“9 Core Skate Shops You Need to Visit in San Diego” by Brian Blakely via Transworld Skateboarding

“9 Core Skate Shops You Need to Visit in San Diego” by Brian Blakely via Transworld Skateboarding

Sixes and Sevens new location in Oceanside

Skate shops are often the pillar of local skate scenes across the globe and are always going above and beyond to do great things for their communities. And while “core” shops exist all over the world, it’s no surprise that San Diego has its fair share of them spanning from county to county, but I will admit, not all of them give you that classic skate shop feel. 

That said, these eight local shops are the real deal (in my humble opinion) and each of them are an important part of their local skate scenes and communities as a whole. From supplying skaters of all ages with everything they need to get rad, to throwing events, demos, video premieres and beyond… if you’re ever in San Diego, pop in, say hi and show some support!

Sixes and Sevens (Rancho Penasquitos, CA & Oceanside, CA)

From art shows with legends like Steve Caballero, Christian Hosoi and local rippers to demos, live music and beyond, Sixes and Sevens offers something for everyone. With one of the most impressive board walls in the area, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for when you walk through their doors. And while you’re there, might as pick up some vinyl, band tees, and punk pins! Conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the Rancho Penasquitos skatepark (and less than a mile from parks at their Oceanside location), Sixes and Sevens filled a much-needed gap in their areas. Roll in, watch some classic skate videos on the VHS player, and who knows—you might even catch me behind the counter!

Rancho Penasquitos Address: 9926 Carmel Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92129

Oceanside Address: 4170 Oceanside Blvd. Oceanside, CA 92056

Slappy’s Garage (Downtown San Diego & Linda Vista, CA)

With San Diego skateboarding legend Jason Carney steering the ship, you know a shop like Slappy’s can do no wrong. This shop oozes San Diego skate history and supports some of the heaviest up-and-coming locals in San Diego. Need directions to the best skateparks and spots in the area? Best food spots or bars? Whatever! I guarantee you whoever is behind the counter will get you situated, that’s for sure. “Our main goal is to keep people rolling, plain and simple,” their site humbly mentions. “All the people involved in the shop love skateboarding for one reason or another. So much so that we’ve created a community with the shared love.” Also, their name has always been one of my favorites—just saying! 

Downtown Address: 465 17th St, San Diego, CA 92101

Linda Vista Address: 6585 Osler St, San Diego, CA 92111

The House of Vista (Vista, CA) 

The House holds down the Vista skate scene more than any other shop in the area and has become an absolute pillar in the North County skate community. They host video premieres, BBQs, epic Go Skateboarding Day events and have done some rad collabs with your favorite brands. Oh, and my favorite part—they have a “living room” setup in the front corner of the shop with a couch, coffee table, mags and TV that makes you feel like you’re meeting at your homies house getting ready to go skate. Plus, they have their back lot, which is basically a DIY skateboarding playground for local skaters who feel like escaping the crowds at the local park when it’s going nuts. Drop in and talk some shop with Mike! You’ll probably smell some charcoal burning. 

Address: 637 S Santa Fe Ave C, Vista, CA 92083

Grandeur (Oceanside, CA & Escondido, CA) 

With their original storefront located in the heart of downtown Oceanside, Grandeur’s first shop layout was undeniably one of the most unique on the list. Located downstairs off the strip of the bustling Coast HWY, they’ve been carrying the Oceanside scene for years and have always stayed true to who they are, bridging the gap between art, tagging and skating perfectly. With a second location in the cuts of Escondido, CA, they honestly couldn’t have popped up in a better location. The staff is as real and authentic as it gets—straight from the streets—and they always have a solid selection of boards, apparel, shoes and (literally) everything in between. Take one step through their doors and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Oceanside Address: 215 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Escondido Address: 945 W Valley Pkwy suite m, Escondido, CA 92025


Named after Bones Brigade OG Mike McGill, McGill’s Skate Shop has been a cornerstone of the coastal Encinitas skate scene since 1987. “We take pride in being a 100% skateboarder-owned and operated business,” their website proudly states. And like all the other shops on this list, their dedication to authentic skate culture is exactly why they’re here. If you’re ever in the area, roll on in. Who knows… maybe you’ll see some other OG Bones Brigade alum talkin’ shop!

Address: 140 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024

Arts-Rec (Barrio Logan, CA & Chula Vista, CA)

Skateboarders, sneakerheads and streetwear fanatics alike can walk through the doors of Arts-Rec and immediately feel right at home. And personally, I really admire how naturally they’re able to bridge that gap. Founded in 2018 by Kellen James, a 20-year veteran professional skateboarder (for those who don’t know), the shop has quickly established itself as the go-to spot for the best in skateboarding and streetwear culture in the area. Both of their locations offer a vast selection of top-tier brands and chances are you’ll see some of the crew skating out front when you roll up. They’re always having a good time doing things their way while staying true to the heart of skateboarding. What else can you ask for?

Barrio Logan Address: 2161 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113

Chula Vista Address: 241 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

Rose Street (Encinitas, CA)

Rose Street opened its doors in November of 2019 and has been supporting the local community ever since. The name Rose Street pays homage to the iconic Brooklyn Banks in NYC—a place that served as a formative experience for Sean, one of the two co-founders growing up. And even though opening a skate shop wasn’t necessarily on their radar when they moved to North County, their site mentions, “Sean was constantly being asked by local kids where he got his shoes, hat, and clothes he was wearing… and highlighted the void in the local scene.” They’ve built up a ripping shop team, dropped some bangin’ shop videos and have hosted some fun events over the last few years with no signs of slowing down. They have it all and then some. Roll through and see for yourself. 

Address: 204 N El Camino Real D, Encinitas, CA 92024

Overload (San Diego, CA)

Overload opened its doors in 2000 and has called North Park home for over two decades. They’re a cornerstone in the San Diego skate scene and offer an impressive selection of hardgoods, shoes, streetwear and everything else you might need. “After settling a block south on 30th Street, we’ve had the privilege of watching our neighborhood grow around us,” their site mentions. They’ve hosted great events, do unique giveaways with local businesses in the area and recently renovated the shop as a way to celebrate 24 solid years of business! The fact that they’re located near so many ripping San Diego skate spots is just the cherry on top. Whether you’re a local or in town visiting, drop by and say what’s up. Whatever you need—they got you covered!

Pacific Drive (San Diego, CA)

Last but not least, Pacific Drive—a true San Diego skate shop staple. PD is easily one of the most iconic skate shops in all of San Diego and has been providing skater’s with authenticity, culture and gear since 1987. If only those walls could talk! From Danny Way to Muska, Jamie Thomas to Peter Smolik, Sean Sheffey and countless others, they’ve sponsored some of the heaviest pros early on in their “careers” and have never swayed away from their core ethos. Skater owned and operated—today, tomorrow, forever. Pacific Drive is as real as it gets. I’d say you need to stop at all of these shops if you’re ever in San Diego, but if you had to choose one, well… you better head to the coast and roll up to Pacific Drive. 

Address: 756 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Now, understand—lists like this don’t always include everyone. I get that. The shops on this list are just a blend of my opinion and personal experiences visiting them through the years. If you’re a shop owner, employee, supporter, whatever… we salute you. Your efforts and hard work do not go unnoticed. 

We’ll be compiling a list of LA and New York shops next, and tapping into a few other regions along the way. At any rate, we can’t say it enough: Support your local skate shop! 

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