When you think about skateboarding, Southern California usually comes to mind. Known as the birthplace of skateboarding, SoCal is often seen as a skateboarder’s paradise. Of all the towns in Southern California, Los Angeles is by far the biggest and has the most skate shops.
Many professional skaters are based out of Los Angeles and with such a rich skateboarding culture, it isn’t surprising that Los Angeles is home to some of the world’s best skate shops. In this post, we will provide a brief overview of some of LA’s most famous shops.
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Rip City Skates
This local skate shop located in Santa Monica was founded back in 1978 in the early days of skateboarding. Having started with selling roller skates, this skate shop is often considered the OG of skate shops in Los Angeles and is a staple of SoCal skate culture.
With a rich history, this family-owned business only stocks the highest quality products and steers clear of any mass-produced skate gear. Because they’re a small family-run business, they can keep their overhead low and can pass those savings on to their customers.
Some of the most popular deck brands they have available include Santa Monica Airlines, Creature, Anti-Hero, Krooked, Real, Enjoi, Girl, Baker, Element, Plan B, Santa Cruz, and many more.
Aside from your standard skateboard, they also have a large selection of longboards and cruisers to choose from. Even if you don’t need any new gear, making a stop at this iconic skate shop is well worth it just to check out their wide variety of vintage clothing and boards. Their clothing brands include Stussy, Powell Peralta, and Independent just to name a few.
Pharmacy Boardshop in Hollywood
Another one of the best skate shops Los Angeles has to offer is Pharmacy Skate Shop which was established in 1997. Having started as just a single storefront, they have gone on to expand into a small chain of stores operating throughout Southern California with one store in Las Vegas as well. Over the years, this store has established a lot of street cred with local skaters seeing as they only stock brands that have been handpicked.
With tremendous support from the local skate community, Pharmacy went on to establish their own skate brand offering skateboards, clothing, and other accessories that can be bought in-store or online.
When walking into Pharmacy, you can expect to be helped by their friendly and knowledgeable staff. Even if you’re new to skating and are looking to buy your first skateboard, the laid-back atmosphere of this place will not leave you feeling intimidated. Instead, you will find a helpful staff that can answer any questions you might have about setting up your board. With so many different brand offerings to choose from, this is one of Los Angeles’ premier skateboard shops.
L.A. Skate Co.
LA Skate Co. is another amazing skate shop in Los Angeles CA. This shop is one of the oldest skate shops in LA, having been established in 1979. Dave, the owner, started the shop out of his apartment and originally sold roller skates. This was before skateboarding took off in 1983. This once-small shop has grown into a store that boasts a rack of over 2500 skateboards along with a 240 skate shoe display. Staying true to their tradition, they still stock roller skates and have a large selection of second-hand gear and vintage clothing.
Non Factory Skate Shop
If you find yourself in downtown Los Angeles CA, you might want to check out Non Factory. Centrally located in the heart of Little Tokyo, finding parking can be a challenge, but this small shop is great for those looking for a nice complete skateboard setup. They also sell a wide variety of skateboard hardware in addition to their huge selection of skatewear including shoes and backpacks.
If you’re looking for a new board, you can’t go wrong by stopping into Val Surf. This small chain of skate and surf shops has four different locations including Valley Village, Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Valencia. Some of their most popular deck brands include Baker, Deathwish, Santa Cruz, April, Girl, Primitive, Zero, and many more.
They also have you covered for all your hardware needs with a good selection of trucks made by Independent and Krux. If you need new wheels, they have a wide variety of Spitfire wheels to choose from. They also have many longboards to choose from, which are a hot commodity in Southern California.
As far as clothing goes, you can expect a wide selection of brands including Thrasher, Independent, Diamond Supply Co., Dickies, Globe, and Emerica. Aside from their skate gear, you can also find some great surf, snowboarding, and ski gear.
Related: Skate Shops in San Diego
If you’re looking for the best skate shops in LA that have a rich history and knowledgeable staff that can help you with all your skateboarding essentials, then look no further than this list of the 5 best skate shops in LA. Skateboarding can be an intimidating sport to get into when you’re just starting out, which is why it is important to get your gear from people who can provide expert advice on everything skating.
But whether you’re new to skateboarding or you’re an experienced pro, these shops have a wide selection that will have you cruising down the Sunset Strip in no time. Skating culture is huge in LA, and there isn’t a more exciting place to experience everything the skate scene has to offer.
By visiting these shops, you can feel like you’re part of a larger skateboarding community which can be a great way to get started in the sport. Overall, there is no better place to be a skater than in Los Angeles, and these shops offer a great selection that can accommodate skaters of all experience levels. Stop by one of these shops next time you’re in LA and be amazed at all the different boards and accessories you have to choose from.
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