Category: Tough Life

6 Tough Mama Approved Skateparks in San Diego

Published on August 30, 2022

best skateparks in san diego

In San Diego, the roots of skate culture run deep. 

Local surf pioneers like Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith innovated modern board-making techniques back in the early ‘60s. Del Mar’s 1975 skate competition helped legitimize the sport in the eyes of the mainstream. Spots like the Escondido Reservoir and La Costa housing tract became such iconic skate spots in the ‘70s that their terrain would become the DNA for many a modern skatepark.

 If that’s not legit enough, the Carlsbad Skatepark – born in 1976 – was one of the first two skateparks on the planet (both of the OGs opened in the same month). Here’s how San Diego skateparks are keeping the culture alive, and six spots where you can see it thrive today.

San Diego skateparks Robb Field
Photo by Christian Cellular

The Mecca: Robb Field Skate Park

Daygo isn’t short on massive skate emporiums – look no further than beefy, 30K-plus-square-foot San Diego skateparks like Encinitas or Linda Vista for proof – but at 40,000 square feet of concrete, this 20-plus-year-old spot is something of a crown jewel.

Among all that space at Robb Field, you’ll find plenty of handrails, ledges, and blocks, plus a combo bowl, pump bump, and octagon volcano. Long story short, it offers everything but the kitchen sink, is big on wide-open blue-skies SD energy, and features more than enough space to make you feel cozy whether you’re a learner, a pro, or a spectator.

San Diego skateparks Chicano Park
Photo via On the Grid

For the Street Features (and the Art): Chicano Park Skatepark 

You don’t need all that size to be one of the best parks in San Diego, you just need vibes. Barrio Logan has good vibes in spades, and they all condense and explode in technicolor under the Coronado Bridge. Among some of the sickest street art in the city, you’ll find smooth and spacious features like a pyramid, quarterpipes, pool coping, and lots of ledges. As On the Grid puts it, “Not the most features for a skatepark, but a lot of real estate to play in a supremely unique setting.”

San Diego skateparks Washington Street
Photo via WVST

A Locals Only Park for Vet Skaters: Washington Street Skatepark

SD locals know Washington Street as a park built by skaters for skaters. In 1999, Daygo was running low on safe skate spots and police were cracking down on the culture with outrageous tickets, sometimes up to $300 (cue the “Skating Is Not a Crime” shirts – they were a thing for a reason). That’s why a non-profit group of volunteers – who still maintain the park, so don’t be a shit when you’re there – created Washington Street Skatepark. Here, you’ll find all-weather skating nestled under the Pacific Highway, free parking, no fees, no safety gear enforcement, speedy lines, kinky kinks, and a wild keyhole. Naturally, it’s boards only out here.

San Diego skateparks Imperial Beach
Photo via Skate.in

Beachy Vibes: Imperial Beach Skate Park

You can’t scope out a skatepark in California without scoping out a good beach – enter the southernmost skatepark on the whole West Coast, Imperial Beach Skate Park. This small park with a 3-foot-high flow bowl (with extensions and taco), street features, simple rails, sloping banks, and a big hubba welcomes learners just as much as it beckons experienced skaters who just want to chill the f**k out. You don’t come to Imperial Beach for the street cred or the TikTok views, you come here to hit a hybrid and get mellow with a touch of ocean breeze on your face.

San Diego skateparks Krause
Photo via YMCA

All-Wheel Drive: Krause Family Skate & Bike Park

If you need a laid-back vibe that’s family friendly but not a total bore, Krause Family Skate and Bike Park at the Mission Valley YMCA is your ticket. It spans 60,000 square feet for a reason, and that reason is that it’s way more than just a skatepark. 

Krause packs massive permanent bike tracks as well as vert ramps, a pool, a BMX course, mini-ramps with spines and – maybe most notably for skaters – a full-assed skatercross skateboard racing track. Which is honestly f**king wild. It does charge membership fees (as little as $25 a month or as much as $360 a year, depending on your Y membership) but you’d be hard-pressed to find any other spot that hosts so many wheels in one big place.

San Diego skateparks Cesar Solis
Photo via Stray Rocket

Something for Everyone: Cesar Solis

Cesar Solis in Ocean View Hills kinda feels like San Diego came to life as a skate park – it’s big, it’s clean, it’s spacious and it’s as mild as an indica cone blunt. While it’s heavy on street style features, Solis has really got something for everyone, including a ramp-rail combo in the shape of a whale tail that sorta rules (we know you want that photo-op and we don’t blame you).

But the highlight here is thoughtful design; everything sort of just flows perfectly into the next thing, putting you right in the zone, letting you live in that sweet spot – and you should probably have a good high on while you chase that flowy feeling to its maximum.

How High Are You? Take this Quiz to Find Out

Published on August 25, 2022

how high are you quiz

by Cyrus Grant

So, you want to know how high you are right now? To be honest, if you’re asking, you’re probably pretty high. But, that’s not very fun, so here’s a little quiz (very scientific) to give you a definitive answer.

Note, some of the questions might not have answers that are entirely accurate to your situation, so just pick whichever answer matches your general vibe the best. Also, grab your phone or a piece of paper to keep track of how many points you get, then we’ll do some simple addition, and voila, you’ll know how high you are.

Let’s get this party started!

Answer these questions and your question will be answered….

  • Have you smoked, eaten, drank, and/or done some weird shit with weed at some point today?
    • Yes – (1 point)
    • No – (0 points)
    • I don’t remember…so, yeah – (2 points)
  • Do you know what time, day, and year it currently is? 
    • Of course, dumb question – (0 points)
    • Time is a man-made construct, man – (1 point)
    • Ahhhhh the dinosaurs are coming! – (2 points)
  • What did you eat for your last meal?
    • A big ol’ loaded-up burrito – (1 point)
    • A nice salad, gotta count those calories! – (-1 point)
    • Well, I started with a nice PB&J milkshake, made some nachos using Doritos as a base, and then snuck in a pop-tart ice cream sandwich for dessert – (2 points)
    • I was actually just about to chow down on…hey, who took a bite out of my sandwich?? – (3 points)
  • How did you get high last?
    • Enjoyed a cured resin mini Mofo – (1 point)
    • Solo’d a 1.6g full-size Tough Mama Live Resin Blunt – (2 points)
    • Realized Tough Mama YOLO SHOTZ make 10 10mg servings…after the bottle was empty  (3 points… maybe go lay down)
    • I’m high on life! – (-1 point)
  • When did you get high last?
    • It’s my default state of being – (3 points)
    • Like an hour or so ago – (1 point)
    • *bong rip sounds* – (2 points)
    • IDK, a few days ago maybe – (0 points)
  • What’s going on with your outfit right now?
    • T-shirt and some pants – (1 point)
    • Business casual, baby – (0 points)
    • A silky soft bathrobe – (2 points)
    • Clothes are the shackles of society, I prefer to let it all hang out – (3 points)
  • Has anyone asked you if you’re high right now?
    • Dude, why does everyone keep asking me that?! – (1 point)
    • No, why would they? – (0 points)
    • I don’t think they really need to ask, tbh – (2 points)
  • Where are you?
    • Who wants to know?? – (2 points)
    • Just hanging at home – (1 point)
    • At work – (0 points…unless you’re a ganjier, then infinite points)
    • Oh shit….I have no clue – (3 points)
  • Why are you taking this quiz right now?
ET how high are you
  • How hard are you laughing at the above meme?
    • *crickets* – (0 points)
    • Gave me a little giggle – (1 point)
    • That’s some funny shit! – (2 points)
    • AHAHAHA……HAAHAHA – (3 points)
  • What does the air taste like to you right now?
    • Tastes exactly like the pizza I just finished eating – (1 point)
    • WTF are talking about? – (0 points)
    • It tastes like weed…wonderful wonderful weed – (2 points)
  • Do you think you’re going to score higher than your friends?
    • They don’t call me “the smoke machine” for nothing (literally no one calls you that) – (1 point)
    • Hey, it’s not a competition…but definitely – (1 point)
    • My friends are absolute animals, so probably not – (1 point)
    • Not sure, but I guess we’ll find out! – (1 point)
  • Have you actually been keeping track of your score?
    • Absolutely – (1 point)
    • Nah, numbers aren’t really my thing – (1 point, but go back up and count…we believe in you!)
    • There’s a score? – (1 point,  just pick your favorite image in the results section below)

Add up your point total to see just how high you are!

0 to 5 points: Not stoned at all.

how high are you bored

6 to 11 points: Pretty stoned.

stoned wall how high are you

12 to 17 points: High as a fucking kite.

how high are you kid with cat

18 to 23 points: The cars aren’t actually talking, you’re just that high.

how high are you kerchoo

24 to 29 points: So high you’re practically in space

how high are you gorilla in space
*Disclaimer* – If a Tough Mama infused pre-roll put you here, congrats, you’re basically an astronaut since our prerolls are infused by robots built by former NASA scientists.

30 points: Out-of-body experience levels of high.

how high are you out of body

Now that you know how high you are, go ahead and send this to your highest friends. After all, Mama says sharing is caring!

8 Best Spots to Find Rad Street Art in Los Angeles

Published on July 29, 2022

Graffiti wall art venice

by Cyrus Grant

If we’re talking street art, there probably aren’t many places better than the City of Angels. Los Angeles might be known for its beaches, sunny weather, and movie stars, but if you know where to look, the walls around the city can beat even the fanciest of art exhibits

Luckily, we’ve got our eyes and ears to the streets, so we’ve put together a little list of where to find the best graffiti art in Los Angeles. You might want to bookmark it though, the wall art at each location often changes so you never know what you’ll see each time you visit.

Arts District – DTLA 

The Arts District has good art? Go figure. Starting the list in one of LA’s most prominent artistic areas, The Arts District is full of world-class wall art, and the best part, admission is free (because…you know, it’s just throughout the streets).

graffiti wall art container yard
  The Container Yard

The Container Yard – 800 E 4th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

If you’re trying to see the most wall art in the smallest amount of time, The Container Yard is the place to go. Originally a Japanese mochi factory, The Container Yard is now an open space for local artists to create and collaborate, resulting in what has essentially turned into a campus of wall art. While it might not be accessible to the random graffiti artist in the way some walls around the city are, the art is top-notch and done by legit street artists from around the city and beyond.

graffiti wall art art share la
Art Share LA

Art Share LA – 801 E 4th Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Not only is Art Share LA a cool place to see constantly changing wall art, but it’s also a badass affordable housing complex for artists. Thanks to this, there’s always a fresh spin on whatever art decorates the wall around the Art Share building. If you end up in the area, we also recommend taking a little walk down S. Hewit St. (on the side of Art Share LA) for some bonus graffiti wall art.

graffiti wall art bloom
Circa LA

701 E 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

In May 2016, the eastern wall of the Neptune building became home to “Bloom” by artist Hueman, replacing a long-loved painting called “Cream of the Crop” by artists DABSMYLA. While some locals were pissed to see a new painting take over the wall, “Bloom” has become a community staple, as it pays tribute to community activist Joel Bloom. 

A bonus to this location is that right around the corner on E 4th Pl., you have a collection of walls that often see new, super rad pieces pop up.

graffiti wall art colossal media
@colossalmedia

Colossal Media – 418 Molino St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Okay so this one might seem like a corporate-y option, but bear with us. Yes, Colossal Media is an advertising company. Yes, that feels like it goes against the authenticity of street art. But they do things a bit differently. They specialize in finding iconic street artists to create hand-painted outdoor murals, rather than just plastering some crap on a billboard. Honestly, they seem pretty cool.

All that aside, their office location in LA has some sweet wall art. Almost like a “Where’s Waldo?” of pop culture and iconic characters, there’s a whole lot to look at. Spanning three walls and chock-full of fun little details, trust us when we say you gotta check it out.

graffiti wall art Hauser and Wirth
Foursquare

901 E 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tucked down a one-way alley to the right of the Hauser & Wirth building (an art gallery that moved into the long-abandoned flour mill), some of the graffiti in and around this building has been there for years, and was actually kept in place and refurbished by the art gallery that currently occupies the space.

West Side 

Okay, so you could probably find a whole book on street art in the Arts District, but it isn’t the only place to find cool graffiti. The next spots on our list can be found around the sandy beaches of West Side Los Angeles.

graffiti wall art Venice Beach
Visit Venice California

Venice Art Walls – 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, California 90291

While the Arts District is full of professional-level street art, the Venice Art Walls are a more, shall we say, traditional form of graffiti. Open to anyone on the weekends, artists of all levels can show up and let the spraypaint fly. Not only does this create a pretty authentic feel to all the graffiti, but it also is constantly changing, so you never know what you might get to see.

Graffiti wall art makemake entertainment
Santa Monica

MakeMake Entertainment – 2308 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404

If you find yourself in Santa Monica looking for a variety of street art, look no further than the MakeMake Entertainment building. Every inch of this building is covered in different styles of graffiti, meaning you’ll definitely want to give it a full 360-degree tour.

graffiti wall art Venice cactus
Bloom by Kayla

Electric and Santa Clara Ave., Venice, CA 90291 

Walk around enough of Venice and you’ll see plenty of graffiti, but if you’re looking for some of Venice’s most popular street art pieces, you’ll want to head towards Abbot Kinney. Starting in the back alley on Electric Avenue and cutting through Santa Clara Avenue towards Abbot Kinney, this little side street is home to some popular walls for high-tier graffiti. Plus, there’s a bunch of great food and shopping around there if you’re all done with your LA graffiti tour. 

It’s no secret that you can find graffiti on almost any wall in a big city like Los Angeles, but we wanted to share some special spots for those of you that appreciate some next-level shit. So, as always, grab your favorite Tough Mama product, spark up (or drink up), and hit the streets to see the best graffiti in town.

Any spots we missed? Let us know in the comments down below!

5 Tough Mama Approved Skate Parks in LA

Published on July 14, 2022

Skateparks in LA Tough Mama

by Dan Ketchum

We all know that skate culture and weed culture go together like mac and cheese, and at Tough Mama, we like to consider ourselves curators of vibes (also makers of real good weed products, but you already knew this). And LA goes on forever, which is not great if you’re on the 405 (nothing is great if you’re on the 405), but is great if you need just the right skatepark to fit your style, location, skill level, and overall vibe. 

Start with these recs from your favorite local stoners, but don’t be afraid to explore on your own, too – there’s plenty enough LA to go around. 

Oh, and while you’re there, keep an eye out for a 6-foot-tall maternal gorilla who may or may not be a little high. You know Tough Mama shreds the pave wave.

skateparks in LA Venice
Unsplash

Go Old Skool: Venice Beach Skate Park (Venice)

Venice Beach Skate Park didn’t open till 2009, but it already feels like a part of LA’s historical lifeblood – and that’s no coincidence, as the turf surrounding it is famously home to the formative Z-Boys of the West Side. True to that sense of history, the skate park on Venice Beach feels a little old school, in a good way. You’ll find a nostalgic and well-rounded mix of street features, a nice big bowl (sometimes the community pitches in to clean the sand out, which is a nice touch) and a snake run.

The vibes here are colorful, welcoming and eclectic. People-wise, you might run into a Spider-Man or two, musicians and street performers, or a few dudes skating behind sunglasses-wearing pitbulls.  It’s not the best place to learn, but it’s a wonderful spot to people-watch or sit back and enjoy others skating, especially since it’s steps away from the surf and sand, not to mention the iconic Venice Boardwalk.

skateparks in LA west side
Diana Maxwell for The L.A. Times

You knew we had to do it, right? Like, we’re the people that make YOLO SHOTZ. We’re gonna pick the place with “stoner” in the name.

But Stoner Skate Plaza – which is actually named for the street that it’s on, not for weed (sorry) – has a lot more going for it. Street skating is the heart of Stoner Plaza, and you’ll feel that in its clean, wide-open and modern design aesthetic, which highlights plentiful curbs, flatrails, handrails, gentle slopes and ledges. It’s all about recreating the kickflips, grinds and manuals of an organic street skating spot in a safe, controlled space (notably one where the cops – probably – won’t give you shit).

And not that it affects the skating too much, but Stoner is also a feel-good story. The $1-million project was born as a result of tons of community organizing from the skate community itself, much of which was centered around driving gang activity out of the former hotspot. The park also preserves city features from local favorite skate spots that are no longer accessible, and every one of those features was earned by advocacy.

skateparks in LA el sereno
L.A. Parks

If Venice Beach captures the spirit of old-school LA skate culture, El Sereno Skate Park is LA skate culture now. Honestly, it just kind of feels like the best of what LA is today, all rolled up into 12,000 feet of gorgeous, well-maintained skatepark paradise.

Framed by dusty hills, green scrub, and soaring palm trees with its signature yellow highlights giving the whole deal a sun-soaked warmth, the space just screams “sativa.” Street features like steps, mini-ramps, handrails, hubbas, and banks – and plentiful space – welcome the pros who pop up here on the regular and the locals alike. El Sereno is bright, mellow, and just as good for goofing as it is for serious practice.

skateparks in LA Garvanza
Diana Maxwell for The L.A. Times

For the Gnarly: Garvanza Skate Park (Garvanza)

You can tell just by looking at the ever-changing beautiful mess of graffiti covering every inch of its bowl (which single-handedly makes the visit worthwhile for street art fans): Garvanza is a genuine gnarburger of a skatepark. Your second hint should be how deep that bowl is. 

Known to attract pros like Nicole Hause and Tristan Rennie, the LA Times says, “gritty Garvanza is one of the few public bowls to offer a true backyard pool-riding vibe.” No shame in sitting poolside if you’re not quite ready to take a dip – this aerial-heavy spot absolutely caters to seasoned skaters and local pros rather than newcomers or early learners. Garvanza is as authentic to LA as a Danger Dog outside of Dodger Stadium.

skateparks in LA South Pasadena
Pacific Tennis Courts

Learn in Peace: South Pasadena Skate Park (South Pasadena)

On the whole-assed other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the South Pasadena Skate Park. Unlike just about every other park on this list, you won’t be visually struck by the design, architecture, or general vibe here. South Pas is just a fenced-in stretch of flat concrete among the trees of the Arroyo with a good amount of utilitarian ramps, rails, funboxes, and quarterpipes. 

What you will find, though – if you can get past the wonky hours – is a relaxed space where no one goes just to be seen. Simply a spot for low-key skating and no fronting, South Pas is ideal for family skating or just getting in a little practice without worrying about the prying eyes, bustle, and pretenses of LA. 

For your pre-game, this one’s definitely an indica kind of skatepark – and maybe that’s what a skate park should be.

Stoner-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Go Skate Day

Published on June 10, 2022

go skate day

By Dan Ketchum

If there’s one day of the year that’s all about skating and – if you’re anything like us – smoking weed, then it should definitely be the longest day of the year. Turns out that’s exactly where Go Skate Day falls, and while the founders don’t “officially” endorse getting high and skating your day away, Tough Mama definitely endorses getting high and skating your day away. Learn yourself up on some context, and then we’ll let the Go Skate Day recs flow.  

So What Is Go Skate Day?

Go Skate Day, or Go Skateboarding Day if you really enjoy syllables, is a creation of the International Association of Skateboard Companies (or IASC), an, uh, association of skateboard companies that exists to promote skating and educate people about skate culture. You may have heard of IASC members like Alien Workshop, DC Shoe Company, Element, Vans, and Zoo York. The event has been around since 2004 and is celebrated by skaters, newbies, skate gear manufacturers, skate shops, skate parks, and more.

According to an oral history by Boardcoast, IASD member Don Brown created Go Skateboarding Day and intentionally chose the longest day of the year to celebrate it. When is Go Skate Day? June 21st every year, when some locales see up to 14 hours and 54 minutes of daylight. 

Weed and Skate Culture – It Just Works

Whether you smoke bowls or skate bowls, it seems like there’s always been a natural crossover between weed culture and skate culture. But why is that? 

Without us writing a novel (let’s be honest, it’d be a self-published ebook), let’s just say that both movements – from the beats and hippies of the early ‘60s to the hip-hop-inspired skaters of the ‘80s and ‘90s – have existed and thrived in the counterculture. And it’s been there from the beginning, as vert skating pioneer and original Z-Boy Tony Alva is quoted as saying, “A lot of people consider marijuana a drug and I disagree with that. There is a huge segment of the skateboarding population that use marijuana as an herb to better their lives and get in tune with their environment both physically and mentally.”

Well after the Z-Boys, the Tony Hawk-led renaissance of the ‘90s saw even more normalization, with Chad Muska’s shoes debuting the “stash pocket” that still lives on in skate shoes today. We challenge you to walk into any skate shop that doesn’t have at least a few boards, tees, wheels, or accessories that have a weed leaf emblazoned on them. So, yeah, the stoner skater is a cliche, but it’s a cliche with a little positive truth behind it. And with that in mind, it only makes sense to pair Go Skate Day with everyone’s favorite flower.  

How to Celebrate Go Skate Day, Tough Mama Style

The traditions of Go Skate Day are honestly pretty loose. Transworld Skateboarding kinda hits it on the nose: “On June 21st, skateboarders around the globe will celebrate the pure exhilaration, creativity, and spirit of one of the most influential activities in the world by blowing off all other obligations to go skateboarding.” 

Here are just a few Tough Mama-approved ways you might blow off those obligations: 

  • Skate at a skate park, or just hang at a skate park. This is the basic package, but no one’s competing for originality points here. Even better, bring your friends.
  • Just skate and chill. Sometimes, holidays are about self-care rather than bombast; skating and smoking can both be that. The hip-hop skaters of the ‘80s took their boards to the streets, and you can, too – bring a Tough Mama Mini Mofoz for the ride. 
  • Host (or attend) a skate jam. The very first Go Skate Day was all about low-key grassroots organizing. So what’s stopping you from taking the lead if your local skate park or skate-friendly venue doesn’t have any plans on the 21st?
  • Have a cookout. Even if you don’t skate, or if you’re the a non-skater in a group of skaters, pack the goodies, get the Bluetooth speaker, man the BBQ, and share an Infused Hemp Cone Blunt with the crew (we recommend the hybrid to maintain a balanced high – it’s a slow, even burn for a looooong day). Keep the grilling skate-adjacent to please both crowds. 
  • Make art. Again, you don’t have to be a skater to celebrate Go Skate Day. A lot of the unofficial holiday centers around promoting skateboarding, so do your part by bringing that old 35mm camera to the skate jam or bringing a few spray cans and touching up that collab mural at the skate park (with permission, obviously). Pair this with a creative strain like Jack Herer or Tangie.
  • Volunteer at your local skate park. Like The Skatepark Project points out, skate parks make for healthier communities by offering a free gathering place, promoting athleticism, getting young and old kids outdoors and percolating shared experiences. Be a part of that on the holy day.
  • Wrap up with an outdoor screening. Turn a long day into a long night – crush a couple Yolo Shotz with your crew, hook up that projector and throw on something like Gleaming the Cube, Thrashin’, Mid90s, Dogtown and Z-Boys, or just YouTube rips of those gnarly wipeout VHSes they used to sell in the CCS catalog. 

Remember, the origins of Go Skate Day are humble, so don’t be afraid to keep it that way. Speaking to Boardcoast, founder Don Brown says, “One day, I just sent a fax out […] Let’s all get together and skate down to the pier, have a few beers, and skate back. We had probably 20 different people together. It was a rad feeling to have everyone together saying, f**k work and going skating.” 

So, to recap. 

1) Did you say “f**k work”?

2) Did you go skating? 

If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, congratulations – you celebrated Go Skate Day exactly how the founding father intended. 

Dan Ketchum splits his time between Dallas and LA as a freelance lifestyle, fashion, health, and food writer with more than a decade of experience. In cannabis, been fortunate enough to collaborate with Cannabis & Tech Today, FOCL, Vitagenne, Reign Together, Mistifi, and more.

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