Are you looking for the best skate shops in Santa Cruz California? You’ve come to the right place! We’re real, actual skaters & we’ve personally toured & tested all the must see skate shops in Santa Cruz, California. We took tons of photos to wet your whistle and start planning a trip to Santa Cruz.
Not only did we tour all of the best skate shops in Santa Cruz California but we made a purchases and tested the knowledge of the sales staff at each shop (so you don’t have to).
We’ll give you all the deets about each skate shop (along with tons of photos) so you can make your own decision. If you have the time to spend a day in Santa Cruz, I serious suggest that you check out each and every one of these shops (we’ve included only the best after all!)
For any lifelong skater, the skate shops of Santa Cruz are nothing short of a pilgrimage to Mecca. You’ll also find plenty of paved trails to cruise around and fantastic skate parks to while way the rest of your time in Santa Cruz.
The Town of Santa Cruz itself well known for world class surfing, a world famous beachside arcade boardwalk (with tons of rides), great beach town vibes and of course it’s the namesake of world renown Santa Cruz Skateboards.
The vibes of this cute, seaside neighborhood are hard to match. If Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier had a secret love child it would be Santa Cruz, California. From the boardwalk to the surf scene and all the natural beauty in between you won’t be disappointed with a trip here.
Accommodations are reasonably priced for an overnight stay and you can find excellent restaurant fair in just about every price range. The city itself is very skate-able with lots of north/south & east/west paved trails. Even if you’re not skating, the town itself is very walkable or bikeable.
OK let’s talk about our first stop and (in our opinion) the best skate shop in Santa Cruz- Skateworks.
Best Skate Shops in Santa Cruz California
131 Center St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (Opens in Google Maps)
Monday – Friday
Saturday & Sunday
PHONE: (831) 427-4292
What this shop does well: Unrivaled, friendly, helpful customer service and skate knowledge. This shop has that friendly locals vibe (that other shops I went to just didn’t have). Fine selection of skate decks, wheels & components along with completes. Bring yo’ girl with you because they have a roller skate section that’s NOT to be missed!
It should probably come as no surprise that one of the smallest skate shops in Santa Cruz was our hands down favorite. Family run since 1988, Skateworks provides a customer service centric atmosphere with a full service skateboard and roller skate shop.
When we first entered Skateworks we were promptly and politely greeted by Bill Strubbing (owner and skateboard extraordinaire).
The shop with was buzzing with other customers but Bill took the time to check in with us and see if he could help point us in the right direction. I listened carefully as he imparted his years of experience and wisdom with other excited customers in the shop.
I watched as Skate technician and local skate pro Nil Sylva cheerily assembled one young man’s first skateboard while dispensing a plethora of beginner skating tips. Both of these guys are top notch and a delight to converse with about all things skating.
With Bill’s help I picked out all the components for a new popsicle board I’m calling Mr. Blue (a la Reservoir Dogs) that’ll keep my cruiser (Mr. Pink) and longboard (Mr. Green) company.
This skate shop has everything you could possibly need (skate clothing, skate shoes, unique boards of many colors & graphics) along with decades of expert knowledge to impart. You can have Bill or Nik assemble your dream skateboard on the spot (like me) or pick out a ready to roll complete.
I could wax poetically about this shop for hours but you want to see the shop right?!?!? Let’s take a quick tour!
825 41st Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (Opens in Google Maps)
Open 7 Days a Week
PHONE: (831) 464-2500
What this shop does well: Unrivaled selection of complete skateboards & longboards along with a large selection of decks and components to make your dream build. Clothing selection is also great (especially those funny skate socks). Located in fantastic area to grab lunch and check out the local surf scene at The Hook.
The Santa Cruz Boardroom is located in the ORIGINAL Santa Cruz Skateboards manufacturing facility (NHS fun factory). It’s located in the heart of Pleasure Point which is nothing short of a surfing mecca. The Boardroom is surrounded by surf shops, small cafes and friendly coffee shops. The vibe here is easy going and with the local atmosphere- it’s easy to make an entire day out of it.
The Boardroom is one of the LARGEST skate shops in California and houses a rare deck/skateboard museum of sorts along its walls and ceiling. The staff is helpful when needed and you won’t feel any sales pressure if you came in just to admire it’s magnificence.
You’ll find literally thousands of of boards to choose from along with every component under the sun. If you’re looking for complete skateboards there is a huge section devoted to ready to ride boards. The skate apparel section has a healthy supply of Santa Cruz licensed apparel, skate shoes and some of the coolest skate socks I’ve ever seen. Let’s take a peek inside!
Before you head out be sure to stop by the register to pick up a FREE Santa Cruz Boardroom sticker or license plate frame for your ride showing support for your favorite skate shop!.
1240 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (Opens in Google Maps)
PHONE: (831) 469-0904
What this shop does well: Hands down the best skate shoe department in Santa Cruz along with a huge skate deck & component selection. An unrivaled homage to skating history with their in house skateboard museum (it. is. MUST SEE!).
Bill’s Wheels is hands down one of the largest skate shops in Santa Cruz. It’s been in business for over 45 years and run by local Skate Jam legend Bill Ackerman. You’ll find a large selection of skate shoes, decks, components & on trend skate clothing. There is a small section of complete skateboards.
The highlight of this skate shop is the extensive collection of vintage and rare skateboards. Every spare inch of wall and ceiling space is devoted to paying homage to skateboard history.
You’ll find the best skate shoe selection in Santa Cruz…along with a large assortment of decks, wheels & components. Staff is knowledgeable but mostly hands off…allowing you to look around at your leisure and seek help when you need it. Let’s take a look inside!
Personally speaking, we love small, local skate shops because we love working with and helping small business owners. It’s not that the larger skate shops were bad in any way (they are small businesses too in their own right). Larger shops simply provide less hands on attention with each customer. But we know some people prefer that hands off kind of experience in a skate shop. Some people wanna walk around, check things out on their own without ever encountering staff.
I hope you enjoyed our tour of the best skate shops in Santa Cruz California. I absolutely believe you should check out all of the skate shops on our list because each of them has something unique to offer. If you’re a skater, you’ll enjoy every minute of it.