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Chris Cote’s Ultimate Tour of Surf and Skate

Life on a Board is a Life Never Bored

From the early days of action sports, San Diego was at the center of it. Surfing and skating both grew up in the streets and on the beaches of this destination, and it remains an awesome board-topia to this day. Action sports expert Chris Cote has spent his life in the thick of it, and is here to show you why San Diego is a true paradise of the surf and skate world.

San Diego’s Top Skate Parks

  • Chris Cote: “There are so many new skate parks in San Diego it's hard to keep up! Pood's Park—AKA Encinitas Skate Plaza—is my home park, and has to be my favorite. But I love the rawness of Washington St. Skatepark (at the bottom of Mission Hills near the airport), which started as a D.I.Y. park, actually built by skaters. It’s such a gnarly park! Chicano Park is visually such a rad place to skate. There's a crazy low rider fun box that is incredible and so challenging.”

Best Skate Park for Beginners

  • Chris Cote: “Carlsbad Skatepark is an older park tucked up in the hills of Carlsbad and it's great for beginners. It’s never crowded, has mellow obstacles and is very beginner-friendly.”

Best Skate Park for Visitors

  • Chris Cote: “Try them all! You can hit five or six skateparks in a day if you try hard enough! If you only see one, though, check out Robb Field Skatepark in Ocean Beach. It’s a classic park and you'll always see some really good skaters there. It’s a must-see park for any skaters visiting San Diego.”

Top San Diego Surf Spots

  • Chris Cote: “In the summertime, the beach breaks in Oceanside are very consistent and you can always find a peak to yourself. In the winter, waves like Swami's (Encinitas) and Black's Beach (La Jolla) come alive. These two might be experts only, but they’re fun to watch no matter how good you surf.”

Best Surf Spot for Beginners

  • Chris Cote: La Jolla Shores is a great place to start. If the waves are too big for your taste, you can just walk up the beach and the waves get smaller and smaller, so any level of surfer can find a wave they are comfortable with.”

Best Place to Watch Skaters in Action

  • Chris Cote: “The YMCA skate park in Clairemont has a giant vert ramp, a ‘Skatercross’ track and a great street course. There are lots of events that go down here, so on any given weekend you will see some incredible skating happening.”

Best Place to Watch Surfers in Action

  • Chris Cote: “Windansea Beach is an iconic San Diego surf spot. It’s definitely not for beginners and the crowd is fierce, but wow, is it fun to watch!”

Top San Diego Skate Shops

  • Chris Cote: “McGill's Skate Shop in Encinitas is OG—and owner, Mike McGill actually invented the McTwist! Pacific Drive Skateboard Shop in Pacific Beach is also very cool, and Urban Ave Boardship is a new shop in Bressi Ranch that is rad. Then there’s Grandeur, House Of Vista … the list goes on and on.”

Top San Diego Surf Shops

  • Chris Cote: “South Coast Surf Shops has five locations in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach—a great shop for every type of surfer. Hansen Surfboards and Encinitas Surfboards are both must-sees in North County. And don’t miss Bird's Surf Shed. This half-shop, half-vintage surfboard library is an incredible, special place.”

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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