06 Nov The Best Places to Cruise in LA and Surrounding Cities
Cruising is one of the most fun parts of riding a skateboard.
Without knowing any tricks and just learning how to balance and turn on a skateboard, the fun starts.
However, before you can start cruising—you will need to know 3 things:
- You need to know which is the best setup for cruising and understand the differences between a skateboard “for tricks” and a skateboard for cruising (that is, a cruiser).
- You need to know the basics of skateboarding, which are riding a skateboard, finding out your skateboard stance, pushing, balancing, and learning how to do kick turns or carve when turning.
- You also need to know the best spots for cruising.
If you are from LA or live around the area, in cities like Torrance, San Pedro, Long Beach, Inglewood, Venice, Santa Monica, etc., you can cruise on your skateboard and enjoy the fresh air while rolling around freely.
Other beach cities in LA and Orange County offer many spots for skateboarders of all skill levels. In this guide, we will include all these spots that I have personally skated or have wanted to skate for a long time.
Alternatively, if you like to skate at skateparks, here are the best skateparks in Los Angeles that you can visit.
Got everything you need? Let’s move on to the exciting part and explore LA and its best cruising spots!
The Best Cruising Spots in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is filled with hilly and flat sidewalks, which look like they were meant for cruising. One of the best activities in the greater Los Angeles area is to get on your cruiser and explore what the city offers.
Whether you are a fan of culinary arts, shopping, or just sightseeing, cruising around Los Angeles means that you will enjoy the journey and the destinations.
If you love shopping around for street clothing, you can get on your cruiser and explore West LA’s Fairfax District.
It is a neighborhood in the central region of LA where you can find some of the best streetwear brands, such as Supreme, Stussy, the Hundreds, and other skate-related streetwear brands. Whether you are out to shop or look around, you will definitely enjoy cruising around this hip and historical area.
Venice and Santa Monica
Venice, aka Dogtown, is one of the most significant spots in Los Angeles that has a lot to do with skateboarding history in the country and the world.
Coincidentally, the Venice boardwalk all the way up to Santa Monica Pier offers a long-distance but chill cruising spot.
Without too many fast inclines, you can push your way and zip through tourists, bikers, and other skateboarders on their way to Venice Skatepark.
If you ever find yourself wanting to cruise in LA and enjoy a lot of activities in between, Venice Beach is the way to go!
There are many places to visit and side activities to do when cruising from the Venice Boardwalk to the Santa Monica Pier.
You can start from Venice and visit the dining shops, local dispensaries, shopping centers, and the Venice Beach Skatepark itself.
However, you might not be able to skate the park well on a board meant for cruising. You can shop and look around for skateboard completes, which are better for skating streets and parks, here.
If you want to explore the sights and sounds Los Angeles has to offer, going around Downtown with your skateboard is one of the best options.
However, you have to note that Downtown is full of people and inclines that might be too fast for beginner skaters. If you plan on cruising around downtown LA, make sure you choose flat spots with less incline if you are not comfortable doing footbrakes or stopping at faster speeds.
Besides skating around, you can also ride the subway from Union Station to visit more cruise spots around the area.
You can also hit the streets and visit places to eat like the Grand Central Market, go to the arts district, and even visit The Last Bookstore, which is a trippy place to go by.
Out of all the spots I experienced cruising around, Downtown LA is one of the best for me because of the diversity of hills and places to visit. It is definitely a different experience, whether you’re from LA or just visiting.
K-Town in the heart of LA is one of our favorite spots to cruise.
The streets are not as busy as the downtown streets, and the roads are wide enough to carve. There are still some steep hills for people who know how to slide on their cruiser, but some spots have just the right incline for beginners who just want to cruise long distances.
Wilshire and all the numbered streets around the area are really fun to cruise. Plus, you can stop around unlimited Korean BBQ places to get your grub on after a good cruise.
You can also cruise all the way up to Hollywood Blvd. and visit some of the most iconic spots, like the Hollywood In and Out, Amoeba Records, Sunset Blvd, and many more.
Aside from downtown LA, other cities in the greater LA County offer fun pathways, sidewalks, and riverbanks to cruise around in.
Aside from zipping through sidewalks, you can also visit the riverbanks from the LA river going all the way to Huntington Beach in Orange County.
I used to live in Long Beach and loved cruising along the riverbanks. These banks allow access across many cities in LA and offer miles of fun!
Just make sure you avoid joggers and bikers—and share the lanes!
Other beach cities you can cruise around in:
- Manhattan Beach
- Hermosa Beach
- Redondo Beach
- San Pedro
- Huntington Beach
When cruising around beach cities, going to the shore can have quite an incline—so make sure you know how to stop.
To upgrade your experience, learning how to do a power slide on your cruiser is ideal—but you can still enjoy it even without it.
The Best Part About Cruising in Los Angeles and its Surrounding Areas
First of all, it’s almost always sunny in LA. The weather is nice during the spring, autumn, and winter, which means it’s not too cold or not too hot.
Summers can get too hot, but cruising at night is not that bad during the summertime. It hardly ever rains in LA, which means you can literally go cruising all year round without worrying about snow and rain.
Second, Los Angeles is an iconic city. Whether you are walking or cruising on your skateboard—there are many locations to visit.
Public transportation might be confusing to tourists, but if you are on your skateboard and have a phone with internet, it is hard to get lost.
Whether you are an LA local or a tourist, cruising on your skateboard around the city and other beach cities in the LA and OC area is definitely a skateboarder’s dream.
If you want to start cruising or plan on visiting LA to cruise around—the next sections will explain some of the things you need to know.
What You Need for Cruising
A cruiser is usually equipped with a wider deck for stability, wider trucks with excellent ‘carvability’ (usually, the looser the trucks, the better for cruising), smooth Abec-7 or higher bearings, and softer wheels (around 78 to 83a in durometer).
However, some companies make smaller cruisers for people who want to get around without carrying a heavier skateboard when riding public transportation.
I personally recommend buying a complete cruiser setup since they are already equipped with all the components that are best for cruising and more. You can check out Cruisin City’s collection of cruiser completes here.
To fully understand the differences between types of skateboards and their disciplines, you can read one of our previous articles here.
Cruising Tips to Get Started
If you are new to skateboarding, you might want to learn the basics.
You don’t just need to learn how to skate, but also how to cruise when there are many people walking, bike riders, and other skateboarders.
Here are a few tips you might want to take note of before you get out and go cruising around on your skateboard:
- Learn how to footbrake
The secret to foot braking is to learn how to balance on your skateboard with your front foot. If you are comfortable pushing fast on your skateboard, you can quickly learn how to footbrake.
Instead of pushing your back foot, slowly apply pressure on the ground until you feel like slowing down. Gradually adjust your weight and apply pressure on the ground to avoid bailing off your board, especially when you are going fast.
- Be courteous to pedestrians
These cruising spots have many pedestrians, riders, joggers, and other skaters. It is best to stay in your lane and don’t cut other people off.
Cruising is all about enjoying the ride and exploring your surroundings. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to learn tricks to cruise. The important thing is to enjoy what you are doing and keep yourself hydrated!
Have fun cruising LA!
Article written by GB Castillo