Skaters, like most people, just want a good, chill space to do their thing. Luckily, in San Francisco, there are a handful of cool spots that allow for that to happen. Here is a list of the best skateparks so that you can shred your way around the city.
Park, Skate Park
“The Dish,” located in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, was a legendary San Francisco skatepark built in 1979. Fast forward over three decades, and the city’s first skatepark has been updated, thanks to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, The Trust for Public Land, Jake Phelps of Thrasher Magazine, skater Tony Hawk, and Grindline Skateparks, which undertook the remodel. The overall project also revamped the entire Hilltop Park, in addition to The Dish. On December 6, 2016, the renovated park opened to the public.
Potrero del Sol/La Raza Skatepark | kennejima/Flickr
The Potrero del Sol/La Raza Skatepark, built by Dreamland Skateparks and located at 25th and Utah Streets, is San Francisco’s largest skate park at 16,000 square feet (1,486 square meters). Owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the skatepark opened in 2008. While it is perfect for the expert skater, the skatepark itself is not necessarily an ideal spot for kids. However, in addition to the skate area, there are grassy lawns for picnicking, a performance space, a nearby community garden, and a playground.
Good for both beginner and more experienced skaters, the Under the Bridge Skatepark, which opened in 2014, is, well, located under a bridge. Its location makes for a cool atmosphere, with the overall design and layout of the park keeping every type of skater in mind.
Another SF Rec and Parks skatepark is the Balboa. Located where San Jose and Ocean Avenues meet, across from City College of San Francisco and near the Balboa Bart station, the park is part of a partnership with The Trust for Public Land. Balboa Park also received a new playground, new picnic areas, upgraded pathways and landscaping, and resurfaced tennis court. The all-wooden skate area offers different terrains for all skate levels.
The SoMa West Skatepark, built under the Central Freeway, is the most recent skatepark added to the SF Rec and Parks system (in 2014). Its design pays homage to classic city places, including Justin Herman Plaza. As an added bonus, there is also a small, fenced-in dog park located there. The neighborhood isn’t the safest, so make sure to be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
Once known as the Newspot, the 3rd and Army Skatepark is the old-school spot that is still a hit with local skaters. It’s right behind the bus depot at 3rd and what is now Cesar Chavez Street. Despite the windy afternoons and sometimes sketchy surrounds, what seems to make it so popular is the open space and chill vibe.