We’re excited to present to you our latest GOSKATE editorial series, where we choose a major city and give you the most complete guide on Skate Parks, Skate Shops, and Skateboard Schools. This editorial series will describe in great detail how to not only learn how to skateboard but to continue to foster your passion and become a flourishing member of the local skateboarding community.
We’re going to provide the best local skateparks, local spots, best places to learn how to skateboard, including the best skate camps and skate schools. We will also be detailing travel tips for skaters and their loved ones planning a skate trip to some of the world’s most popular skate destinations. Providing our readers and skaters the most comprehensive skate guide to major cities.
First up in our series we have San Diego, a city rich with skateboarding history and home to some of the world’s best skateparks. With such a rich skate heritage and being one of the first incubation places for skateboarding, San Diego embraces skateboarding arguably more than any other city.
That is precisely how San Diego’s embracing and supporting of skate culture has produced some of the best skate camps and skate schools in the nation.
Additionally, GOSKATE has quite a bit of friends in this sunny Southern California city and look forward to teaching you how to skateboard in San Diego.
In this article, we’ll be covering in great detail:
- Where to Skateboard in San Diego
- Review of Skateparks with Addresses
- How To Learn How To Skateboard in San Diego
- Local Skate Schools and Skate Camps in San Diego
- Travel Tips for Skateboarding in San Diego
Where to buy Skateboards and Skate Equipment in San Diego
First things first, in order to skateboard GOSKATE is going to get you rolling in the right direction and list the best places to buy skateboards and skate equipment in San Diego. Naturally, we’re going to list the top skate shops in San Diego, which luckily for their economy, hosts quite a few. We’ll also add some options for ordering online from the best of the best.
465 17th St, San Diego, CA 92101 & 6585 Osler St, San Diego, CA 92111
Slappy’s Garage is considered by many to be the number one skate shop in San Diego – and for good reasons. To say the least, having two locations at 465 17th St, San Diego, CA 92101 in downtown and 6585 Osler St, San Diego, CA 92111,in Linda Vista; Slappy’s Garage might be the most recognizable. Their Linda Vista location is right next to the infamous Linda Vista skate park, making sure to service the local skate community with the best skate product available in San Diego. The core of the skateshop operates with one thing in mind, to keep the San Diego skate community rolling. The skate shop also screen prints their own shop inhouse, something few and far between in this day in age. That means they are for San Diego, made in San Diego, and serve San Diego in the most literal sense. Both their locations are open from 11am to 7pm.
Carlsbad – Fashion Valley – Belmont Park –Mission Beach – San Clemente
We had to include Sun Diego boardshop as one of the best skate shops in San Diego county. In addition to selling the best skateboard and surf gear and apparel, Sun Diego has several convenient locations located in the greater San Diego area. Voted “Best Surf Shop” nine times by the San Diego Union Tribune readers’ poll, the skate shop has also held the title of “Retailer of the Year,” and “Women’s Retailer of the Year.” Wow! Sun Diego Boardshop invites you to check out their Go Skate Day events on June 21st every year. The iconic board shop has also produced some amazing full length skate videos with some of San Diego’s best pro skaters! Here are their locations in no particular order:
Carlsbad Twin Inns
2978 Carlsbad Blvd #120
Carlsbad CA, 92008
Belmont Park / Mission Beach
3126 Mission Blvd Suite A
San Diego, CA 92109
7007 Friars Rd #844
San Diego, CA 92108
4465 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92122
101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa Ste 562
San Clemente, CA 92673
Westfield North County
200 E. Via Rancho Pkwy #179
Escondido CA, 92023
756 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Opening its Southern California doors in 1989, Pacific Drive Skate Shop has the unique honor of being San Diego’s longest standing skate shop. Named one of the most legendary skate shops of all time by Thrasher Magazine, San Diego’s Pacific Drive Skate Shop is known for their impact on skate culture. The owner Jim, has supported the careers of several professional skateboarders, two of which, Danny Way and Sean Sheffey are some of the most legendary in skateboarding history. Pacific Drive Skate Shop is also known for their awesome shop gear, making their own hats, beanies, shirts, boards and hoodies. Your favorite skate team has visited this San Diego Skate Shop at some point in their careers for a demo or a team signing. The Pacific Drive Skate Shop is near Pacific Beach, and not too far from the San Diego Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and the happening nightlife of Downtown San Diego.
Ocean Beach Surf & Skate
4940 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107
Ocean Beach Surf & Skate has been providing the local Ocean Beach community with the best skate gear and skate equipment since 2000. Ocean Beach Surf & Skate also offers surfboard rentals and skate camps providing beginner instruction and teaching students fundamentals. Ocean Beach Surf & Skate pride themselves as teaching young kids the history of skateboarding so as the future is well informed on the heritage that came before them. The skate park is also near the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Ocean Beach Farmers Market and the OG Surf Lodge. Ocean Beach, just like the Ocean Beach Surf & Skate, is known as the “OB” and for its hippie-laid back vibes and off the beaten path experience. If you need a new complete or a history lesson in San Diego skateboarding, stop by the Ocean Beach Surf & Skate.
4645 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109
Soul grind is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and stands as the quintessential mom and pop skate shop in Pacific Beach, San Diego. They are known for their excellent community service and treating their customers like family members. What is also especially rad about this Pacific Beach, San Diego skateshop, is they have a collection of vintage and modern skateboards documenting the evolution of skateboards. Soul Grind Skateboard Shop is also near the San Diego Zoo, Mission Boulevard and Kate Sessions Park. Belmont Park, Balboa Park, and a host of sleepy surf beaches are also right next door to this Pacific Beach skate shop.
5151 Santa Fe St C, San Diego, CA 92109
Far too often we talk about skate shops and forget to mention their owners. But for SK8Supply in San Diego, it’s impossible because this southern california skate shop was founded by two legends: David Anderson from skateboardcollector.com and Debbie Gordon of G&S Skateboards. The two wanted to start a business around their passion for skateboard collection and have amassed skateboards and skate knowledge from the 1960s to today. In addition to providing the San Diego skate community with the best skateboards and skate equipment, the infamous skate shop doubles as a living skate museum, making it a must stop shop for any skaters who are coming to San Diego.
Unable to come to San Diego to buy a skateboard?
Have no fear, GOSKATE has our beginner skateboard package readily available to get you rolling in the right direction. Using our Free Skateboard Size Calculator, we’ll provide you with a fully assembled ready to go complete skateboard sourced from the best skate materials in the world
Where to Skateboard in San Diego
San Diego might feel like one big skatepark by the beach but there are actually some of the best skateparks in the entire world in San Diego. Everything from skater-built freeway skateparks, indoor world-class training facilities, to the best Street League and X Games skate parks contracted by the famous California Skateparks, San Diego truly has amazing places to skate. San Diego also has some of the most legendary skate spots ever seen in skate videos. We have all of these in one place for you to check out as your number one supplier on everything skateboarding in San Diego.
Review of Skateparks with Addresses
1410 Vantage Court, Vista California 92081
San Diego truly has one of the best skateparks in the world when it comes to the CA Training Facility, a skatepark so amazing its street and park courses play host to the X Games and Street League Qualifiers. That being said and even with the skatepark being more than capable to hold pro contests, the CA Training Facility can be booked out by anyone for private parties, skate lessons, and events. They also have an open skate most Fridays from 4pm-7pm for the cost of $25. Skaters can enjoy a plethora of flat bars, banks, and quarter pipes leading to stair sets and rails in the street course. Big bowls, huge quarter pipes and roll ins can be enjoyed on the park side of the facility. All of which is indoors and complete with ample seating and viewing for parents and photographers. The CA Training Facility is near Lake San Marco, Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park and the overall San Marcos, North County San Diego county area
6893 Osler St San Diego, CA 92111
Linda Vista is one of the most celebrated skateparks in not just San Diego but California and the Western United States in general. Nestled on Osler Street, is right in the heart of the Linda Vista neighborhood just south of Clairmont and north of Mission Valley. You can take the 805 to the 163 highways to enjoy this amazing skatepark built to give skaters the advanced skills to go pro and potentially make it to the Olympics. Known for its overhanging bridge for parents and spectators to enjoy a birdseye view of the skatepark and its red ledge liners throughout the park, the Linda Vista skatepark is iconic and easily recognizable. The terrain is a great mix of street and transition, with beginner and advanced obstacles of all shapes and sizes. There is also a local Slappy’s Garage skate shop off Osler Street, right next to the Linda Vista Skatepark. Making it a perfect addition to our How to Skateboard in San Diego skate directory. Oh yeah, did we mention this amazing skatepark has lights with operations hours from 9am-9pm?
429 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024
If you ask any number of skateboarders which skatepark is the best skatepark in San Diego, many of them will say “Poods” park –otherwise known as the Encinitas skatepark. This amazing skatepark is from the era of San Diego’s commitment to creating skateparks with skateboarder input, designed with California Skateparks with 100% skater design. That’s why so many skateboarders love the flow and positioning of the skatepark’s obstacles. Flat bars, volcanos, bank to ledges, pools, bowls, stairs – you name it – Encinitas skatepark has it. This skatepark also plays host to a number of skate contests, including the all women and non binary Exposure skate contest. There is also a backyard pool nestled in between beautiful palm trees, illustrious red cement and a staggered series of levels that makes this skatepark feel more like a street spot. A highly, highly recommended skatepark to book a 1-on-1 lesson as well. The Encinitas Community Park, and the Encinitas Dog Park are right next door for a day of family fun.
Washington Street, Pacific Hwy US 101, San Diego, CA 92101
Washington Street Skatepark is one of the most iconic skate parks in the world and truly speaks to the DIY spirit of skateboarders. What started as a DIY skatepark underneath a freeway bridge, has since cemented itself (pun intended) as one of the most gnarly skate parks in the world. So while it might not be the most beginner friendly skatepark, it is definitely a skatepark every skater should visit at least once in their lifetime. If you are a beginner and want to try to skate its big quarter pipes, drawbridge boxes, and transition obstacles, go as early in the morning as possible. Like most DIYs this skatepark has had a number of council members and city officials attempt to destroy and bulldoze the park, but luckily the San Diego skate community has banded together again and again to defend this skateboarding monument.
Chicano Park, Dewey St & Newton Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Chicano Park is one of the highest rated skateparks in San Diego and deserves to be on this list for a number of reasons. First, the scenery and vibe of the skatepark is awesome, combining the DIY feel of its roots and the later built by the city skate obstacles beneath the scenic freeway bridge. For sunny southern California, the bridge provides cover throughout the year and with the space of the surrounding area, largely uncrowded, provides plenty of flat ground for beginner skaters. With less traditional transition obstacles, this skatepark is geared more toward street skaters and creative skaters versus the other skateparks in San Diego, which is why it is some of San Diego’s best.
Alex Road, also known as Prince Park, is a massive 22,700 square foot skatepark designed by Grindline Skateparks and CA skateparks and features an impressive design of transition and street obstacles. With huge bowls outlined by beginner transition, snake runs, large and small coping, the street section rests in the back and delivers skaters downhill for one of the best flowing skateparks in San Diego. A pump track, a series of flat bars and ledges, euro gaps and overall a bunch of fun cutty obstacles make this skatepark one that will accelerate the skills of local skaters. While there aren’t exactly a bunch of beginner friendly obstacles, this San Diego park is beginner friendly in the early hours of the day and with its huge square footage, there is space for practicing flat ground and the fundamentals of skateboarding.
2525 Bacon St, San Diego CA 92107
Robb Field skatepark looks like something out of a UFO documentary with its series of circular bowls. Seriously, if you take a birds eye view of the skatepark you’ll see what we’re talking about. The transitional obstacles are an homage to skateboarding’s surfing roots, which the skatepark itself is just a few feet from the ocean. It’s a huge skatepark at 40,000 square feet, located right next to Ocean Beach beside the San Diego River Bike path. It is the first skatepark designed by Tony Hawk and the Skatepark Foundation in San Diego, with some of the most unique and potent skate obstacles to date. Beginners, intermediate, and pro skaters will all find this skatepark to be challenging and rewarding for decades to come and truly speaks to the spirit and ethos of San Diego skate and surf culture.
10111 Carmel Mountain Rd, San Diego CA 92129
One of the newer skateparks on this list, the Rancho Penasquitos Skatepark located at 10111 Carmel Mountain Rd, in San Diego, was recently renovated in 2014. Ahead of its ten year renovation anniversary, the Rancho Penasquitos skatepark has a variety of street obstacles today’s up-and-coming skaters prioritize over transition. Plenty of stairs, kink rails, funboxes, banks, flat bars, and ledges are sprawled across 23,000 square feet of radness. Just because this skatepark has so many street obstacles doesn’t mean there are also plenty of transition obstacles for skaters to enjoy, including multi height quarter pipes, corner vowels, spine ramps, and bowls.
6565 Alicante Rd, Carlsbad, CA 92009
Carlsbad is the birthplace of legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, but it is also home to some of the best skateparks. You need not looking any further than the Alga Norte Skate Park on 6565 Alicante road in Carlsbad. This skatepark is famous for its pump track and flow of quarter hips, quarter pipes, manny pads, and surrounding ledges, providing a skater with non stop potential for lines with little to no need to step off your skateboard. The surrounding area has plenty of picnic areas, with a ball field, dog park and much more for the family to enjoy right next door.
Poway skate park is one of the older skateparks on this list but its design and fun factor has stood the test of time. This skatepark is known for its mellow transitions with proven architecture of flow for beginners and intermediates. With a reservoir section, a snake run, square and circle bowls, and nice bank ramps and euro-gaps, this skatepark offers a little something for everyone. They have a multi-ledge and mult-manny pad section for tech street skaters to enjoy and a host of shaded areas for people to take a seat between skate breaks. At 12,000 square feet, the medium to large sized skatepark doesn’t ever get too crowded and although sometimes in the shadow of some of San Diego’s more famous skateparks, it is just as fun, if not more to the local skate scene.
Some of San Diego’s Most Iconic Skate Spots
2324 Chatsworth Blvd, San Diego, CA 92106
There are no 3 words more synonymous with gnarliness than “Leap of Faith.” Known as the biggest conceivable gap in skateboarding, Jamie Thomas made this gap famous when he attempted a mute grab and his shoes and trucks exploded from below his feet. The photo, an infamous non-landed trick, is also just as famous. And when a rollerblader landed in critical condition after attempting the gap, the school built a wall to prevent anyone from attempting it again. But the gap lives on in skateboarding video games and skate history eternally.
You know you must have done something right when the most infamous skatepark in the world, The Berrics, built a replica of the skate spot in their skatepark. This four block, known as Rincon 4 block, is equal to a 12-15 stair spot. And while many have tried and few have conquered, any trick done down this gap obtains instant legend status. There is also a rail that goes down the four block and a neighboring ten stair hubba.
El Toro might be San Diego’s greatest spot when it comes to the mythology of skateboarding. While all that is left is a skeleton of what this skate spot used to be, the infamous twenty stair handrail has been known as the greatest measuring stick in skating. Jamie Thomas, largely believed to be the greatest rail skater of all time, did his frontside 5050 down with skaters like Jamie Foy nearly three decades later landing frontside crooked grind down it. Simply put, any pro skater who had something to prove, or wanted a certain rail trick or skate trick to forever be considered theirs, they had to do it down El Toro.
1056 Nautilus St, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Muirlands Middle School 14 stair rail in La Jolla is arguably the most famous skate spot in San Diego. This large rail has the perfect down-slope but being a long 14 is still a huge rail. Literally, this rail is a skate spot of skate history, acting as a barometer for skaters pushing what is possible on a skateboard. Jamie Thomas skated this rail in the 90s, frontside 5-0 and frontside lip slide, only for skaters in today’s era to kickflip backside lipslide or switch back lip.
750 Nautilus St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Just down the street from the Muirlands Middle School 14 stair rail in La Jolla is the La Jolla High School 18 stair rail. A rail made famous by Nyjah Huston and other gnarly rail skaters. This rail is honestly humongous, and it might be hard for the average skater to comprehend skating it but every skater in the world is impressed by anyone who does.
7130 Miramar Rd Suite 100A, San Diego, CA 92121
If you remember the black and white Mystery video, you probably remember this triple set. You may also remember the likes of Jeremy Wray and Cyril Jackson doing impressive flip trips down this iconic San Diego triple set. In case you don’t know what a triple set is, it’s 3 sets of stairs with flat gaps in the middle and the skater skates the entire obstacle in one trick. Impressive right? This iconic spot also sits upon a white wall, making for some amazing skate photos.
6141 Childs Ave, San Diego, CA 92139
You definitely know who Tony Hawk is if you know skateboarding but what you might not know is that Tony Hawk has a son Riley Hawk, who has helped make this Pacific View Elementary School bank famous. This giant bank outside the school looks like something out of the Lords of Dogtown days, and in fact, many skaters have enjoyed this bank for decades. The school however doesn’t always appreciate this skate spot and the skaters who flock there on a consistent basis –but we certainly do.
Urey Hall, San Diego, CA 92161
The UCSD Urey Hall 9 Stair Out Ledge is arguably the most famous skate spot in all of San Diego, and that’s because of the legends like Elissa Steamer, Chad Muska and Bam Margera who heavily skated this rail in their video parts. The local Linda Vista skatepark even built a replica of this skate spot at the skatepark and even after its been knobbed time after time, this skate spot lives on.
How To Learn How To Skateboard in San Diego at Local Skate Schools and Skate Camps in San Diego
We’re going to provide you with the best local skate school and skateboard camps in San Diego.
There’s honestly no better way to learn how to skateboard than from a 1-on-1 instructor, especially when you need to master the foundations of skateboarding or find your intimidated by a skatepark. California Skateboard Lessons is the number one provider of San Diego skateboard lessons, fully certified by the ASA (American Skate Association) with a school of over 5,000 skateboard instructors nationwide. You will learn first the transportation aspects of skateboarding, how to push, turn and find your center of balance, so you can skate ramps, turn around on your skateboard and even learn how to ollie.
GOSKATE is the number one supplier of skateboarding lessons nationwide with San Diego being one of our strongest skate scenes. We’ve hosted thousands of skate students over the years with the best trained and certified skate instructors in San Diego. Some of our skate instructors are former Pro Skaters. You can find us at Washington Street, Linda Vista Skatepark, Robb Field Skatepark, Chicano Park Skatepark and all over the San Diego area.
Here is a link to skateboardinglesson.info for everything you need to know about local skate schools in the San Diego area. Using this tool you click the skatepark nearest you and find out just why every child should take skateboarding lessons to get them rolling in the right direction. The directory is also referenced by large cities, so you can have confidence there is a skatepark and skate instructor near you.
We’re stoked to share GOSKATE has one of the best skate camps in San Diego California. We offer a 5 day skate camp where skaters will master the foundations of skateboarding and go on to learn tricks like the fakie 180, carving bowls and ramps, and how to produce a solid ollie. GOSKATE writes on their website, every skater will learn 2-10 tricks per hour and beginners will be up and riding on their first day.
Ocean Beach Surf & Skate
As we touched on earlier, the Ocean Beach Surf & Skate skate shop has introductory classes for young people to learn how to skate. They also offer a robust educational experience for those looking to learn about the history of San Diego skateboarding in addition to the fundamentals of skating.