Carlsbad, CA is known for great skating and is the home of the original skate park. Skating is such a part of the city that there's even a group, The Carlsbad Village Association, trying to get a skate park, museum and art center built to honor its amazing skateboarding history. So when I heard there was a great spot hidden in Carlsbad, I wasn't surprised and was excited to see it!
Not every skater is happy keeping to skate parks; many prefer the adventure of more rugged, organic spots and like to test their skills on different obstacles. So when Patrick, a local skater, volunteered to show me one of his favorite out-of-the way places to ride, I couldn't resist! From the second I met him, I could tell he treasured this spot; a peaceful drainage ditch across the street from Batiquitos Lagoon. We parked on the corner of La Costa Ave and Saxony and walked east for about 3 minutes, until we came upon the access road gate. We went around that gate, trudging through waist-high weeds and plants, then continued to a chain link fence with a "La Costa Basin" sign on it. We gained access to the spot via an opening in the fence, about 50 ft to the right of that gate. From there, we just had to go about 400 feet back, towards the road. Even though it was a bit of a hike, it was pretty easy to find.
As we approached the run, I was instantly struck by the graffiti. I expected plenty, but was surprised and impressed by the quality and originality of most of the art work! The ditch looked like it needs a good sweep to get it ready for the summer, but it's really asking to be shredded. It's about 16 feet wide with 3'6" high walls, has soft enough transitions to ride quickly, and varying degrees of down hill slope for a challenging ride. At about 100 feet long, it boasts plenty of trick opportunities per pass. With a good top edge, the ditch is perfect for tail and nose slides, and a few killer obstacles, like a grind-able drain hole, give the opportunity to add tricks, originality and technical difficulty to a session. The several small drainage inlets scattered throughout could catch a wheel, so beware! Those openings, as well as the big drain hole (that's been used for grinding a little too much), and a sunken center area (which screams to be cleaned out and used for some sliding action), will keep even the best skater on his game! The run flattens out near the end, allowing time for a skater to stop before getting to the swampy part. For another view click here to see Google maps view from La Costa Ave.
If you decide to make the trek, this spot is definitely worth a look! Sure, it needs a little work to be totally ride-able, but if anyone wants to rip it up, don't hesitate to ask for help getting it ready; I'm always game! It'd be great to see this spot used to its full potential!
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