San Francisco’s Best Skate Parks
Skateboarding has always been a popular activity in San Francisco, and with the construction of a new skatepark in the city, enthusiasts have even more places to practice their skills. San Francisco is home to some of the most iconic skate spots in the country. From the famous Embarcadero to the hilly streets of the city, there are plenty of obstacles to keep it interesting. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just looking for something fun to do, San Francisco has some of the best skate parks and spots for skateboarding in the country.
The Waller Street skate park is a renowned skateboarding spot situated in the Haight. It was originally an extension of Golden Gate Park, where skaters used to grind the black ledges along Waller Road. Over time, the city officially recognized this area as Waller Skate Park and improved the ground surface, as well as added more skating obstacles, making it one of the best skateparks to visit in San Francisco. The main highlight of the park is its polished marble ledges, which are perfect for skating. New additions to the park include a lengthy flat-bar, a quarter-pipe that also serves as a ledge, and a long parking block ledge. These new features really cater to all the needs of a skater and make it one of the best San Francisco skateparks.
Civic Center UN Skate Plaza
The Civic Center UN Skate Plaza is the newest skate park in San Francisco, located right next to the Civic Center Bart/Muni stop, offering views of San Francisco City Hall and other land marks. Collaborating with skateboarders and skate companies, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks department oversaw the creation and design of the park, which includes various obstacles representing iconic street skate spots in San Francisco such as the China Banks, the Embarcadero Plaza bricks, and even ledges from Waller. Additionally, the park features a slappy curb, a circular flat-bar rail, a kicker ramp, and lengthy concrete ledges. This skatepark opened in November 2023. For those staying in the downtown area, this park is a must-visit.
SoMa West Skatepark is an essential part of the skateboarding community in San Francisco. Situated in the SoMa District, this park is famous for its impressive street art and challenging obstacles. One of the major advantages of SoMa west skate par is its location under a highway overpass, which makes it perfect for skateboarding on rainy days. Additionally, the park is equipped with lights that remain on until approximately 10pm every night, offering the opportunity for evening skate sessions after a day of exploring the city. If you have a dog, there’s also a dog park across the street! The park features a variety of obstacles including transition, rails, stairs, hips, bump to bar, and numerous ledges. This is a versatile option for skaters looking to improve their skills at a classic San Francisco skatepark.
Potrero Del Sol
Potrero is a renowned skatepark in San Francisco and it is also one of the city’s first. It is well recognized for its impressive transition areas and a large pool. This park is located in Potrero Hill, so this park is a must-visit if you find yourself on the eastern side of the city. Other attractions at this park comprise of a euro-gap, a bump, hubbas, pump track, bump to bar, and numerous quarter-pipes. If you are a fan of intense skating, this is the park for you!
Located in the Sunset district right next to the Balboa Bart station, the Balboa skatepark sets itself apart from the rest on the list as it is not entirely constructed from concrete. Instead, it is a combination of wooden obstacles and occasional concrete elements. It was inaugurated in 2012 and boasts quarter pipes, a volcano, a pool, hubbas, an A frame, and a stair set. However, the park has not undergone renovations for quite some time, leading to some sketchy obstacles in need of repair.
San Francisco’s Best Skate Spots
These following spots are not designated as “skate parks,” but they are noteworthy for being excellent places to skate within the city.
Third and Army
Third and Army is a renowned skate spot located just a few blocks from Potrero. It has been showcased in numerous skate videos since the 1990s and is a popular location for pro skateboarders to perform tricks. This park was also included in the well-known video game, Skate 3. The city has essentially allocated this area for skateboarding because there are limited alternative uses for it! Nowadays, visiting Third and Army allows for the opportunity to observe numerous other skateboarders enjoying the waterfront location. This spot offers a variety of ledges, iconic curved ledges, a DIY quarter pipe, a substantial drop, a gap to ledge, and some people even skate the enormous rails. Third and Army is certainly worth a visit.
Hayes Valley Curbs
The Hayes Valley Curbs are a somewhat lowkey DIY spot situated in Hayes Valley. It is constructed within a wide bike lane and includes numerous obstacles made of concrete and others made of wood. It boasts a mini quarter, curbs, wooden boxes, and granite ledges. The spot seems to be continuously improved, so it’s worth a visit if you’re nearby.
Bayview Gateway Park
Located near Third and Army, this spot has been showcased in numerous skate videos. It boasts four ledges that are ideal for grinding, with each one larger than the previous. Considered controversial as a “street spot,” these ledges closely resemble those found in a new skatepark with their long length and metal coping. Despite this, many people still skate on them. If you’re a fan of skating ledges, I strongly suggest checking out this spot.
The Embarcadero Plaza is considered one of the most well-known skate spots in the bay area, if not the most famous. Recently, it was showcased in Thrasher Magazine’s “This Old Ledge” series, where Ted Barrow provides the necessary history and context to truly appreciate the spot. Over time, the spot has undergone significant changes since its original construction, but it remains worth visiting due to its history and skate-ability. The obstacles at this location include a 6 stair, 3 stair, ride ons, numerous ledges, and a beautiful brick flat-ground in an open space. Make sure to visit this iconic spot when in the city.
“The Island” is a fantastic location right by Embarcadero Plaza. It gets its name from being sandwiched between two bustling streets, giving it an isolated island-like feel. Skaters are drawn to this spot for its ideal flat-ground, as well as some challenging ledges and stairs for those who are interested.
Undoubtedly, Fort Miley is a renowned skate spot in San Francisco. Located on the grounds of a deserted military fortress, Fort Miley boasts small yet enjoyable pyramid obstacles. Since the early 90’s, numerous tricks have been done at this spot, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.
San Francisco offers some of the best skate parks and spots in the world. Skaters can visit iconic skateparks such as Waller, Civic Center, and SoMa to experience diverse and challenging obstacles to skateboard. The city also boasts renowned spots like Third and Army, Embarcadero, and Fort Miley, which offer unique opportunities for skaters to showcase their skills. Whether you prefer the urban landscapes of downtown or the scenic views of the coast, San Francisco has something to offer for every type of skater. Whether you’re a local skater or just passing through, this city has something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination for skateboarders from around the world.