3rd place finisher in this years Broadway Bomb Katie Fry hits up Skatefurther with an exclusive write-up! Katie is sponsored by the wonderful Holesom Longboards.
The most anticipated event of the NYC Push Scene was held with a record breaking number of participants estimated around 1,500. Starting at 116th street in Harlem, skaters pushed down Broadway completely shutting down pedestrian and vehicular traffic for 8.5 miles.
The race passed though Columbus Circle, Times Square, and Union Square before it finished at the Bull statue at Bowling Green. Bustin Boards Team Rider and Broadway Bomb veteran Nathalie Herring arrived at the start awestruck: “I stood atop the hill at 116th and looked down towards the hundreds of longboarders about to completely shut down Broadway…and my first thought was ‘OH MY GOD..what the hell have we done?!!!'” The anticipation was building as the energized crowed waited for race organizer Ian Nichols to announce the start. “3..2..1…GO!” And the spirit of stoke charged through New York City.
With everyone pushing full speed ahead, the first leg of the race focused on dodging the many fallen boarders who were unlucky enough to tangle their wheels, while making sure the flow of riders is constantly skating through intersections in order to block the flow of motor vehicle traffic. Closer to Columbus Circle riders catch the ‘Urban Flow’; a total awareness of surrounding chaos and slipping through the cracks. Cars, pedestrians, puppies, bicycles, buses all freckled throughout the path that the longboarders interrupt and flood through.
Times Square is a densely populated pedestrian area but the Broadway Bomb traffic parted it like the Red Sea; longboarders had an alleyway through the crowds. Some daring bipeds would dart past the path, but most spectators had their mobile recording devices set on the action, cheering on skaters and offering high-fives. It was a feeling like no other riding the stoke train through the masses of people in this area.
South of Times Square and back in the line of vehicles traffic is flowing somewhat and pedestrians are littered at every intersection, it became very important for all boarders to communicate to each other. “On your left,” “Hold your line,” and “Bridge the gap!” at intersections with threatening traffic. The victims at this leg of the race often wiped out into pedestrians crossing or broke their boards to careless cars. Still, the entire time an audience along sidewalks, and even a few news reporters were cheering and recording longboards passing by. Closing in on the Bull everyone was gunning, giving it all for the last sprint to the end.
My participation in the Broadway Bomb on 8 October 2011 is a memory I will have forever; the day longboarding took over New York City. People traveled from all over the globe to take part in this race and as a unit we worked together to shut down traffic and took over Broadway during Saturday rush hour. This race speaks volumes about the NYC Push scene and the sport as a whole. Nathalie Herring reflects, “This longboarding scene, that I’m so honored to take part in, is definitely a force to be reckoned with! This year’s Broadway Bomb proved that longboarding has reached a new era and will continue to grow above and beyond everything we could’ve ever imagined.” Look out, world the stoke has arrived and we’re only getting started.