Where is it?
Rancho Penasquitos skatepark is located in Rancho Penasquitos, California just west of Willy’s Workshop (whose address is 9995 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, California 92129).
If you’re traveling north on the 15 Freeway, exit Rancho Penasquitos Blvd. and go left. Drive about a mile or so, and turn right on Carmel Mountain Road. Turn right at Freeport Road and you will be sitting in the parking lot. From the 15 south: Exit Carmel Mountain Road, making a right turn. Travel about two and a half miles, and you’ll see the park on your left as you come down a hill. Turn left at Freeport Road into the parking lot.
What’s in the park?
The park is a mixture of concrete and wood-mostly street-oriented. There are bigger, more traditional street obstacles like a ten-stair rail with hubbas, a five-stair with a picnic table down it, and a three-flat-three double set with a kinked rail. There’s other more skatepark-style street, i.e., pyramids, funboxes, a manual pad, two planter boxes with palm trees, one with tranny, the other has a four-sided curved bench. There’re also lots of banks, one five-foot tranny hip, a Euro gap, and a mixture of rails.
Who designed it?
There was an original design when I first got involved that called for a fullpipe the size of the entire park. Could have been fun for a little while, but PQ really has tons of young kids and very little to skate. I got involved after a city council meeting and was allowed to redesign the park based on the footprint of the original layout. I am responsible for the layout of the park and was onsite as often as humanly possible to keep up the quality control. The project was entirely volunteer, and I did what I could to create something different from the normal skatepark you find in San Diego.
It is important to note that this is a city of San Diego skatepark, and thus it falls within their rules and hours. That being said, the park has a budget of 40 hours a week. Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Does it have lights?
At this time, there are no lights. The original plan called for lights, but due to budget issues and neighbor complaints only the conduit was installed. I would hope that someday we will work this out.
What’s good about it?
Tons of space and a totally different flavor of skatepark than what’s been built lately. The park has super good flow, everything connects, and there is something for just about everyone. If you purchase the membership, you can also skate the Memorial Skatepark, Robb Field in Ocean Beach, and one new city park that should be finished by the time this comes out.
What’s bad about it?
Pads, paying to skate, and the fine art of grom dodging. They really need lights and a vending machine.
What pros skate there?
Willy Santos and the Workshop Posse hold it down. You’ll run into Peter Smolik, DC24, and the rest of the Skate Mafia fellas. Who knows day to day? Might have a few Colonel (yours truly) spottings here and there.
Any admission fees?
A day at the PQ skatepark will set you back five dollars. The three-month membership to all of the city of San Diego parks costs 30 dollars.
Do you have to wear pads?
Yes, city rules apply.
What about cops?
Unless you’re in the park after hours or you bring the gang warfare, you never see them.
When does it get crowded?
Sessions go off during the middle of the day.
What are the chances of getting beat up?
Loco ten-year-old beatdowns are a serious threat.
One to ten rating?
Nine for street content, and five for tranny.-Aric “Colonel” Sanders