Mission to Nude Bowl


As lucky as we are to live in North County, San Diego, the sights and stimuli can sometimes grow sterile and almost too idyllic. Beautiful weather, people, beaches and skateparks provide plenty of options for an active and inspired day-to-day. But like anything, a change of scenery or a bit of discomfort can prove refreshing or at a minimum, make you appreciate the familiarity and ease of doing your thing at home. When The James Brand hit up Shea, Zach, and myself for a quick mission to skate the Nude Bowl, we welcomed the idea with an easy yes. 

The Crew

A triptych of portraits of 3 men.

We met up at Bump Coffee in Leucadia early that morning and sessioned a curb spot to feel out our boards before packing the cars for a relatively easy drive out to the Coachella Valley. The plan was to drive out, skate the bowl from the afternoon into the evening, crash there for the night, and jam back the next day. A quick overnight mission had us stressing less about gear, packing, and planning and more on skating and enjoying a few beers at the campsite with a good crew.

A group of skateboarders hanging out in a parking lot.
Two trucks coming over a ridge in the desert.
Two men pointing bananas at each other.
Desert hills with snowcapped mountains in the background.

Far from familiar, the bowl couldn’t be more dissimilar to the curbs and small transition parks that I frequent. After about an hour of bailing water, clearing some light debris, and sweeping, we got the session going. I had no business skating this thing, but Shea and Zach shook off the nerves and started ripping – hitting lines in the deep end and crawling the wall up to the coping on the hip. The crew was impressed at their light-hearted, casual approach while handling such consequential terrain. A few beers, friendly heckling, and a beautiful view had the vibes high as the sunset hour set in.

Two skateboarders cleaning out a pool to skate.
A camera next to a bag with a knife, pen, and carabiner on top.
A group of skaters sweeping out a pool in the desert.
A skater riding above the coping in a graffiti covered pool.
A man filming with a Super 8 camera.
A collage of skateboarders at the Nude Bowl with scribbles on top.
A skateboarder banking off the top of a pool.

We capped off the night with ample beers, carne asada, and a solid fire – a recipe for a great night’s sleep under the stars. Waking up late in the bright desert sun is always a potent reminder of 2-3 extra beers I could’ve done without, but a coffee and some good breakfast washed them right off. We lingered at the campsite a bit, indulging in the mindless and irresistible urge to throw rocks at empty bottles and mess around in the freedom of the desert scape. Zach humored me with a few more laps in the bowl for the super 8, we packed up, and called it. Mission success at one of California’s most tenured and unique DIY bowls.

Thanks to The James Brand for an epic time. Where we going next time?

Skateboarders looking at the Space X launch at the Nude Bowl.