose Garden ledges right around the corner.

Address:3390 S Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA

West L.A. Courthouse

Everyone has heard of “the courthouse” but the problem is if you type in Santa Monica courthouse, you’ll find yourself a few steps away from the beach with no ledges in sight. That is why you have to make sure you plug in the West L.A. Courthouse and hopefully soon, as rumors surround this area as being on its last year or so before developers move in. As of now, the West L.A. Courthouse has a giant iconic manual pad and a huge area full of ledges, kickers, and alongside whatever locals bring to the iconic la courthouse, there’s the famous fountain with banked ledges and a manual pad. Make sure to bring water and wax as this skate spot, although it feels like a skatepark, doesn’t have the typical skatepark amenities.

For a bonus, there’s the nearby Stoner Skate Plaza to warm up at before or after the session.

Address:4261010908, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA

JKWON Plaza

JKWON Plaza is a ledge skaters paradise, with some of the best marble ground in Los Angeles and a complex skate plaza with varying ledge sizes. Ever wonder how JKWON got its name? Well, apparently the plaza is located at a Korean radio station called J-K-W-O-N. This is also why you generally can only skate there on Sundays when it’s closed. Locals joke around and say they are gathering there for church, as a healthy group of skaters are there every Sunday morning til dark. This is also one of those skateparks in Los Angeles you’re almost guaranteed to run into a few pro skaters. While it might not be the most beginner friendly spot in LA, if you like to skate ledges and are looking for a real authentic la skater community – head over to JKWON on a Sunday.

Address:3700 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA

Griffith Park Ditch

If you’ve ever been to Los Angeles, skater or non-skater, you’ve probably heard of Griffith park. It’s home to the Observatory, Hollywood hike, and other tourist attractions your mom would like to see. So it’s worth mentioning you can squeeze in a few LA things if you’re not local when skating this spot. This spot is also a bit hard to find, considering it’s at the end of two dead end roads that take a specific navigation to get to. This spot has several things you can skate, including its two humongous iconic banks pro skaters have been stacking clips into for decades. 

There is also a large snake run through the channel that leads to two banks of ledges. While some of these obstacles require serious skill, there’s also a mellow bump to curb, flat gap, and the snake run can be skated at with varying speeds depending on your skill. Nonetheless, there is also a large grassy area for people to BBQ and picnic, so it’s a great skate spot to bring friends to enjoy a day skating and vibing. Highly recommended by our GOSKATE students and instructors!

Address:Mineral Wells Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

Santa Monica Slappy Curbs

Santa Monica has a plethora of skate spots but many skaters say these slappy curbs are their favorite skate spots in Los Angeles because of how beginner friendly they are. What used to be a really famous spot due to the sand gaps and ledges (which are still there by the way) has risen back to fame but for its curbs with the resurgence of curb skating. These curbs are curved from being skated so much, which makes them really easy to slappy onto and skate through. With some street lights nearby, the spot is also partially lit at night. You can skate the curbs from both sides, making it super fun and easy to pop over from one side to another. There’s also the ocean literally just a hundred or two feet away, making it a great hangout spot to skate and catch the sunset. The only issue with this spot is it can be hard to find parking and even if you do, you generally have to shell out a few bucks. But a few bucks to skate this spot comes well recommended by our GOSKATE instructors and students alike.

For a bonus spot: check out the Santa Monica Triple set right up the boardwalk!

Address:2600 Barnard Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA

Street Skating in DTLA

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Downtown Los Angeles as a whole for a skate spot you should skate when in LA. Because the rest of the places on this list are locations you can get in your car and drive to but DTLA is an entire playground of skateboarding for you to enjoy. While there are famous skate spots still in Downtown LA like Belmont, Wilshire 15, Staples Center, Carwash Banks, etc., etc., you simply are not guaranteed to really be able to skate these spots without getting kicked out by security.

Our GOSKATE instructors from Los Angeles relayed to us that doesn’t mean downtown isn’t still a great place to skate. You just have to skate around the entire city, going from spot to spot and not worrying about when you get kicked out. Just go to the next one. When skating around, there’s so many spots you’ll be certain to accidentally stumble upon some. And that’s a really fun part of skating in Downtown Los Angeles.

Here are a few spots in downtown worth checking out:

  • Los Angeles Courthouse Ledges
  • Staples Center
  • Carwash Banks (Knobbed)
  • Disney Hall Music Center
  • Department of Water and Power
  • Belmont 9 Stair
  • Wilshire 15 (Knobbed)
  • Los Angeles Public Library
  • Pershing Square

While we wanted this guide to be skate spot centric, we know a lot of you also want to skate at the best skateparks in Los Angeles. While we have the largest skatepark directory online, we also have a dedicated article to the best skateparks in California

However, we don’t mind bringing a few of the best of the best into the fold for you to check out right here, right now. After all, many of these skateparks have replicas of iconic LA skate spots.

El Sereno Skatepark

El Sereno skatepark is first on this list for several reasons: the first being it has lights and a tennis court in the foreground where local skaters have built DIY skate obstacles. So technically, if you’re skating in the front, which also has a huge gap and two sets of handrails for the gnarly ones, you’re skating at a skatespot. Inside the skatepark is a plethora of street features, with handrails, ledges, manual pads, flat rails, and a prominent stair set right in the middle. There’s a few quarter pipes but they are mainly for keeping the flow of the park. There’s a famous open book ledge in the middle as well and the skatepark is known for being a local skatepark for a ton of pro skaters.

Address: Klamath St, Los Angeles, CA 90032

Stoner Skate Plaza

We had to include Stoner Skate Plaza on this list because it’s so close to several of the skate spots we listed earlier. While this skatepark is famous for its huge open design, skaters can enjoy a mix of ledges, manual pads, hubbas and handrails, with unique bank and ramp designs sprawled throughout the park. Not everyone will like how popular this skatepark is, with so many people coming to skate this amazing skatepark. But there are certainly obstacles to skate no matter if you’re a beginner or one of the local pros. That’s sort of the beauty of skateboarding in LA. You’re in an ecosystem of skateboarding, pros and regular joes. That is also why we recommend booking a GOSKATE instructor for your visit to Stoner Skate Plaza, making sure you and your loved one are being taken care of and operating in the space the safest and most fun way possible.

Address: 1835 Stoner Ave #1801, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Venice Beach Skatepark

Venice Beach Skatepark is arguably the most iconic skatepark in LA. But many skaters will find it intimidating to skate there with all the crowds of people watching. We’re hoping this little breakdown gets you more prepared, because it is a really fun skatepark with a ton of obstacles to offer. This is probably the closest thing you’re going to get in LA to a halfpipe with the Venice Beach Skatepark transition features. A snake run leading to several bowls outlines the park, with two larger bowls adjacent to the street features and snake run. There’s a four block and a stair set that land you into wave quarter pipes and a handrail that sits next to a double set stair set. This skatepark is not beginner friendly. It’s meant for advanced skaters who can deal with the hustle-and-bustle of one of Los Angeles’s most iconic skate spots. Oh yeah, did we mention you’re literally skateboarding on the beach? You get to enjoy one of Los Angeles’ most iconic beaches, sunsets, and skateparks in one breadth. Lucky you!

Address: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Vans Off the Wall Skatepark Huntington Beach

Now there is some debate whether or not Huntington Beach is actually an LA Skatepark but for the sake of the greater Los Angeles area and for your trip to LA, we’re putting this amazing skatepark on the list. With everything a skate could want to skate: ledges, hubbas, manual pads, handrails, ramps, quarter pipes, and a huge flatground area and snake run-type flow of the park, this Vans Skatepark continues the legacy of great skateparks in Huntington Beach.

Address: 7471 Center Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Zane Foley

Zane Foley has been writing professionally since 2014, since obtaining his BA in Philosophy from the California State University, Fullerton. Zane is an avid skateboarder and Los Angeles native. Follow him on Instagram for links to his other published works. @zaneyorkfly