Skateparks in Los Angeles became part of L.A. culture when surfing legend Hobie Alter created Hobie Skateboards in the 1960s. Shortly after, places like Venice Beach were deemed major skate destinations, appearing in numerous skate videos.
Today, Los Angeles and the surrounding areas boast impressive skateparks featuring ramps, bowls and rails. Skateparks are tourist attractions in their own right, and they're given celebrity status thanks to the pros who have helped design them.
A few details before you go: many skateparks are free, while others cost a few dollars for the day, and most public parks require proper protective gear. Places that rent skateboard equipment are few and far between - otherwise, get out there and enjoy!
Designed by Lawrence R. Moss & Associates, the $1.1 million Belvedere Skatepark (4914 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles 90022) in East Los Angeles is an all-out tribute to skateboard culture. When the park opened, local pros such as Tony Alva tested out the concrete. Complete with pools, a wall ride, vert waves and more, the park is packed with features and skaters who know their tricks. Free.
The Cove Skatepark
One of the birthplaces of modern skateboarding, The Cove Skatepark (1401 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica 90404) features 20,000 square feet of ramps, bowls, stairs, pool with tile coping, over-vert bowl, and the Douglas Park rail.
The Cove is where the legendary Dogtown crew spent much of their time transforming surf moves into skateboarding tricks. When skateboarding hit another wave of popularity in the 1990s, The Cove was a prime location in skateboarding videos.
Registration fee, with Daily, Quarterly and Annual Passes available.
Culver City Skatepark
Created by the city and a group of local skaters, the Culver City Skatepark (9910 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City 90232) has a wealth of features, including ledges, rails, a flow area and the famed clover pool — widely regarded as one of the best skatepark pools in SoCal. Free.
Skateside lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced are available, register at the Culver City Skatepark website.
Venice Beach Skatepark
It's not hyperbole to say that modern skateboarding was born in Dogtown - an area that spans Venice Beach and Ocean Park. In the 1970s, a group of young surfers known as the Zephyr Competition Team (aka Z-Boys) started earning a local reputation for their new style of skateboarding. The Z-Boys changed skateboarding culture forever when they started dropping into residential pools that were sitting empty due to the severe drought in Southern California. They were the first skateboarders to catch air and paved the way for global icons like Tony Hawk.
The Z-Boys legacy is on full display at the Venice Beach Skatepark (1608 Ocean Front Walk, Venice 90291), which opened in October 2009 and attracts visitors from around the world. Located off the world-famous Boardwalk and the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (aka The Strand), the 16,000 square-foot skatepark welcomes pros and amateurs alike to drop in for a session, while photographers and videographers capture every move and tourists experience the homegrown sport that's grown from Westside backyards to a worldwide phenomenon.
Verdugo Skate Park
Street, vert and pool sections make the 15,000 square-foot Verdugo Skate Park (1621 Cañada Blvd, Glendale 91208) a local gem for skaters to pull off new tricks. Opened in April 2004, the park features a clover bowl with over-vert section, kidney pool, street plaza with rails and ledges, and a snake run that lets out into a bowl with a loveseat.
Free daily entrance for Youth 17 & Under and Resident Adults, $4 for Non-Residents. Monthly and Annual Passes available.
Westchester Skate Park
Designed by Upland-based California Skateparks, the 13,000 square-foot Westchester Skate Park (7000 W. Manchester Ave., Los Angeles 90045) features a street plaza with plenty of rails, ledges, stairs, manual pads and a nice kicker. Be on the lookout for local pros keeping their skills sharp.