I think the only way to sum up what happened at the 2011 Broadway Bomb is with one word: wow. To be honest, wow isn’t even good enough to describe how amazing the event was this year. With the lead-up to the event so strong I knew it would end up being a huge deal, but I don’t think anyone could have planned for just how big it really was. My friend John, who helped me film, and I got to the meeting place near Barnard College and 116th and Broadway at around 10:30. With the race not starting till 12 we figured we would be pretty early, how wrong we were. Already a couple hundred longboarders sat buzzing about the park excited and anxious to see how many people would actually be coming, by 11:15 it was clear that the event would indeed be massive as the influx of longboarders continued at a heavy rate bringing the numbers well over 1,000 by the time the race started at noon.
That’s right, over 1,000 longboarders actually came to this year’s Broadway Bomb. Words cannot begin to describe the amount of energy and enthusiasm that could be felt pulsating throughout the crowd as we ran up the hill and started to skate down Broadway, every single person was so stoked and so excited, having one of the best times of their life. Skaters from all walks of life, ability, and location showed up this year, with people from as far away as Australia and California coming to see what the Bomb had to offer this year. Big names also came out in numbers this year, James Kelly of Skate House Media and the Arbor Collective made his first ever appearance in NYC for the Bomb and was joined by Brian Bishop and the Concrete King himself, Salamon Lang, along with other big faces such as Max Dubler and Paul Kent. Talk about a STACKED event!
What was previously a major concern for us and other people, and even an issue in years past, the NYPD was amazingly helpful throughout our entire time on the road. Instead of pulling longboarders over or trying to break the pack or even the whole event up, the NYPD were right there shutting down roads and intersections at various points so we could safely pass through. I rode next to two NYPD scooters for a little while, it was a very pleasant and nice experience knowing that we were on the same side. Without the fear of having to deal with the police everyone was able to skate care-free and fully enjoy what an amazing event the Bomb was this year.
What might have been the best part, however, was the look on people’s faces as we passed en masse down Broadway. People stopped dead in their tracks, pulling out cell phones to quickly snap photos and take video, cheered us on, and stuck hands out for high fives. As we passed by cars drivers and passengers alike rolled down windows and pounded fists with skaters, the outcry of support was unbelievable and beyond my wildest imagination.
Of course, since this was a race to determine who the strongest city-skater in quite possibly the world is, the winners are mighty important. For the men, pushing powerhouse and recent Adrennalina Marathon Puerto Rico winner Kiefer Dixon took first place, followed closely by Steven Sanchez who actually THREW UP while riding in order to not sacrifice second place, and Robin McGuirk in third. Other notable finishes include Kaspar Heinrich, who has won more Broadway Bombs than anyone else, in 4th; Thesseus Williams, another past Broadway Bomb winner, in 10th; and Saloman “The King” Lang in 11th place. On the women’s side of things a tie for first place between Cami Best and Sarah Paulshock was followed closely by Danielle DeJesus in 2nd and Katie Fry in 3rd.
Because the NYPD was blocking off the Charging Bull Statue at Bowling Green (the official finish line) for various reasons we were forced to immediately keep skating to the East River Park where the Bustin BBQ and awards ceremony were taking place (again, with the grace of the NYPD). Although a bit of a long skate, hundreds showed up to talk and hear the results from the day’s event. Once the winners were announced people moved closer to the Williamsburg Bridge to skate and eat more food provided by the kind souls at Bustin’ Boards in Brooklyn. The BBQ was a lot of fun and provided people more time to mingle and talk about the race and also turned into a bit of a flatland session as people started getting their energy back after the race.
Overall the 2011 Broadway Bomb was by far the best event of the season that I’ve been to. The energy and enthusiasm that everyone brought to the event was unparalleled and made for an absolutely unforgettable and unbelievable time. If you were at the Bomb this year, either as a skater or a spectator, and have a story for us feel free to share it via a comment here, on Facebook, or by e-mail at mike [at] skatetheeast.net. Check out the video we put together of the race and the BBQ after as well as a slide session John and I ran into while skating around Central Park later in the day.