A season of documentaries charting the birth of action and outdoor sports culture in California

Dogtown & Z-Boys   |   2001

Klunkerz   |   2006

Valley Uprising   |   2014

Adventure Sports in California

Click on one of the 12 regions on the map to see some examples of Adventure Sports across California.

ca-map

Deserts

This dramatic region takes up the south-eastern half of the state. Remarkable desert parklands, including Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Anza Borrego, provide an extraordinary chance to explore, while the oasis like allure of Palm Springs, 3 hours north-east of San Diego, offers sunny resort style getaways, with golf, tennis, spas, and high end shopping.

Hiking in Borrego Palm Canyon

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California and known for its incredible sweeping vistas of t...

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Mountain biking in Palm Springs’ desert

On the Earthquake Canyon Express, riders explore a geologic extravaganza on this 20 mile tour that descends...

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Shasta Cascade

This region, in California’s north-east corner, is known for mountains, forests, waterfalls, and amazing, safe to visit volcanoes. The region, a 3 hour drive north of Sacramento, takes its name from the rugged Cascade Mountains and their signature peak in state, 14,180 foot/4,322 metre Mount Shasta, a volcano.

Winter sports in Lassen

In winter and spring, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a popular ski mountaineering...

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Fly-fishing at Fall River

Between the volcanic summits of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen flow some of California’s...

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Central Valley

Running right down the middle of California, this broad region contains some of most productive farmland in the world. Wine country around Lodi features big, bold reds. Further south, Fresno has a lively arts scene.

Watersports upon Bass Lake

Known as one of the most beautiful lakes in California, Bass Lake is a stunning recreational destination...

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Downtime: Houseboating along the Central Valley

In California, it’s hard to talk about houseboating without talking about the Central Valley...

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Central Coast

In this narrow strip of coastal hills and valleys, discover romantic towns, including Carmel by the Sea, historic Monterey, and elegant Santa Barbara, nicknamed 'the American Riviera.' The region’s classic drive along Highway One, linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, visits Big Sur, Hearst Castle, wine country and kick back surf towns.

Diving the depth of The Channel Islands National Park

Located off the coast of Santa Barbara this chain of eight secluded islands make...

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Navigating the caves of Pinnacles National Park

California’s newest national park is home to cliffs, crags, and cave formations...

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High Sierra

Nicknamed 'California’s backbone,' this region of towering granite peaks defines much of the state’s eastern boundary. Visit Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes and the giant trees of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks. All within a day’s drive of either San Francisco or L.A. In winter, enjoy snow sports. In summer, go hiking, mountain biking, fishing, or boating.

North Coast

With crashing waves along the coast and soaring redwood trees blanketing miles of uncrowded parkland, this is one of California’s most spectacular regions. The largest city, Eureka, is roughly a 5 hour drive north of San Francisco. But what a drive: lush wine country, charming hamlets, spouting whales, and breathtaking sunsets.

Outdoor adventures in The Redwoods National Park

Redwood Adventures, based out of Orick, offers guided hikes, mountain bike rides...

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River rafting across California waters

Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable...

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Gold Country

The western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range, defining California’s eastern border, are known as the Gold Country, named after the rich Mother Lode discovered here in the mid 1850s. While gold is still found in the region, new riches include white water rafting, tucked away towns, farm fresh dining, and award winning wines.

The World’s Oldest Triathlon in Sacramento

Eppie’s Great Race is known as ‘The World’s Oldest Triathlon®’ and this ‘no swim’ Triathlon is...

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Climbing the cliffs at Sonora

Sonora’s Gold Country contains an amazing variety of climbing, from limestone bouldering...

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Caving the famous Moaning Cavern

Discovered by miners in 1851, this vertical chamber near Angels Camp is so massive it is the largest...

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Inland Empire

This densely populated Southern California region has surprising alpine getaways, like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, in the impressive San Bernardino Range. On the region’s sunny east side, explore the inviting Temecula Valley wine region. The university town of Riverside is the region’s largest city. San Bernardino, the second largest city, has museums and impressive shopping, while Fontana has NASCAR racing.

Snow play in Big Bear

Want to surf in the morning and hit the powder in the afternoon? Just two hours from LA you’ll find Big Bear Lake’s two alpine resorts...

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Bungee jump off ‘The Bridge to Nowhere’

The historic ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ was built back in 1936 and the ghostly monument still stands strong...

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San Diego County

This sun and surf region is known for some of the best weather and warmest water in the state. San Diego, the state’s second largest city, is home to the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, one of the world’s great urban parks. For family fun, play at SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California Resort. Inland, discover surprising mountain towns like Julian, known for orchards and apple pie.

Skateboarding the streets of San Diego

Today skateboarding is as popular as ever, and even though its reputation of recklessness and rebellion...

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Ways to play on the water in San Diego

With mild surf and warm temperatures all year-round, the beaches and bays of San Diego are the perfect place...

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Hiking in San Diego County

San Diego doesn’t have high mountains or big walls, but the city’s got some of the finest bouldering west of Joshua Tree National Park...

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San Fransisco Bay Area

On the western oceanfront of Northern California, at the state’s distinctive bend along the coast, lies this breathtaking region. It is framed by an unforgettable gateway, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, spanning the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Explore diverse cities, picturesque hamlets, family friendly beaches, coastal parklands, and wine country, including Napa and Sonoma wine country, 1½ hours north of San Francisco.

Skydiving above San Francisco

Imagine the thrill of up to 60 seconds of freefall; the serenity of floating under a parachute with nothing...

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Los Angeles County

This sunny region along the state’s southern coast is California’s most populated region, best known as the capital of the entertainment industry. Here, film stars really do work in Hollywood, play in the surf at Malibu, and shop in Beverly Hills. Looping motorways make the car king, but the region also has a surprisingly good network of buses and light rail, a hassle-free way to explore.

SUP Yoga

Southern California is one of the best places to stand up paddleboard (SUP) in the world and many begin at Marina del Ray in LA. The area...

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Hitting the basketball courts in Venice Beach

If you’re searching for some quality people watching or to flex your muscles then look no further...

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Orange County

Tucked between San Diego and Los Angeles Counties, this region is known for flawless beaches and 'the happiest place on earth,' Disneyland Resort. Anaheim, the theme park’s home, offers a surprisingly hip vibe in a refurbished downtown. Newport Beach has dazzling yachts, Huntington Beach has iconic surfing, and Costa Mesa beckons with top shopping.

Californian surfer profile: Greg Long

California native Greg Long has carved out a name in the world of competitive big wave surfing by conquering...

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Hitting the waves in the original Surf City USA

Huntington Beach, known as ‘Surf City USA’, is favoured for its long 10-mile stretch of sandy beach, mild climate...

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Shasta Cascade

Winter sports in Lassen

In winter and spring, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a popular ski mountaineering and backcountry snowboard destination with unparalleled opportunities for challenging runs, but even snow-sports novices can strap on a pair of snowshoes and tromp into the snow wonderland. Go and see the white wilderness of Lassen for yourself - set off on your own or go for a ranger guided snowshoe walk. If you’re a cross-country skier, the snow-covered park road lets you kick and glide to Lassen’s steaming geothermal features surrounded by a blanket of white.


TAGS: Article, Snow

SHASTA CASCADE

Hiking to Burney Falls

Located 60 miles northeast of Redding, Burney Falls is one of California’s most treasured surprises when trekking the state. One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the US, this 129-foot-tall, fern-draped cascade seems to come out of nowhere and was named “the eighth wonder of the world” by President Roosevelt.


TAGS: Image, Mountain

Shasta Cascade

Fly-fishing at Fall River

Between the volcanic summits of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen flow some of California’s most celebrated fly-fishing rivers. Blue-ribbon waters lace the region, enough to keep the intrepid angler busily searching for trophy-size wild trout. Fall River stands out as 15 miles of crystal-clear, icy cold spring water—aka perfect trout habitat—and the angling showpiece of Northern California. Pit River is a boulder-strewn fantasy of remote canyon waters, a naturally occurring wild trout fishery with a tough reputation. Wade carefully through its swift current, over slippery stones, and you’ll be rewarded with rainbow-filled pocket waters and not a fisherman in sight. The lower 3.2 miles of Hat Creek, flowing into Lake Britton, form California’s original Wild Trout water; guides with outfitters like Clearwater Lodge and The Fly Shop teach beginners the basics and lead experienced casters to local hot spots.


TAGS: Article, Water

North Coast

Outdoor adventures in The Redwoods National Park

Redwood Adventures, based out of Orick, offers guided hikes, mountain bike rides, river-fishing excursions, kayak trips and horseback rides through the Redwood National Park — all exploring well-known treasures and secret stands of big trees, plus other worthwhile destinations along the Humboldt Coast.

Ocean kayaking tours explore the region’s rocky shores. Mountain biking tours take beginners on wide dirt roads, while more advanced riders venture out on single-track trails. The company also offers more exotic trips, like its zipline adventure through the redwood canopy, a beginning rock climbing and rappelling class, and year-round birding tours. It also has a handful of well-appointed housekeeping cabins available for rent at Elk Meadow; don’t be surprised if you wake up to Roosevelt elk grazing outside your front door.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

North Coast

River rafting across California waters

Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft. No worries—California’s got it all when it comes to river rafting, from gentle half-day float trips for first-timers and mellow family adventures, to adrenaline-pumping multi-day thrillers. Plus there’s glamping, wildlife watching and even wine and craft beer tasting.

Unlike some parts of the US where rafting seasons are fairly short, California has rafting running from March into September. California’s Mediterranean climate brings wet and snowy winters and long, hot summers—perfect for filling rivers for months.


TAGS: Article, Water

North Coast

The Redwood National and State Parks


TAGS: Image, Mountain

Gold Country

The World’s Oldest Triathlon in Sacramento

Eppie’s Great Race is known as ‘The World’s Oldest Triathlon®’ and this ‘no swim’ Triathlon is the largest paddling event in the US. The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.10-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. Since its debut in 1974, Eppie’s Great Race® has been held every year in Sacramento, and is a Northern California summertime tradition for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and families.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

Gold Country

Climbing the cliffs at Sonora

Sonora’s Gold Country contains an amazing variety of climbing, from limestone bouldering to traditional basalt cracks to blocky competitive sport climbing. Spring and autumn are the best times to climb in Sonora, but the overhanging rock of Jailhouse stays dry in even the most savage winter storm. In the summer, escaping the Californian heat with a break after a tough climb is easy at the columns of the Grotto. With good weather throughout the year and an incredible range of challenging climbing, Sonora offers a perfect destination for a long weekend scaling the rocks.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

Gold Country

Caving the famous Moaning Cavern

Discovered by miners in 1851, this vertical chamber near Angels Camp is so massive it is the largest public cavern in California—big enough to hold the entire Statue of Liberty. A spiral staircase provides easy access, or, if you prefer to get in touch with your inner Spiderman, consider rappelling the 165 feet/50 meters from the top of the chamber to the bottom. For intrepid explorers (prepare to belly crawl), a 2½-hour adventure tour delves into the cave’s deepest burrows, roughly 280 feet/85 meters below the floor of the main chamber, through narrow passageways with names like Meat Grinder, Pancake Squeeze, and Birth Canal.

If that hasn’t boosted your adrenaline enough, strap yourself in for a thrilling ride on a 1,500-foot/457-meter-long zip line. Check the website for a schedule of Concerts in the Cave, when the natural acoustics and sound of water dripping into the cave system (the so-called moaning that gives this site its name) is accompanied by live music and a light show or a singing choir.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

San Francisco Bay Area

Skydiving above San Francisco

Imagine the thrill of up to 60 seconds of freefall; the serenity of floating under a parachute with nothing but blue skies around you and the beautiful Bay Area below. A Tandem Skydive is the best and easiest way to make your first skydive and with San Francisco’s cityline at your feet you won’t want the experience to end. It's a fun, low stress, introduction to sport parachuting. The thrill of freefalling at up to 120 miles an hour is a sensation that cannot be put into words. After the parachute opens you'll be amazed at the peace and serenity of canopy flight shortly before you're brought back to a soft, safe landing back onto San Francisco soil.


TAGS: Article, Sky

San Francisco Bay Area

Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay with the city skyline behind you


TAGS: Image, Water, Downtime

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

Santa Cruz's Sarah Gerhardt becomes First Woman to Surf Mavericks


TAGS: Video, Water

High Sierra

Powder Dream at Mammoth


TAGS: Video, Snow

High Sierra

California Dreamer: The Historic Dawn Wall Free Climb in Yosemite National Park


TAGS: Video, Mountain

High Sierra

Floating Skate Ramp on Lake Tahoe


TAGS: Image, Water, Urban

Central Valley

Watersports upon Bass Lake

Known as one of the most beautiful lakes in California, Bass Lake is a stunning recreational destination just 17 miles from Yosemite National Park, in California’s Central Valley. With sapphire blue waters surrounded by towering pine trees, the deep, scenic lake is a popular summertime getaway for boating, fishing, paddle boarding, water and jet skiing, wave running, and swimming. Bass Lake also offers amazing hiking trails with sublime views of the waters and the surrounding Sierra National Forest.


TAGS: Article, Water

Central Valley

Downtime - Houseboating along the Central Valley

In California, it’s hard to talk about houseboating without talking about the Central Valley. One of the state’s premier places for vacationing in a luxurious floating home, the region lays claim to the Delta, a filigreed network of some 1,000 miles of braided waterways, dotted with marinas, campgrounds, and waterfront resorts. Onboard the houseboats, deck-top water slides get heavy use on hot summer days, while warm evenings are perfect for stargazing. Area marinas offer a variety of makes and models, and give quick instructions on how to steer the surprisingly maneuverable boats. Stockton’s Paradise Point Marina is a common takeoff point; staff can help you plan a route navigating sloughs and winding channels.


TAGS: Article, Downtime

Central Valley

Downtime - wine tasting in the local vineyards


TAGS: Image, Downtime

Central Coast

Diving the depth of The Channel Islands National Park

Located off the coast of Santa Barbara this chain of eight secluded islands make up the Channel Islands National Park. Surrounded by mysterious ocean waters, the islands are known as California’s Galapasgos harbour deep dive sites, where many dare to encounter rays, sharks and more. Some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world can be done here in these waters.

The kelp forests, sea caves, and coves of the park await the most adventurous swimmers, snorkelers, and divers. The ocean visibility is consistently good so you can scour the underwater world for miles and watch as the water fizzes with life.

Above water several islands provide ideal habitat for pinnipeds – including northern elephant seals, sea lions and harbor seals – as well as seabirds and rare raptors like soaring bald eagles and peregrine falcons.


TAGS: Article, Water

Central Coast

Navigating the caves of Pinnacles National Park

California’s newest national park is home to cliffs, crags, and cave formations that were formed by an ancient volcano. Now, millions of years later, the site is a visual and physical stunner. Follow your flashlight beam as you explore winding caves. Crane your neck to watch climbers scale the rocky pinnacles. Scan the skies for California condors, and hike among spring wildflowers. In summer, temperatures can soar over 100°F during the day, but at night, uncountable stars sparkle in the cool night sky.

Pinnacles National Park is divided into two sides—east and west—and there is no way to drive through the park from one side to the other so the only way is by foot—roughly a 5-mile/8-km hike.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

Central Coast

Pebble Beach Golf Resort


TAGS: Image, Downtime

Deserts

Hiking in Borrego Palm Canyon

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California and known for its incredible sweeping vistas of the desert wilderness. The most popular hike in the park leads to Borrego Palm Canyon, a watery haven fed by underground springs and shaded by California fan palms, the only palm that is native to California. Whilst not a hard-core hike (3 miles round trip), but it feels like a trek from the desert to the tropics. Head off into a sandy wash twisting through a rocky canyon dotted with barrel cacti and ocotillo and be sure to look for hummingbirds flitting to the plant’s crimson flowers. A little further along, hikers will come upon lush willows and the sound of little waterfalls, until finally, rocks give way to deep pools of shade cast by the soaring, shaggy palms. Over 80 species of migratory birds use Palm Canyon as a watering stop as they travel through the desert. Bighorn sheep like this spot, too. Scan the high ridges to catch a glimpse of them; if you’re lucky—and very still—they may come down for a drink.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

Deserts

Mountain biking in Palm Springs’ desert

On the Earthquake Canyon Express, riders explore a geologic extravaganza on this 20 mile tour that descends through the heart of the San Andreas Fault zone on a paved road, to the heart of grape country near Mecca. Riders will see the stark beauty of the desert as they descend a total of 1200 feet over the route.

Whilst there you’ll find rivers, marshes, and even trout ponds! Visit three incredibly diverse nature preserves in the four hour Wildlands Preserve Nature Hiking Tour which takes you from the Colorado Desert to the Mojave Desert and back. Enjoy the towering majesty of Mt. San Jacinto, learn about the huge aqueduct system in Southern California, and see visual evidence of the mighty San Andreas fault that makes these unique habitats possible.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

Deserts

Troy Hartman Jetpack in California


TAGS: Video, Sky

Inland Empire

Snow play in Big Bear

Want to surf in the morning and hit the powder in the afternoon? Just two hours from LA you’ll find Big Bear Lake’s two alpine resorts; Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, the ultimate snow escapes for SoCal locals. The appealing alpine destination in the San Bernardino Mountains has plenty of groomed runs and terrain parks as well as plenty of off-slope ways to get out and play fat-tire mountain biking and a zip line with sweeping views of the snowy scenery.

For after-dark fun at Snow Summit ski resort, try the Grizzly Ridge Tubing Park, with lighted runs and high-speed tubes, whilst at the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain you can try out the bobsled-style winding flume and tubing hill, open for daytime and night-time sessions.


TAGS: Article, Winter

Inland Empire

Bungee jump off ‘The Bridge to Nowhere’

The historic ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ was built back in 1936 and the ghostly monument still stands strong. The bridge sits in 50 acres surrounded on all sides by the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area in The Angeles National Forest. The deep valley below meant the bridge was quickly adapted to become a popular spot for bungee jumping daredevils and gleeful screams are often heard echoing across the mountains.


TAGS: Article, Sky

Inland Empire

Aquatic adventure on Big Bear Lake

Big Bear lake beckons visitors to its shores with all kinds of aquatic adventures such as boating, wakeboarding, fishing, water skiing and windsurfing. Or just set up a simple frisbee game on the beach and take in the majestic mountains views.


TAGS: Image, Water, Sky

Los Angeles County

California Dreamer: Bella Kenworthy and the Pink Helmet Posse


TAGS: Video, Urban

Los Angeles County

SUP Yoga

Southern California is one of the best places to stand up paddleboard (SUP) in the world and many begin at Marina del Ray in LA. The area is lucky to have an expansive playground to explore, with access to the Pacific Ocean as well as numerous inland waterways. If you’re feeling adventurous try SUP Yoga with the team from Yogaqua and test your core to the limit - they have it right when they tell you that the ocean in your yoga mat!


TAGS: Article, Water, Downtime

Los Angeles County

Hitting the basketball courts in Venice Beach

If you’re searching for some quality people watching or to flex your muscles then look no further than Venice Beach.The basketball courts boast some of the best pick-up ball around and with four full length courts there is always a game waiting or a keen team looking for that star player. Stick around to watch some of city’s most talented players before checking out the incredible bodybuilders at Gold’s Gym try some mind-blowing lifts and pulls.


TAGS: Article, Urban

Orange County

California Dreamer: World's Largest Surfboard Breaks Record in Huntington Beach


TAGS: Video, Water

Orange County

Californian surfer profile: Greg Long

California native Greg Long has carved out a name in the world of competitive big wave surfing by conquering the most challenging waves on the planet: He’s the only surfer to win the Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition, Mavericks Surf Contest, and the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational. Despite being at the top of his game, 32-year-old Long has not lost sight of his California roots.

Born and raised in San Clemente, Long’s lifeguard father first introduced him and his brother to the ocean as young boys. Now, two decades into a decorated career that has taken him to the far corners of the globe, Long still feels most at home in the place where he originally learned how to ride the waves. Greg says “I love California’s cultural and geographic diversity. One moment you’re surrounded by metropolitan suburbia and the next you can escape into some serene setting that feels like you’re thousands of miles away. You can have a morning adventure in the mountains and in a matter of an hour or two, be back down in the sun hanging at the beach. For outdoor enthusiasts, I don’t know if there’s anywhere else in the world where such a vast array of activities and environments are so accessible”.


TAGS: Article, Water

Orange County

Hitting the waves in the original Surf City USA

Huntington Beach, known as ‘Surf City USA’, is favoured for its long 10-mile stretch of sandy beach, mild climate and excellent surfing conditions all year long. This city lives and breathes the sea; the kind of place where wetsuits are always at the ready, where locals grab a board and spend their lunch break riding the waves. Huntington Beach is also home to the largest surf competition in the world; the VANS US Open of Surfing, taking place every July. Over these ten days, the best in the world head to this SoCal city to show off their phenomenal surfing talent. For those wanting to hit the waves for the first time, there are over 20 surf schools in the area and everyone is invited to have a go.


TAGS: Article, Water

San Diego County

Skateboarding the streets of San Diego

Today skateboarding is as popular as ever, and even though its reputation of recklessness and rebellion remains, San Diegans have come to accept skateboarding as an irrepressible rite of youth and something to be celebrated.

Among the first to mass produce the skateboard were local surfboard makers like Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith, who after revolutionising the surf industry branched into skateboards and pioneered a new kind of board. Now, skateboarding has grown into a multi-million dollar industry, and leading manufacturers like Birdhouse and Sector Nine keep San Diego at the forefront of the international skate movement. San Diego's superstar skate talent pool includes the legendary Tony Hawk, Andy Macdonald, Danny Way, Ryan Sheckler, Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Cara-Beth Burnside and numerous up-and-coming kids. A growing community of pro snowboarders spend their off-season here skating and surfing, Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White among them. San Diego is also the home of skate industry manufacturers, skateboard magazines and the annual Action Sports surf and skate trade show.


TAGS: Article, Urban

San Diego County

Ways to play on the water in San Diego

With mild surf and warm temperatures all year-round, the beaches and bays of San Diego are the perfect place to try a new activity or practice your favourite water sport. Sailing, scuba diving and kayaking are popular with locals but adrenaline junkies will love the city for its surf scene, as well as wakeboarding, kitesurfing and water-powered jetpacking.

Most water sports are centered around San Diego's three bays - Oceanside Harbor, Mission Bay and San Diego Harbor. Experienced kite-surfers congregate around Tourmaline Street in Pacific Beach; wakeboarders, waterskiers and wave runners like the east end of Mission Bay, and windsurfers head to the west end.


TAGS: Article, Water

San Diego County

Hiking in San Diego County

San Diego doesn’t have high mountains or big walls, but the city’s got some of the finest bouldering west of Joshua Tree National Park. Most of the rock is nice grippy granite, and the approaches are within easy walking distance of the parking areas. Looming on San Diego’s eastern horizon is the premier climbing area of Mt. Woodson. This boulder-infested peak has more than 100 rated routes in the 10’-20’ range, many of which are ideal for soloing, while the longer routes are also top-roped. There is more face climbing than cracks, but it's the number and variety of cracks that truly makes this area unique. Cracks of every size and shape are found here on typically smooth, clean granite.


TAGS: Article, Mountain

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