Skateboarders Flood the Streets of New York City to Ride in the Contentious 2013 Broadway Bomb!

15 Oct

Starting Line

1,279 people were listed as attending on a Facebook event page. The masses gathered at 116th and Riverside Drive just before the noon start. Photo, Lori George.

NYPD makes a concerted effort to shutdown a weekend of unsanctioned skateboard events.

By Rob Rodrigues. Additional photos, courtesy of Jenna Synnott and Lori George.

During a weekend filled with skateboard events and parties, including three unsanctioned skate events, police put forth a massive effort to constrain and shutdown any unsanctioned public gatherings. Saturday’s midday Broadway Bomb Ride from 116th street and Broadway, 8 plus miles downtown to the city’s financial center, was the main focus of the NYPD’s efforts.

The Broadway Bomb is now in it’s second decade as an annual October happening. It started out with a group of 15 or so friends getting together to have a friendly race through traffic to see who could get downtown the fastest. The Bomb has since grown into a massive event that draws over a thousand riders from all over the world. The subsequent traffic snarls have recently drawn attention from authorities who are trying to permanently shutdown the mass gathering.

Check out some photo highlights from the weekend (click for enlarged photos).


A 2012 New York State Supreme Court Injunction issued to race organizer, Ian Nichols, has forced him to relinquish any involvement with the event. In spite, the Broadway Bomb has managed to live on the last two years. All participants were individually greeted with a fair warning from community affairs officers.


Officers handed out flyers to every single person carrying a skateboard or longboard.

Kiefer Dixon

It’s a ride, not a race. But New York City’s own, Kiefer Dixon, has been the first person to arrive downtown at the Charging Bull for 3 years in a row.


The fastest riders get downtown in under a half hour. Waves of skaters flow in during the remaining half hour.


Almost There

As many as 1,279 smiling faces were reported on Saturday afternoon. 

5th ave. Crossing

A skateboarder or longboarder in transit, will generally aim to blend in with the flow of traffic. Moving around or past obstacles when the opportunity presents itself. Photo, Jenna Synnott.


There is more and more family participation each year. Despite the legalities, the Broadway Bomb weekend brings together a diverse group of friendly people. Photo, Jenna Synnott.

Positive Vibes

Hugs, Hi Fives and Positive Vibes.


As reported in the Huffington Post -“The NYPD arrested or issued summonses to 38 participants, according to a spokeswoman for the department, who said “there were more summonses than arrests” but did not have an exact number.”

Filtering in

The beautiful outlaws.

Style Sessions

Two Sunday events, both scheduled to happen at a remote uptown hill, were also affected by police presence.

There is a dead end street with a steep incline up in Washington Heights called Darktower. The hill has zero traffic and no parked cars. Many successful Slide Jams have been held at Darktower during the last two years. The NYPD has never had any problem with this as a venue, until last Sunday.

Jeff & Kristen

Style Sessions, an annual early morning skate jam started at 8:30am. Event organizers, Jeff Gaits and Kristen Howard of Manhattan’s Uncle Funkys Board Shop were able to work with the police captain in command.

Because of the earlier time frame and smaller crowd they were allowed to have a scaled back version of Style Sessions. The later event would not be permitted to happen.

Patiently Waiting

Police wait patiently for the Style Sessions awards to end. They were anticipating 353 attendees at the 11:30am Earthwing Slide Jam.

Steve Kong

Earthwing Slide Jam organizer, Steve Kong, ponders plan B after being informed that Darktower had been shutdown to skateboarding for all of Sunday afternoon.

Do Not Enter!

Why would a skateboard school cover an illegal skateboard event?

Skateboards and longboards are an excellent means of urban transportation. Used cautiously with safety in mind, skateboards are a very efficient way to move through a crowded city that is in need of more Green transportation.

The longboard/cruiser segment of the skate industry is too large to remain underground and off the public radar. But, too small to be considered on par with bicycles, runners and walkers. All of whom frequently enjoy the luxury of sanctioned mass parades through urban streets. SURE Skateboards’ mission is to “promote skateboarding  and longboarding as a viable means of local transportation.”


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