Original Carlsbad Skatepark was built and opened to the public on March 13, 1976. The world’s first skateboard park, it was quickly followed by hundreds of newer parks across the globe. Within months of opening, Carlsbad’s bowls, snake runs, and moguls were overshadowed by newer parks that captured the changing styles of the dominant skaters of the day. Even so, Carlsbad Skatepark was the first ripple in the skatepark wave that swept the world in the 1970s—a wave that re-emerged in the 1990s and continues today.
After closing in the late 70s, Carlsbad Skatepark’s lower snake run and bowl area was used as a fishing pond for a couple years before becoming the foundation for Mike McGill’s Skatepark, a collection of wooden ramps set around the two bowls. But the coveted mogul area of the old park remained buried on the bluff above the ramps.
Carlsbad Skatepark was built on the edge of the Carlsbad Raceway property, an off-road auto and motorcycle track and drag strip that operated for about 30 years. The area had long been ignored by developers, but with the eastward expansion of North San Diego County and despite attempts by local skaters and skateboard companies to save the buried skatepark, the raceway and the old Carlsbad Skatepark property were developed into an industrial park in 2005.