If your little one dreams of kick flips, mastering the 50-50 grind and dropping in to a massive bowl, then you likely have a skater on your hands. While this distinctly California hobby has been around since our childhood, these days there are more sweet spots than ever to practice sick tricks. We’ve narrowed down our favorites below. So gear up your grom with a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards and say L8TR SK8TR!

Photo by Chris Goldberg

San Francisco

SoMa West Skate Park
Skateboard legend Tony Hawk helped to build this park (score!), with plenty of opps for (literally) dropping in, or just hanging out to watch.

Beneath the Central Freeway, Valencia and Duboce Streets
San Francisco, Ca
Online: sfrecpark.org

Hilltop Park
When you’ve reached the giant 70-foot sundial, you’ll know you’re there. This is the city’s first public skateboard park, with a large skating bowl, hilltop views, and even cement slides (so bring the cardboard).

La Salle & Whitney Young Cir.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: sfrecpark.org

Photo by latteda

Balboa Skatepark
This newer, all wooden skate park in Mission Terrace is calling all kiddos to get off the screens and skate into full-action mode.

San Jose Ave and Ocean Ave.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: balboaskate.org

La Raza Park /Potrero del Sol
As San Francisco’s largest skate park, this is the place to be. It has a Greek-style temple and colorful murals, and the weekend mornings draws lots of parents and younger kids.

Utah Streets
San Francisco, Ca
Online: sfparksalliance.org

Photo of Kennelly Park by Thomas Park

East Bay

City View Skate Park
This park has the coolest setting of the old Alameda Navy Base—plus miles of beautiful water views.  Big bonus (more for you than them): lots of antique flea market shopping nearby.

1177 W Redline Ave.
Alameda, Ca
Online: alamedaskate.ca.us


Fremont Skate Park
A spacious park means there’s everything from stairs to rails to benches. Lots of options here for kids to practice popping those ollies.

40500 Paseo Padre Pkwy.
Fremont, Ca
Online: fremontskate.gov

Kennelly Skate Park
From ramps to classes, this park can take the kiddos from newbie to full-fledged skater. Even BMX riders can use the park on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3–4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 1–2:30 p.m.

898 Red Rock Rd.
Piedmont, Ca
Online: kennellyskate.ca.us

Berkeley Skate Park
Get ready for massive: 18,000-square-feet, complete with beginner-friendly areas plus classes, a skate club—and even scholarships. Park closed during events and rainy days.

Harrison St. (skatepark is located at Harrison Park)
Berkeley, Ca
Online: berkeleyskate.ca.us

San Ramon Central Park
This park is especially perfect for the youngest skaters. On weekends the priority usage is reserved for kids 11 and under. There’s also 40 more acres surrounding the skate park to explore, including a maze of water features, lots of trails, and picnicking galore.

12501 Alcosta Blvd.
San Ramon, Ca
Online: sanramonpark.ca.us

Photo by Mae Respicio


McInnis County Skate Park
You haven’t experienced a skate park until you’ve seen this gigantic sea of bowls, ramps, and half-pipes, and all surrounded by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills. Scooters are allowed in the park each day until 1 p.m. and there are lots of hiking trails for before and after.

10 Smith Ranch Rd.
San Rafael, Ca
Online: mcinnisskate.org

Proof Lab
Easy means one-stop shop! They have gear, indoor ramp time, art, and even a cool cafe. Here’s their list of local instructors (check with Proof Lab for the most updated indoor ramp hours): prooflab.com/surf-skate-lessons

54/244 Shoreline Hwy.
Mill Valley, Ca
Online: prooflab.com

Corte Madera Skatepark
This one’s not the biggest, baddest of the bunch, but because of its sweet size it’s for the mini-shredders in your life. Bonus: ice cream truck on hot days, and a huge playground right next door.

Tamalpais Dr. and Pixley Ave.
Corte Madera, Ca
Online: cortemaderaskatepark.com

Photo of Lake Cunningham Skate Park by Victor Salanoy

South Bay

Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park
This one wins the award for largest skate park in California with some of the biggest and bestest features in the world (read: world’s biggest cradle, tallest vert wall, and largest full pipe… how cool is that?!). Also check out their birthday packages, lessons, rentals, camps and live music in the summer.

2305 S. White Rd.
San Jose, Ca
Online: sjactionsports.com

What’s your favorite skate park in the Bay Area? Sound off in the comments!

–Sonia Gandiaga and Mae Respicio