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Davis, California

Monday, February 26, 2024

Best spots to skateboard on campus 

From beginner to advanced, here are the places to hit 


By SIERRA JIMENEZ — arts@theaggie.org


Whether you’re a beginner just learning how to TicTac on the board or the next Tony Hawk, skateparks are notoriously intimidating. Learning how to cruise and land sick tricks on your board is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. Below are the best spots on campus that are less daunting than a skatepark and open to all levels. 


West Entry Parking Structure 

Atop what the locals call “Hutchinson” is a Davis favorite for cruising and learning new tricks. Popular around sundown, this parking structure has the best views of the picturesque Davis sunsets. The population on the last floor of the structure is always varied — from photographers to skaters, this is a place for all. Positioned at a slant, as a parking garage naturally is, it is perfect for getting the hang of standing on the board or bombing all the levels of the garage from top to bottom. With a relatively smooth surface, there are minimal potholes to avoid, which makes it easier to practice your board tricks. With curbs to practice small jumps, this is a nice and easy place to get comfortable on a board without all eyes on you. 


Death Star

Smooth and secluded, this spot is the perfect place to practice cruising or tricks off of the many staircases that make up the Social Sciences and Humanities Building, otherwise known as the Death Star. In a maze of various staircases and hallways, there is an endless supply of spots to learn jumps or perfect a landing without many eyes watching. Everyone already gets lost in that labyrinth of a structure, so bring a board and check it out for yourself. Additionally, the stairs off of the Death Star facing iTea have some gnarly steps to practice jumps and landing tricks — especially if you like the attention of all eyes on you with all the hot food spots right off-campus. 


Davis Gap

Located at Roessler Hall, this is a destination all skaters aspire to hit. Famous skater Chris Joslin raised the bar for skaters near and far by landing a tre flip off of what many compare to looking down a mountain. “When you’re standing on top of that mountain it’s hard to imagine anybody making it to the bottom alive,” stated Thrasher Magazine in the YouTube description of Joslin’s legendary jump in 2016. Going off the walkway, over the giant bush patch and landing on the ground, this is a jump not many can make — but hey, maybe see if you can. 


Olson Bridge Dip 

Especially on a cruiser, the bridge next to Olson Hall on campus is a fun little roller coaster dip for any skater. Not necessarily the hardest thing to hit on the board, it is a nice change from the level ground on the rest of campus. It is almost a campus skate ramp for students getting to and from class. It is a good spot for beginners to feel comfortable on dips and small hills — learning how to reposition balance in your feet and your body differently than on an even ground. Although rather beginner-level, it puts a smile on everyone’s faces who are on wheels (even bikers). 


California Hall

Despite the years of construction and noise it took to build this modern hall, it was all worth it for Davis skaters. The smooth concrete allows for uninterrupted cruising. No potholes, no rocks and no cracks, this is the ideal spot for any skater — whether it be skateboarding or roller skating. The high that skaters get when hitting smooth pavement is sublime. If you’ve got new wheels, loosen up your trucks and get it on at California Hall, where twisting and turning is the name of the game. Longboarding or riding any board with polyurethane wheels will make you feel exhilarated and free as if you were hitting rips on a surfboard. 


Written by: Sierra Jimenez — arts@theaggie.org



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