Back in the 1950s, the surfing community in California began to surf on sidewalks during the wintertime ‘off’ seasons at the waterfront. Traditional roller skating rinks had been built nearby to most large cities; surfers attached roller skate wheels to wooden planks and box bottoms for the purpose of practicing their wave-top tricks without getting wet. Today, surfboarding is an international sport that revolves around California fads.
When it is time to ride skateboards and in-line skates in Marin County, visitors should be aware of the California skater laws. Unlike other types of personal sports, California has laws that require the use of helmets and pads in most locations. The law enforcement officials can write citations and tickets to skaters of all ages, who are not riding their wheels while wearing the prescribed types of helmets, knee guards and elbow protectors.
The California skateboard laws are constantly being challenged and changed to suit the changing roles that skating enthusiasts are embracing. During year 2012, California skaters are continuing their efforts to have skating listed on the California Hazardous Recreational Activity (HRA) lists that would place the use of helmets and pads into the hands of individual skaters and not the California government law enforcement agencies.
In some sections of California, skating violation tickets are set in the hundreds of dollars ranges. It is always wise to follow all posted rules at the skate parks, avoid the popular practice of leaving sticker tags at the skateboard parks visited and to act in a respectful manner if authorities arrive at your skating location. For more information about new and changing skateboard rules in Marin County, contact the local Sheriff Office, community Park Departments or/and the local skateboarding shops that are listed on this site.
Marin County Skateboard Parks:
Bolinas Skate Park: The skateboarding park in Bolinas offers children of all ages and adults a mini-ramp that is about 30-feet across, a beginning street course layout and the City Fire Department next door for emergencies. This is a smaller community park skateboard setting that beginners enjoy for practice sessions. It is easy to find the Bolinas Skate Park near the parking areas at Mesa Park, on Mesa Road, in the City of Bolinas.
Distance from Sausalito: 12 miles
Notes: No supervision at the skateboard site. Benches are nearby.
Corte Madera Skate Park: The Corte Madera Town Park includes a skateboard and in-line skating facility that features a variety of professional-grade plastic ramps. The City of Corte Madera maintains strict safety rules; tickets are issued to skaters who do not wear appropriate helmets and pads. This ultra-clean skatepark setting is open daily until dusk, during all months of the year. Corte Madera Skating Park is on Tamalpais Drive.
Distance from Sausalito: 5 miles
Information: Corte Madera Recreation Department (415) 927-5072
Notes: No tagging or tagging stickers allowed. No supervision at the site.
McInnis Skate Park The San Rafael skatepark is located behind the tennis courts at the John F. McInnis County Park: 310 Smith Ranch Road. This 25,000-square-foot skate park is made from cement for skateboarders to enjoy. Skateboarders and in-line skaters enjoy the large bowl that allows room for groups to skate together. The McInnis Park offers free parking, benches and bathrooms located nearby to the skating areas.
Distance from Sausalito: 9 miles
Information at Marin County Parks: (415) 473-2411
Notes: This free skate park is open daily until dusk.
Mill Valley Skate Park: The Mill Valley Skate Park is not made for skateboard enthusiasts who take their sport seriously. Mill Valley offers a converted asphalt parking lot with inexpensive ramps and quarter-pipes. This is the smallest skating park in Marin County and not always easy for beginners to navigate due to the textured asphalt. The unsupervised Mill Valley Skatepark is open daily until dusk. Parking is nearby and free.
Distance from Sausalito: 4 miles
Information: Park is behind Middle School at 425 Sycamore, Mill Valley.
Notes: Safety helmets and pads are needed on this asphalt surface with metal ramps.
Novato Skate Park: This skateboard park was designed by Zach Wormhoudt for beginner and intermediate level skaters. Users will find bowls, stairs, ramps, walls and rails that offer a variety of skating challenges for skateboards and people using in-line skates. This skating facility offers a viewing area, nearby benches, bathrooms and seasonal lessons. Novato Skate Park is located at 1200 Hamilton Parkway in Novato.
Distance from Sausalito: 17 miles
Skate Park Hotline: (415) 493-4753
Notes: Open daily until dusk. Dial 511 to learn about public transportation options. Do not put graffiti or tag stickers on this free ultra-nice skating park or it closes for a few days as punishment. Dial Skate Park Hotline for up-to-date daily information.
Marin County Skate Shops:
Battens & Boards: The Battens & Boards shop has been in business for a number of years. This independent establishment is good about carrying the latest brands and fashions for skateboarding enthusiasts. There are seasonal sales at the Battens & Boards store that can equal high-quality savings for people who love their skates.
Distance from Sausalito: About 9 miles.
2640 Northgate Mall, San Rafael
Phone: (415) 479-0103
DLX Skateboards and Clothing: The DLX Skateboards and Clothing store in San Francisco is a favorite shopping place for the Marin County skateboarders who care about their appearance. This store carries popular brands in a variety of sizes, a nice shoe selection and many hard-to-find items. DLX is well-liked for their cheery employees.
Distance from Sausalito: About 12 miles.
1831 Market Street, San Francisco
Phone: (415) 626-5588
Fat Kat Surf Shop: This establishment is a hot-spot for water-surfing styles and fashions; however, many of the surfer street clothing crosses over to suit the skateboard movement. Fat Kat carries a mid-size collection of boards, wheels and carriers for the skating crowd and offers some money-saving sales that skating fans often enjoy.
Distance from Sausalito: About 10 miles.
1906 Sir Francis Drake Road, Fairfax
Phone: (415) 453-9167
Proof Lab Surf & Skate Shop: The Proof Lab Surf and Skate Shop is respected in Marin County for their fun-filled line-ups of sponsored surfing and skateboarding type of events. This establishment is the place to call for one-on-one or group skating lessons, local event information and lists of current events. Proof Lab sells skateboarding items.
Distance from Sausalito: About 4.5 miles.
254 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley
Phone: (415) 380-8900
Triumph 4th Street: The Triumph skateboarding shop in San Rafael offers one of the best selections of trucks, wheels and bearings in Marin County. Triumph also offers a nice selection of popular clothing, shoes and skateboard-oriented decals, posters and go-with items that can be used as special gifts. This store is open 7-days each week.
Distance from Sausalito: About 9 miles.
907 Fourth St., San Rafael
Phone: (415) 457-1625
San Francisco Skateboard Parks:
The City of San Francisco is not always in favor of skating parks and facilities due to fears of noise, trash and graffiti. As San Francisco skateboard parks migrate and change to please City requirements, the San Francisco Skateboarding Association provides the best up-to-date information about current skating opportunities in the downtown areas.
For more information, visit: