As many skateboarders know, it’s hard to find a decent skate park where you can let loose, have a good time, all while feeling comfortable in your element. Many of the skate parks I’ve been to have been fairly overcrowded or had many young inexperienced children who were left there unsupervised by their parents. Some skate parks even allow bikes and scooters to roam freely within the compound, all while putting others at risk of serious injury. Another issue with many skate parks is upkeep of their facilities. Trash is sometimes littered all over causing a severe hazard for anyone on a board. San Clemente Skate Park, also known as Ralph’s Skate Court, is one of the better parks I’ve been to that doesn’t seem to have all these issues. It is located at 241 Avenida La Pata in the beautiful beach town of San Clemente, California.
About the Park
San Clemente Skate Park is an outdoor skate park that was built in 2000 and is approximately 14,000 sq ft. The park itself is located within the Richard T. Steed Memorial Sports Park, which is located about 3 miles inland east off the Avenida Pico Exit from the I-5 Freeway. Since the park is located on a hill, you get a fairly nice view of the surrounding area leading up to the park. There is a basic fence around the skating structure. It is not fully enclosed and has no lockable or controlled gate. Public restrooms are available at the park, but the stalls do not have any doors, which is uncomfortable knowing that anyone can just “walk in” on you. The park is unsupervised and there is no admission charge, so you are free to come and go as you please at no cost. There is also an abundance of parking at the park, so finding a spot should never pose an issue unless there is a big event going on nearby at one of the other areas in the park. The park opens daily at 8:00am. Friday the park is closed from 8:00-10:00am for maintenance. Since there is no lighting, skateboarders generally leave when the sun sets. This park also hosts skateboarding contests regularly, as well as skateboarding lessons offered by the City of San Clemente’s Recreation Division.
Rules Of the Park
A big sign is posted out front that lists the rules of the park, which states that no bikes or scooters are permitted inside the structure. There is also an additional sign that states that full head gear must be worn, as well as knee and elbow pads. Many of the skateboarders do use safety gear, but there’s always a few people who don’t. Since there is no supervision, it’s up to the skateboarders to use their own discretion.
The Skating Area
The skating area is made of concrete and is not the most challenging park I’ve been to, but nevertheless it’s still fun for skateboarders of all levels and it flows nicely. There is a double-bowl with a spine, handrails, a seven stair, and a great flyout spot to get speed. The concrete is sometimes choppy in certain areas and doesn’t always flow smoothly, but it’s still a good ride. It’s generally not overcrowded and tends to have a good continuous flow going on between everyone taking their runs.
Atmosphere of the Park
Many of the skateboarders who come here are local high school kids and adults. Every now and then you’ll encounter an amazingly great little skateboarder under the age of 10 who just blows your mind at what he can do on his board. You’d also be surprised at how many adults use this park regularly. It really is a friendly all-ages park that is tucked nicely back in the little town of San Clemente. It’s great to see the diversity of everyone skateboarding and getting along at this park, which is rare amongst other skate parks. The atmosphere has never been anything but pleasant when I was there. I definitely give my two thumbs up on visiting this park. Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays, so be prepared to wait a few extra seconds if you want to skate this park on the weekends.
Unfortunately, there is no contact number listed for this skate park. The City of San Clemente Recreation Division tends to run the events at this park. They can be reached at (949) 361-8264.