Toyota Sports Center entices skaters of all ages with a trio of glassy rinks smooth enough to be commandeered for official practices by the L.A. Kings. When the pros aren't reigning over the ice, guests can practice axel jumps during skating lessons or show up for public skating sessions to lap the flattened glacier in search of preserved saber-toothed zambonis. Toyota Sports Center also educates aspiring Great Ones with beginners hockey classes, hosts youth and adult leagues, and encourages visitors to bulk up off the ice at the fitness center, which is outfitted with free weights and treadmills for those slowly reconnecting with exercise on solid ground.
Conveniently frozen inside the Peninsula Mall, Palos Verdes Ice Chalet opens its frosty flatland to recreational skaters, figure skaters, and hockey players of all ages. During daily public-skating sessions, guests slide into a pair of skates before gliding onto the ice, where cool breezes brush past cheeks and offer refreshing reprieve from heat waves and baseball caps made of lit firecrackers. As families, friends, and couples coast across the arctic tundra, the facility's speakers pump out energizing jams to inflate each outing with an extra dose of cheer. Between rounds of public skating, the rink also throws birthday parties, hosts hockey leagues, and holds hockey and figure-skating lessons, some of which are led by coaches with international experience.
Nobody in Santa Monica has a snow-covered slope in their backyard to practice slalom runs. Some think they can just march up a mountain and dominate a black diamond on courage and instinct alone. Instead, they wind up face first in snow, wishing they’d practiced.
In order to prepare skiers and snowboarders for the real deal, and to spare them from slushy, frostbitten shame, two-time world ski champion Bob Salemo devised his innovative Virtual Snow training system. In a controlled indoor environment far away from menacing ski lifts and snowballs tossed by mountain goats, winter-sports enthusiasts perfect their maneuvers in fun training drills led by skilled instructors and the clever teachings of Salemo himself. The faux ski-course simulator, which resembles a large conveyor belt, mimics the smooth surface and wily turns of a downhill slope as its snowy surface rolls beneath the feet of students on skis or snowboards. Future Picabo Streets or Shawn Whites not only expand their abilities to new levels, but they can also practice tricks without bailing out and shake off any bad habits they learned from sleet gangs.
It's the textbook definition of a winter wonderland. Every year, the corner of 5th and Arizona undergoes a seemingly magical transformation into a beachside ice skating rink. This 8,000-square-foot expanse of scientifically hardened water offers the perfect place for Santa Monicans to take a rosy-cheeked date, get down with DJ-spun tunes, or play-act a winter day in Vladivostok with friends. Skates can be rented onsite and the whole rink can be rented out for private events or birthday parties. ICE Santa Monica runs from November 6 to January 19.
The Rinks offers both inline and ice skating for all ages and all skill levels. The Westminster and Yorba Linda centers boast NHL-size rinks, and Anaheim and Lakewood boast Olympic-size rinks. In addition, Anaheim's league-certified surface is used as the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks. Skaters can take to the ice for classes on such blade-top pursuits as hockey, figure skating, public skating, curling, broomball, and more. For the ice-averse, The Rinks has three inline-skating centers in Corona, Huntington Beach, and Irvine which play host to youth and adult roller hockey leagues, skating clinics, public skates, and more. Open-skate sessions give aficionados the chance to take a few laps with friends and family, riding atop their own blades or donning a rental pair from the front desk. On Friday and Saturday nights, rinks morph into icy dance clubs, blasting hit music booming through the speakers and projecting music videos onto a jumbo screen. Birthday packages are also available at both locations.
Since it first set down roots in Venice in 1995, Boardwalk Skate & Surf has equipped adrenaline junkies and tourists with surfing, skateboarding, and biking gear by top brands. Shoppers can fit themselves up with an Arbor, Penny Nickle, Sector 9, or Z-Flex skateboard with a hip design, and then match their new deck to a pair of skate shoes or sandals. The shop also has a department dedicated to rentals, giving patrons the option to take a surfboard, bicycle, or pair of inline skates out for a spin, so long as they return it before it gets homesick.