San Diego has a love affair with skateboarding – June 21 is international Go Skateboarding Day
Adriana Olmos and Deanna Naegele show their love of skateboarding in PB. / ERICK NELSON / C.O.V.E PHOTOGRAPHY
Izzy Poulin shows the deck design of her Sector 9 skateboard before riding at Tourmaline in North Pacific Beach. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
Artist Autumn Love (@artbyautumn on Instagram) is framed by the Crystal Pier Hotel arch as she rides her longboard down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach while spreading her message of "love." / THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
Point Loma High student Brooke Young skates down Newport Avenue with her Sector 9 board. / Photo by Michelle Young
Deanna Naegele and Tori Peck on the Ocean Beach Pier. / ERICK NELSON / C.O.V.E PHOTOGRAPHY
Izzy Poulin and her boyfriend Trevor Borello ride down Coast Boulevard in La Jolla. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
In the beach communities of San Diego, skateboards are more than just a piece of maplewood with wheels. Skateboards are a method of transportation, a statement of identity, and are deeply ingrained in the vibrant beach culture.
As the international “Go Skateboarding Day” approaches (on June 21), area skate shops are organizing skate sessions, barbecues, and competitions that will gather the skating community together for fellowship, to raise awareness of the cause, and, of course, to have fun.
So how did skateboarding become the wheels of a generation in SoCal? San Diego Community Newspaper Group asked several local skate shop owners about skateboarding’s appeal.
“Skateboarding became popular because of the strong surf culture, which ultimately led to skate culture because there is a lot of overlap between the two,” said Pablo Lanatta, owner of Adrenalina Skate in La Jolla.
Paul (Pablo) Smith, owner of Soul Grind Skate Shop in Pacific Beach, spoke about his experience in the skating community, saying that the connection is strong because it is created through a passion for a thrill-seeking sport. He also brought up the originality factor within the community of skating.
“There is a strong community of skaters,” he said, “but each person has a different style, does unique tricks, and follows a certain brand to express themselves.”
According to reports, the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. A common way to celebrate Go Skateboarding Day is to purchase new equipment, and locally-owned shops are a great place to start.
Tyler Ashton, general manager at Sun Diego Boardshop in Mission Beach, says that most shops that sell skating equipment actually stock the same products, only the brands are different. He mentioned that it is important to know that some brands are owned by big corporations and don’t actually benefit the skating community.
“Brands owned by skaters are a better option to buy from because you know that the owner of the company is in it for the passion of skating,” Tyler said. Some skater-owned companies that Tyler mentioned are Sk8mafia, Creature, and Santa Cruz.
If you are looking to be active on June 21, Lanatta says that Adrenalina Skate is holding its annual skate event. Every year, the skate shop typically meets at a secret location that is announced shortly before the day, and skates in a group around the beach area.
Lanatta also expressed his love for skating and how it benefits the environment by reducing the amount of motorized vehicles on the streets. He wants to share that message with the people outside of the skate community.
“Not only is skating a good alternative mode of transportation to keep you fit, but it also gets people out of their cars, which keeps the air clean,” he said.
Another event will take place at Robb Field Skate Park in Ocean Beach, City of San Diego’s first skatepark. Ocean Beach Surf and Skate organizes a ride every year from the store to the skate park, where they have a cookout to unite the community.
Andrew Stoner, general manager of Ocean Beach Surf and Skate, explained that OB has a large number of skaters mainly because of the culture that the community emits. He described this culture as “a Bohemian vibe,” further clarifying that “Ocean Beach is a perfect beach area for people that enjoy the freedom of just riding around in the streets.”
Ocean Beach Surf and Skate is known for being a family friendly skate shop that promotes and supports local skate companies. Revoked, a company that keeps its focus on the “lighter side of skating” while ensuring they give back to the community, sells their boards in OB Surf and Skate.
Josh Utley, owner of Revoked, is a long time skateboarder who actually attended the opening of the Robb Field Skate Park when he was a freshman in high school. Revoked is currently doing a promotion with the San Diego native, ska/punk band, Buck-O-Nine.
The company is selling 50 of each of the four unique deck designs that incorporate the band’s logo. For every Buck-O-Nine deck purchase, a deck will be given to a young skater in need at a local San Diego skatepark.
“I lead the San Diego chapter of Skate For Change,” Utley said, “I give either homeless kids, or kids that come from low income families skateboards products. We have already given out a board at Washington Street.”
Purchasing one of these skateboards will not only treat you to a brand new deck, but also give back to the community, support a local skate company, and get you in touch with your ska/punk roots. For more information, or to purchase a board, go to revokedmob.com.
Skateboarding is a fantastic way to stay fit, travel somewhere not too far, learn more about yourself, and be apart of a unique and supportive community. It’s even going to be an Olympic sport. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
So get outside and enjoy Go Skateboarding Day on June 21.
Essential skate shops
Soul Grind Skate Shop
4645 Cass St., soulgrind.com
Soul Grind Skate Shop is a family owned business that is specifically geared toward skateboarding. The staff is knowledgeable about skateboarding and the different brands that are offered in the store, but also other brands being sold.
This skate shop also has a huge selection of decks and all parts of the board, giving shoppers the option to build their own board or purchase one already completed.
Ocean Beach Surf and Skate Shop
4940 Newport Ave.,
Ocean Beach Surf and Skate Shop is a great place to go for skating lessons, camps, and clinics for ages 6-16. They offer a community for new skaters to learn beginner tricks. They also offer a lot of safety equipment for starters.
Adrenalina Skate Shop
5745 La Jolla Blvd.,
Adrenalina Skate Shop is family friendly, offering equipment for men, women, and children. They also have a price match guarantee where they will match lower prices found at competing stores. They also hold many events for the skating community to participate in.
Every Sunday they have a “dock session,” where riders of all levels meet at the Broadway Pier and freestyle skate. In addition, every Tuesday during the summer they have an event called “Taco Tuesday Skate,” which is a skate session down the Pacific Beach boardwalk to Mission Beach and back, followed by food and drinks with friends.
Sun Diego Boardshop
3126 Mission Blvd., sundiego.com
Sun Diego Boardshop is a mini chain with eight different locations around San Diego County. This store offers a huge selection of brands and different style boards.
You can purchase already-built boards or build your own from the parts at the store. The employees at Sun Diego are knowledgeable about skating and suggest great boards or pieces for each individual.
Sold at OB Surf and Skate, Clairemont Surf Shop, Slappy’s Garage in Linda Vista, Local Skate Shop in Lakeside. Revoked is an Ocean Beach-Point Loma company that makes and sells skateboards.
The company manages the San Diego branch of Skate for Change, which donates skateboards to children in need.
1958 — The skateboard is made from roller skates attached to a board in Southern California. As surfing becomes popular, "sidewalk surfing" becomes a way to surf when there are no waves.
1963 — Surfboard companies start making better-quality skateboards with clay wheels. The first skate contest is in Hermosa Beach. In 1964, Jan and Dean sing "Sidewalk Surfing" on “Dick Clark's American Bandstand.” Skateboarder magazine debuts.
1973 — With the invention of urethane wheels and fiberglass boards, new possibilities emerge as banks and curves become skateable, and skating is never the same.
1977 — The California drought forces homeowners to drain their pools, and skateboarders use the new spaces. New tricks are invented daily – aerials, inverts, and the ollie.
1982 — The Bones Brigade Video Show, which includes Stacey Peralta, Steve Caballero, and Tony Hawk, starts producing skateboarding videos that will reach kids all over the world.
1995 — Skateboarding takes a giant step into the mainstream with ESPN's Extreme Games, becoming more of a spectator sport. By the late ’90s, skating appears in mainstream commercials.
2000 — Robb Field Skatepark in Ocean Beach, constructed by the City of San Diego, opens February 2000. In 2004, International Association of Skateboard Cos. conceives Go Skateboarding Day.