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Surf, Water, BMX and Skate Parks

Sports for the adventurous and daring

San Diego's beautiful year-round weather makes it a surfer's, skater's and biker's paradise, with some of the best-known stars of those sports living here.

Calling All Thrill Seekers!

If mixing in a few action sport thrills is your family’s idea of a perfect vacation, then San Diego is the place for you. Here are a few options for hitting the waves or flying high on two or four wheels.

Takin' it to the Water

  • Located on La Jolla Shores, the world famous Surf Diva Surf School offers special "Kids Party Wave" group lessons, allowing children to learn to surf through supervised lessons by professional surf instructors. Surf Diva is also the world's premier women's surf school, and it rocks with a "girl power" attitude and a bevy of expert female surf instructors. Teenage girls can also delight in the school's Surf Diva Boutique, full of the latest in surf fashions, including the shop's own line of swim and active wear.
  • Pacific Surf School in Mission Beach boasts experienced, knowledgeable instructors under the guidance of a 22-year veteran of the professional surfing circuit. Lessons take place in gentle surf breaks off Mission Beach.
  • Located at South Carlsbad State Beach, San Diego Surfing Academy offers expert instruction on the fundamentals of surfing like paddling, board handling, wave selection and board riding.
  • The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the world's largest instructional waterfront facility, and its water sport classes accommodate adults and children of any skill level. Water activities include boating, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and kayaking, with private and group lessons year-round.
  • Beat the summer heat at Sesame Place San Diego, the region's newest theme park, with 11 aquatic attractions to complement a collection of “dry” rides. The 17-acre Sesame Place – the only “Sesame Street”-themed park on the West Coast — invites visitors to try out such splashy, family-minded rides and slides as Bert’s Topsy Turvy Tunnels, Snuffy’s Spaghetti Slides and Oscar’s Rotten Rafts, as well as Big Bird’s Beach, a 500,000-gallon wave pool surrounded by a sandy beach. The park, operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and now open year-round in San Diego’s Chula Vista community, is also a Certified Autism Center.
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Tearin' up the Track

  • For BMX enthusiasts or beginners of all ages, check out Kearny Moto Park in Clairemont, a family-friendly track with super-size tabletops and gap jumps. They rent bikes and helmets and spectators can watch at no charge.

Sweet Skate Parks for Teenagers

Most skate parks welcome kids of all of ages, but parental supervision is generally required for those under 12. Rules vary, so be sure and check with the skate park directly before heading out.

  • The Robb Field Skate Park features a free, unsupervised entry-level street course and a supervised area with advanced elements, including large ramps and a bowl area for the experienced skater.
  • Memorial Skate Park in National City features a 10’ keyhole, 90-foot snake-run and 3’ teardrop bowl. Safety gear is required.
  • The 18,000-square-foot Coronado Skate Park, located at Tidelands Park along San Diego Bay, features a street course complete with rails and curbs, plus two smooth bowls with drop-ins ranging from 5 to 8 feet.
  • The Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA in Encinitas has 37,000 square feet of skating space, including a beginner's area, huge street course, backyard-style kidney pool, multi-tiered clover bowl and the actual 120-foot vertical ramp used in the 2003 X Games.
  • The YMCA Krause Family Skate/Bike Park in Clairemont is the place for skateboards, BMX, rollerblades and scooters, with jump boxes, gaps, quarter pipes and skate lite. Several professional athletes practice here regularly, and this park is open and available for people of all ages and skills to enjoy.

> Follow this link to find more San Diego family travel ideas.

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