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Skateboarding In San Francisco: The Golden Gate Leap

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.


The Golden Gate, the Gold Rush checkpoint, the foghorn, the hilly street terrain, the wharfs, the cafes; the list goes on. Anything missing worth mentioning? Right! Everything is better if you add the skateboarding to the equation. Alongside L.A., San Francisco’s skateboarding scene was one of the first to being conceived back in the early days, and currently stands as a historical reference and a contemporary stronghold of both classic and new skateboarding styles. Let’s check out what the deal is inFrisco and what it's offering right now to the skate world.


Old Time Favorite Downhill Curvy Streets and Plazas

Skateboardign_In_San_FranciscoPhoto: Eric Tyler (Unsplash)

Lombard Street, Alamo Square and California Street has offered decades of high slopes for adrenaline lovers and daredevils. This hilly terrain unique in its hundreds of features was the cradle of pro skaters such as Tommy Guerrero, Micky Rayes and Jamie “The Chief” Thomas, that were known for their speed and acrobatics that only the hill bombs of Frisco could have shaped. But there’s more to it. If you want to take over San Francisco, you must test yourself in the Embarcadero's Justin Herman Plaza, where since its foundation in the 70’s it has been rallying local and foreign skaters of high reputation to this day.






The 3rd and Army Plaza is also must, since it’s a skateboard spot haven where people go to attempt and recreate the local legend of Mike Carroll’s kickflip of the rock gap. This was and still is one of the most symbolic skate spots in the city, for it represents that uniqueness of the industrial yet skateboard friendly urban layout that Frisco incarnated. Pier Seven is also highly visited for the background and ground zero behind the career of Mark Gonzales.


Skateparks and ‘Skateparks’

Photo: Eric Tyler (Unsplash)

Downtown there’s a bunch of new century skate parks in order to stimulate skateboardings local culture and to respect their heritage. The Balboa Skatepark, The Tony Hawk Foundation’s Hilltop Skatepark, Potrero del Sol, La Raza and Under The Bridge skateparks to mention a few are currently attracting upcoming generation of skaters and full blooded pro skaters that display their talent to the enthusiasts.

Other unrecognized ‘skateparks’ could be the Exploratorium and the Ghirardelli Square where skaters take over the space every then and now. The potential of skateboarding on these sites are a so sweet temptation that may cause some controversies amongst the citizens and the authorities, and yet once in a while those who are bold enough can take on the grinding and shredding through its space and get away with it.



Read also: Skateboarding in Berlin

Read also: Skateboarding in Oslo



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