A few weeks ago, I once again decide to make a work trip coincide with a longboarding experience, so I started researching places for longboarding in Los Angeles.
L.A. is often considered the epicenter of longboarding as the skateboarding culture was born there in the 60s. People who live in the city are used to seeing skateboarders and longboarders everywhere, and even the police are often quite lenient with regards to skateboarding laws.
The most habitual and visible side of longboarding in Los Angeles revolves around beach cruising, street skating, and dancing. Downhill riding typically takes place in quieter, less centrical neighborhoods – and there are a lot of them in this 13 million inhabitant behemoth!
Longboard cruising in Los Angeles
There are lots of beach areas where you can enjoy some awesome longboard cruising with relaxed and beautiful scenery. The Venice Beach boardwalk is no doubt the most well-known areas for longboarders to hang out and cruise. However, you can have great cruising and pushing sessions all along the coast including around the Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach fronts.
Downhill and freeride longboarding in Los Angeles
According to Landyachtz’s blog, some of the best downhill longboarding spots in Los Angeles are around Manhattan Beach and Malibu. Aside from the boardwalk for cruising, Manhattan Beach offers very steep alleyways with lots of sloped driveways to cruise and shred on. When longboarding in that neighborhood
The Malibu area has long been famous in the longboarding community for its miles and miles of high-quality steep hills to freeride longboard on. Many of these hills have very tight turns with raised edges that are just perfect for honing your high-speed cornering techniques. The hills often offer incredible views to the ocean, making for an outstanding longboarding experience. Further East in Sun Valley, La Tuna Canyon Road is one of the most famous
Another area with steep downhill runs is Echo Park, just North of downtown L.A. The residential areas there spread pretty high up – even driving down some of those hills can be impressive!
Further West going toward Santa Monica, in the Palms area, Overland Avenue is another classic L.A. hill to freeride on from the top going South – though it used to be even more impressive years ago before the avenue was widened.
There are also some nice and quiet hills great for longboarding in the residential areas of Pasadena, as well as some smooth and mellow hills to bomb in the Beverly Hills neighborhoods.
Further North from Los Angeles, in Encino, both Encino Hills Drive and Calneva Drive are good downhill longboard runs from Mulholland to the intersection of both roads with Hayvenhurst Avenue. In nearby Tarazana, the South ends of Vanalden Avenue and Reseda Boulevard have nice roads for freeriding. A bit further South In Culver City, you might bomb down Ranch Road and Tellefson Road in the Culver Crest Hills.
Of course, there are tons of other spots for longboard freeride and downhill in Los Angeles. The city has some of the steepest streets in the U.S, including Eldred Street (33.3% incline), 28th Street in San Pedro between Gaffey and Peck (30% incline), Baxter Street (32%), Fargo Street (32%), and Duane Street (32%).
Freestyle, street, and dancing longboarding in Los Angeles
In the Koreatown neighborhood west of downtown L.A., JKwon Plaza used to be one of the most iconic street skate spots in the world, having been listed in the past among Kingpin magazine’s top 25 spots. Its pillars, ledges, stairwell rail, and gaps made it an exceptional freestyle spot. Unfortunately, skateboarding was completely prohibited in the plaza a couple years ago.
In Chinatown, you’ll find a legendary strip of ledges, used as loading docks for businesses. They have become a famous urban hotspot for street style, grind-heavy skating
Longboarders who are into dancing in Los Angeles often gather in some of the countless parking structures around the city, usually at the rooftop level. Though skateboarding is officially prohibited in many of these places, in quieter parts of the city such as near the Warner Center, security will typically let you practice your dancing moves peacefully.
Where to meet other longboarders in Los Angeles
As I mentioned earlier, L.A. has a very active skateboarding /longboarding scene. Here are some of the communities and events to check out when you’re in town:
- Docksessions: a longboarding group with regular
gettogethers– the Loaded Board team, for example, often takes part in the events. There are regular meetings in Downtown L.A. and in Venice Beach, with over 30 people often showing up. They cruise around the city or go dance longboarding in parking structures. Alsocheck out their Meetup page.
- Gel Lab is a passionate skateboard group and “creative outfit” that has regular meetings in downtown L.A. They typically do a mix of local hill freeriding, garage skating, and/or racing in a typical night. Loaded Boards also sponsor their events.
- Leftcoast Longboarding: usually meets up next to the Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A on Friday nights.
Featured: “Venice Beach” by Brian Adler (@adler_skate) – Loaded Boards