Southern California: from San Diego to Ventura, Carlsbad to Orange County this is the epicenter of everything skateboarding! With a sports culture birthed from surfers in the ’70s and ’80s, it makes sense that the largest concentration of skaters is located near the beach where the weather is perfect nearly all year long. While there are plenty of other places that foster a strong love for the sport (we see you, Texas, New York, Florida & lots of other rad places!), nowhere is skate culture more prominent and defined than the mecca of all things skate: SoCal. With such a densely populated area and a huge skateboarding following, you have lots of choices when you shop, but it’s tough to sort through the heavy competition for your spending cash. Today we’re bringing you the ultimate list of the best skateboard shops in SoCal. You could spend hours in each one chatting with knowledgeable staff and fellow skaters. Whether you live in the area or are planning a trip to the epicenter of skate, plan to stop in at each of these rad stores!!
Programme Skate & Sound
2495 E. Chapman Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831
This rad mix of skate shop and underground music haven will have you wanting to stay for hours. Pop in to get expert advice from the knowledgeable staff, and stay a while talking to other local skaters exchanging war stories. While you’re here, you’ll get a taste of some of the best up-and-coming musicians anywhere in LA. Always repping new sick bands and staying true to their genre, you’ll get something new and awesome every time you stop in, so make this place one of your frequent hangouts! And it just so happens that our all-time favorite skater, Tech Na$ty rides for them. You might catch him there some afternoon!
110 San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
A sick spot in the middle of Little Tokyo, NonFactory is full of ultra-legit and devoted staff. They know everything about anything skateboarding, even competing in and often winning many local skate competitions as a team. They have every part you could possibly need, and if they don’t, they’ll order it for you. You can have your foot and board sized to fit, and their staff is fantastic at providing great advice for any level of skater from novice to pro. Make sure you hit this spot up on your trip to LA and then grab some delicious Japanese food after!
10221 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
District skates is all about preserving the hand-crafted artistry that made skateboarding what it is today. You won’t find any mass-produced boards here; everything is made in shop by one of their uber-talented team of skateboard artisans. Every step of the process of board production happens on site, and they take pride in the uniqueness of each skateboard. They aim to stay connected to the sport and the culture by creating each piece themselves. These are some of the most high-quality and downright beautiful skateboards you’ll ever see. If you’re a local, you need one of these in your arsenal. If you’re making a skate pilgrimage to SoCal, then make sure to take one of these boards back home as the best souvenir in history.
LA Skate Co
5401 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90029
The oldest and certainly the most revered SoCal skate shop, LA Skate Co should be on any skater’s bucket list. They’ve been around since 1979 and “by the grace of the Universe,” they’re still open! If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to feel intimidated here, despite its history and the slew of locals who hang out. Their whole goal is to foster skateboarding and the culture surrounding it, which means teaching new skaters is just part of the fun! You can walk in totally green and leave well on your way to becoming a legit skater! With an insane selection of gear, you could and should kill an hour or two here on your next SoCal trip!
5 Points Skate Shop
2787 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA 93003
Further north in LA county you will find the very best place to live out both your skate and snowboarding dreams! With legendary customer service, you’ll get the low down on local skateboarding haunts and expert advice whether you’re surfing the streets or the slopes. The owner has been skating since the 1970s and is passionate about all things skate. When you’re in north county make sure to swing by and check it out!
Anyone who knows anything about skating has heard of The Skatelab. A legendary indoor park and associated store in Simi Valley, it was the stuff of skateboarding legend. Anyone who could make a pilgrimage would and no one left disappointed. But in the saddest news in recent skateboarding history, the shop and skatepark abruptly announced it would be closing its doors in early 2019. So why would we tease you and include it in this list? Well friends, just last month Skatelab announced that a NEW location in Simi will open in 2019!! As they say, it was the end of an era, but not the end of Skatelab. Stay tuned to their website and Instagram to get details as soon as they’re available!
There are hundreds of reasons to visit southern California: beaches, weather, Hollywood, and Disneyland just to name a few. But if you're a true skateboard lover at heart, that's the only reason you need to explore the motherland of skate. If you’re local, branch out to one of these rad stores (unless you’re already so cool you knew all of this – props!) and see what you learn. If you’ve been dying for a reason to visit the golden state, now you have all the ammunition you need. Pack your backpack, book a plane ticket and come dive deep into skateboarding culture – you might never want to go home!