(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Skateboarding is an emblem of life in Southern California. Dry-land surfing was invented here back in the 1950’s, and its influence is still strongly felt today in popular culture, from clothing styles for the young (and the young at heart), to music and even many slang terms you’ll hear.

If you’re ready to shred it up in and around Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and Orange County, here are a few of the best skate parks.

Please note that each park has its own set of hours, prices, rules and regulations. Most require helmets and protective gear, and you skate without them at your own risk. SoCalSkateParks.com is a great resource for all those details as well as photos and video.

(credit: ci.costa-mesa.ca.us)

Orange County

Vans – The Block Skatepark
20 City Blvd., Suite 2
Orange, CA 92868
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This 30,000 sq. ft. indoor park is world class, offering both concrete and wood surfaces, an X-Games style vert ramp, and a remake of the Upland Pipeline combi-bowl. Top skateboarders, both professional and amateur, have been known to skate here, so be on the lookout: you might see a celebrity.

Costa Mesa
Volcom at Tewinkle Park
900 Arlington Drive
Costa Mesa, Ca 92626
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This 20,000 sq. ft. park is designed for all ages, which means plenty of helicopter parents on duty, but there are also some features for serious skaters like an X-games wall and a vert bowl.

Laguna Hills
Laguna Hills Skatepark
25555 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
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This park is 20,000 sq. ft. of beginner-land, located next to a high school, and can get very crowded on weekdays after school.

(credit: veniceskatepark.com)

Los Angeles County

Venice Beach Skatepark
1 Windward Circle,
Venice, CA 90291
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Located right on world-famous Venice Beach, the Venice park was many years in the making and has the advantage of great views of the ocean and the fascinating crowds along Ocean Front walk. This 17,000 sq. ft. park has two pools, stairs and a street section for all the ollies you can handle.

Culver City
Culver City Skatepark
9910 Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
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This 13,000 sq. ft. park has a large pool and a small street section, and was designed through a series of community workshops with local skateboarders.

Santa Monica
The Cove Skatepark
14th and Olympic
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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Located in Dogtown itself, the Cove Skatepark is in Santa Monica’s Memorial park and offers 20,000 sq. ft. of concrete full of ramps, stairs and deep bowls.

Inland Empire

Jurupa Skatepark
4810 Pedley Road
Riverside, CA 92509
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This small park is known as a place where skateboards, bikes and kids on scooters are all welcome, although for safety, on different days. Its 13,000 sq. ft. of small to medium features also has great flow and is a great spot to beat the heat at night.

Skate/BMX Park at Fontana Park
15556 Lytle Creek Road
Fontana, CA 92331
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This large park has a street course, a flow run, a Peanut Bowl, and a bowled pocket, and each feature is separate which reduces the chances of collisions.

Skatepark at Jack Bulik Park
Jack Bulik park
16581 Filbert Ave.
Fontana, CA 92336
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This 27,000 sq. ft. park is considered truly great by those in the know, with a three-bowl clover and a round vert bowl.

Upland Skatepark
Foothill Blvd. between Hospital Way and Grove Avenue
Upland, CA 91786
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This 10,000 sq. ft. park is a remake of its former self from the 1970’s, and includes a large half-pipe and a 20-ft full-pipe. This park is known for speed and is not recommended for beginners.

Sarah Auerswald is a mother of 2 boys and the co-Founder and CEO of MomsLA, a Community of the Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles.