Skateboarding evolved from a backyard pastime to a multimillion-dollar industry. Pros Paul Rodriguez Jr., Terry Kennedy, and Ryan Sheckler, to name a few, net six- and seven-figure salaries through corporate sponsorships, television appearances, and prize money from events like XGames and Vans Triple Crown.
But skateboarding isn’t just a kid’s sport; Tony Hawk, 44; Bob Burnquist, 36; Sandro Diaz, 37; and Andy McDonald, 39, are highly regarded in the industry and continue to influence its popularity.
Women have also made exceptional inroads within the sport. Peggy Oki was a trailblazer for many female skaters and paved the way for others like Jen O’Brien, Elissa Steamer, and Marisa Dal Santo to shred as hard as the guys.
Whether you skate vert (on a ramp) or street (sidewalks, railings, etc.), the desert has several locations that provide an innovative and exhilarating experience for skaters of any proficiency level.
Palm Springs Skate Park boasts 30,000 square feet of terrain, including street, vert, and pool runs. The location celebrates its 10th year offering locals and visitors the chance to skate without interruption from pedestrian foot traffic or vehicles. Wear protective helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads to avoid citations. Admission to the park is free. 405 S. Pavilion Way, Palm Springs. 760-323-8278.
Land your first Fakie 360 at Desert Hot Springs Skateboard Park. This is a perfect proving ground for novice skaters. With 10,000 square feet of terrain and no fees to skate, DHS Skate Park allows patrons to blow off steam on its quarter-pipes or 3-foot half bowl. 11777 West Dr., Desert Hot Springs.
Choose the best decks, trucks, and wheels at Epidemic Skateboard Shop. Find products by Vans, Obey, and Emerica. Or, meet and talk trash with other skateboard enthusiasts. You might even run into Waldo Diaz or Jared Huss. 72363 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert. 760-346-4760; 340 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs. 760-898-8534; www.epidemicskateboardshop.com
Come for the selection, but stay for the excellent customer service at Revolution Ride Shop in La Quinta. Rock styles by Thrasher, Tom’s, and Diamond Supply Co. Choose from either Revo location: 79255 Hwy. 111, Ste. #2, La Quinta, 760-771-6900; Westfield Palm Desert, 72840 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert. 760-568-3788; www.revolutionrideshop.com