San Diego, California has been a popular city in the skateboard scene since the mid-1970s and since the city’s first skateboarding park opened to the public in Carlsbad in 1976. The city offers many skateboarding venues, including skate parks that are operated by San Diego Parks and Recreation. Many skateboarding companies and professional skateboarders have called San Diego their home throughout the years.
While San Diego may be one of the go-to places for skateboarding, there are several laws and regulations involving the sport that one has to consider. Here are the vehicle codes as they pertain to skateboards in Southern California and San Diego.
Here are State of California skateboarding laws:
- Anyone who is younger than 18 shall not operate a skateboard or be as a passenger on one while traveling on a street, bikeway, public bicycle path, or trail unless the individual is wearing properly fitted and fastened helmet the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or standards subsequently established by those entities.
- Any helmet that is available for sale for use by anyone operating or acting as a passenger of a skateboard, in-line or roller skates, any safety helmet shall be conspicuously labeled in accordance to constitute the manufacturer's certification that the helmet conforms to the applicable safety standards.
- No one shall be permitted to sell for use by an operator or passenger of a skateboard any safety helmet which is not of a type meeting safety requirements.
- It is unlawful for any person riding on roller skates or by means of a skateboard or similar device to go upon an open roadway in the City of San Diego, or upon the sidewalk or public plaza in any business district, or upon any inclined surface area of any City–owned or privately owned parkade where signs forbidding such activity are displayed at the ground level elevator entrance and at each vehicular entrance to the parkade.
- Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., it is unlawful for any person riding on or by means of a skateboard or similar device to go upon: “any portion of public rights–of–way within the Mission Beach community, any portion of the most westerly public walkway between San Diego Place on the south and Law Street on the north, known as Ocean Front Walk or Ocean Boulevard, or to go upon the public walkway immediately adjacent to the bay extending from the Mission Beach community, around Sail Bay, through Crown Point Shores.”
- Any person riding on a skateboard on any sidewalk or right of way not open to public vehicular traffic shall exercise due care and shall yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- No person shall go on a skateboard on any sidewalk or right of way not open to public vehicular traffic at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent having due regard for pedestrian traffic and in no event at a speed.
- Except for school–sanctioned events authorized by a school site administrator, no person shall ride any skateboard, roller– blade, roller–skate or similar type device on any property owned by any school district which has a policy prohibiting such use, and displays a sign at the main entrance to the property informing visitors of the policy.
Skate parks are unsupervised, but are open daily. All skate parks are open from 10 a.m. until dusk daily, except for Carmel Valley, which is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Skateboarding Rules as they apply to San Diego Skate Parks
- Any child younger than 12 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian when at the skate park.
- Skaters must be in full safety gear in order to use the skate park. This means helmets, knee pads and elbow pads designed for skateboarding.
- Only skateboards, roller skates, roller-blades, and in-line skates are permitted in skate parks. No other devices or equipment is permitted in the facility.
- Any spectators or visitors who are not skating must stay outside the fenced area.
- No alcohol, smoking, food, drink, or glass containers are permitted inside the skate park.
- Graffiti and littering in the skate park are prohibited.
- Any unauthorized jumps, obstacles, or ramps are prohibited inside and outside the skate park.
- Animals are not allowed in the skate park.
Skateboarding laws are subject to change, so it is important to periodically check for the latest regulations.