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San Diego Extreme Sports

Taking it to the Edge

Beyond San Diego's most common action sports are a whole host of related recreational activites ranging from tame to insane, the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Beyond San Diego's most common action sports - surf, skate and cycle - are a whole host of related recreational activities ranging from tame to insane, the ordinary to the extraordinary. Even if you're not into the whole extreme sports scene or your visit is intended purely for R&R, take a look at these intriguing alternatives and take a vicarious ride with the thrill-seeking set.


San Diego's earthly diversions include sports like street luging - a high-speed hybrid of downhill skateboarding and luge sled racing, pioneered by local legend Biker Sherlock - and rock-climbing - with multi-pitch wall routes in Mission Gorge and the world-class bouldering of Mount Woodson. There are dozens of excellent campgrounds, hiking trails and backcountry backpacks (check out Jerry Shaad's "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County"), and scenic drives for car and motorcycle enthusiasts (a loop through pastoral East County to the historic mountain mining town of Julian is a favorite).


In addition to surfing and its extended family of wave-powered water sports, sailing, sea-kayaking, jet-skiing, water-skiing and wakeboarding are all ultra-popular in San Diego. The Mission Bay Aquatic Center offers lessons, summer camps and equipment rentals. San Diego's sportfishing is world-famous, especially in the late summer months, when the warmer water attracts tuna, dorado, sea bass and even billfish Snorkeling and scuba diving round out the oceanic options, with excellent shore diving off La Jolla Cove and Scripps Canyon, day trips to Wreck Alley and overnight liveaboard excursions to Catalina Island and beyond. You can find lessons, gear and air fills in specialty dive shops throughout San Diego.


Aerial adrenaline junkies should head straight for the Torrey Pines Gliderport, where glider planes, hang gliders and para-gliders launch themselves off the bluffs. Lessons, tandem rides and gear are available on-site. Soar 30 feet above Mission Bay like James Bond in Thunderball with a water-powered jetpack. Or, take the plunge with one of San Diego's professional skydiving centers.

Making Memories - The Inside Scoop

Looking for a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime experience? Take a hike in Borrego's Palm Canyon Oasis or Torrey Pines State Park. Take a romantic hot air balloon ride over the Del Mar Coast or Temecula Wine Country. Take the whole family down to the beach for a guided kayak tour of the La Jolla Sea Caves, where you'll get up close and personal with curious sea lions and docile leopard sharks. Or, for a bona fide bucket list adventure, cage-dive with great white sharks!

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