Friday, June 6, 2008

California Skateparks

“Back in the day” there weren’t many places to skate in Southern California without getting grief from the cops. In Ventura County, you could hit “Lefts & Rights”, the ditch at Camino Real Park, and the homemade ramp on the East End of Ventura. In Los Angeles County, there were a sprinkling of pools and hidden ramps that were skateable. I remember one pool just off of Hollywood Blvd that was behind a squatter house and another up in the Hills that one kid took over from his parents. There were also limited places inland and in San Diego, but no central place to find out about them. Word of mouth was really the most prevalent way to know where to go. As fun as those days were it was also a risk to skate in many of these places. Most weren’t legal and it was not uncommon to have to leave abruptly when the cops showed up.

Today’s skaters have many choices to enjoy their sport. Fortunately, the world realized that this was a viable activity. One of the best things about skateboarding is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Why not take a road trip and hit some skateparks this summer? My pal Louie Baur has put together a list of five parks in southern California that make a nice trip. I would highly recommend this info as he includes directions and other particulars for planning a trip. Plus, you can bring your surfboard and hit some waves also since the coast isn't far!

In addition, you should check out this site that lists skateparks not just in California but all over the world that Louie runs. I’ve not run into anyone else that is as dedicated to the sport. Check him out and look at the listings on his site. I know he likes to hear from you if you can tell him about a park that isn't on his list as well.

Not convinced? You can make new friends, keep fit, and get outside. What have you got to lose? Be careful though - do yourself a favor and don’t try too much too soon if you aren't highly skilled to start. You can get a pretty nasty injury if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t wear protective gear. Yeah, don’t be “too cool” - go ahead and wear a helmet and pads. Would you rather sustain a head injury?


Lindsay said...

Taking a trip based around your sport is a great idea. I can't say I'm much of a skateboarder, but I've planned trips around backpacking and running.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Totally - I've taken trips based on surfing, snowboarding, and scuba diving! It rocks! I'm not that proficient at skateboarding myself but like to give it a shot every now and then.