5 Reasons Why LA’s a Skateboarder’s Paradise

A culture over 50 years in the making.

In California, there’s only one sport as iconic as surfing … and that’s skateboarding. In Los Angeles, those roots go deep into the 1950s when surfers tried “landsurfing” to cure the blues of flat waves. The first Skateboarding Championships were hosted in LA in 1963. The skate culture thrives thanks to new generations of shredders and the skateparks they frequent to practice their tricks. Discover LA featured five of the most prolific … here are a few highlights.

Venice Beach Skate Park

“A quintessential oceanfront skatepark, Venice Beach Skate Park is always packed with skateboarders young and old, rookie and seasoned. While the views outside the park are pretty amazing to behold, the ones you catch in the park will often take your breath away. With a variety of features like concrete stairs, snake runs, and deep pools, this 20,000 square-foot park is just calling out for skateboarders to perform all kinds of tricks. Best people watching place around. If you want to try your hand at skateboarding, just don’t forget your helmet! You’ll find skateboarders like Matt LeMond, Blake Johnson, and Leandre Sanders practicing here. Stop by for a ride so you can watch them live instead of on YouTube.”

Skatelab

“Skatelab makes you feel like you just stepped into one of Tony Hawk’s Underground video game series, but it’s actually real life. The park, which opened its doors in 1997, was originally designed by Team Pain and built by local volunteer skaters. It’s now one of the oldest skateparks in the region, and home to the Skateboard Museum, the Skateboard Hall of Fame, and an indoor skatepark with four fun and unique sections for skateboarders to explore. Get inspired to hit the park by perusing the museum’s 5,000 vintage skateboards and learning about the sport’s legends. Located in Simi Valley, the park offers day passes for $17 and annual passes for $49. All safety gear is available for rent.”

Belvedere Skatepark

“At first glance, Belvedere Skatepark may not seem as impressive as the iconic parks of Venice Beach or Santa Monica. But this East LA community skatepark has some tricks up its sleeve. Upon skating it, skateboarders realize the joys of wide wall rides and playing on the ample street course sections. If you are looking to improve your transition game, this is the spot. It’s a fun concrete jungle and one of the best skateparks in East LA.”

Read about all five here.

More Stories
Music + Culture

Tracing the Haiku’s Uniquely California Connection

A Japanese writer describes leaving San Francisco in the first haiku published in an English novel.

Music + Culture

Remembering Storyteller Joe Frank, an Original “American Life”

A voice of “radio noir,” his decades-long career on public radio set the stage for talent like Terry Gross and Ira Glass.