(scroll to bottom of page for full list of Broadway Bomb links, current and historic)
This was my 3rd and most fun Broadway Bomb experience. The hype before and on race day was exciting to listen to each week at the Bustin Loft in Hoboken, NJ. While I assemble longboards, the community speaks. The Loft is like a barbershop. Everybody hangs out and talks clean smack about who is going to beat who, and who is skating strong and a lot of jibber jabber. I had fun listening to the many conversations between the local guys, and girls. This year the girls showed up to win and their vibe was strong. Skaters from New York, Jersey and almost every other U.S. state including Canada, France, Italy, U.K. and Russia were there.
Friday evening before the race we hosted a soft opening at the new Bustin – Brooklyn location, 340 Grand in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Local documentary team Fabrika Pro premiered their Broadway Bomb film which was emotionally powerful for many skaters who appeared in the film. Everyone was super excited, confident and supportive of every skater before and on race day.
We met at Riverside Park around 11am and there was already a huge crowd of skaters and patrolling police officers. Matt, Solomon and Nick were passing out the sweet Bustin Bomb shirts we designed for the early birds and everyone was socializing, getting stoked. The weather was overcast and 60 degrees which is good Bomb weather. The race was confirmed the night before when I received an e-mail from Ian Nichols that said it’s a GO!
Everyone was super stoked before the race but slightly disappointed that there was no sign up sheet. People really seem to feel involved when we sign up, even though the registered racers don’t remember their race number after 8 miles of balls to the walls skating. I remember last year finishing the race, very tired as the finish line personnel screamed at me for my race number. My ears were all plugged up from breathing so hard and I could barely see straight as I tried to remember what my race number was…Fortunately I had it written on my arm, #4. I always will remember that moment.
The clock was almost NOON and everyone began lining along the curb on Riverside Drive. Cars honked and skaters inched forward to be first in line for the start. Every so often someone would yell “GET BACK” and the crowd of 300 would inch back, then inch forward. I love skaters. Ian finally showed up at 11:55am and yelled at everyone for trying to start without him. Sorry Ian.
At 11:56 a few patrol cars rolled up and were monitoring us. A few more flipped on their lights and flew up 116th to the top of the hill. Participants were nervous the police would block the street and there was some commotion. I could feel the start about to happen and the hairs raised on the back of my neck. Photographers were everywhere, production crews were on cue and in position, it seemed as if 116th was the gate of Heaven and we were all about to ascend up to the golden path down Broadway to the sacred Broadway Bomb champion’s Bull, or Minataur (Theseus).
11:57 Ian put an evil grin on his face and began the customary count from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…..then the cops flipped their lights and sirens. Squad cars surrounded the park and the pack scrambled up the hill, fast. Some skated, some ran and screamed and cheered and yelped. The start is always awesome and probably the most dangerous part of the race. Skaters have one focus and that is to get to the top of the hill first to get out of the mayhem of 300+ boards, bodies and 1200+ wheels that are inches apart and tangling up. My plan was to pack up with Kaspar, Theseus, Crigler, Solomon, Poli, Brandon, Kong, Mark Schaperow, Jimmy, Darko, Ryan, Dabonka and some of the other guys I skate with. We all killed the hill and kept close to 110th. I love skating with these guys. We use each other to draft and gauge our personal performance because we know the strengths and out weaknesses of our team. The beginning of the Broadway Bomb is my favorite part. We led with a swift pace and enjoyed the ride.
The buzz before the race this year was skitching. There was a lot of local debate about grabbing cars along the ride as well as a lot of buzz on Silverfish. The front pack was especially a part of this debate as the elite riders wished this race to be a test of true endurance and strength without the assistance of a motor vehicle. During the race the front of the pack was very cautious in the traffic systems. The rest of the pack skated by whatever means necessary to cross the finishline quickly and painlesly. I was leading the pack with my crew until about 80th street when a few patrol cars and some undercover officers pulled out in front of us with their lights flashing. The front pack blew through the line of officers and the chase began. I don’t believe the officers were trying to pull them over but as soon as somebody in the front pack touched a car the officers zero’ed in on him and over the loud speaker announced, “pull over”. The pack rolled up on the tail end of the next traffic system and dipped away to freedom.
I noticed some officers trying to use crowd control tactics that seemed to help for a stretch of road but when the traffic got more congested they again pursued. I was pursued for no reason for a moment but I dipped onto 6th Ave. then resumed course at the next street to find the sharks hassling another skater. I continued on, fast. The officers were a part of our pack during the entire race but their traffic agility did not allow them to keep up with the pack. Sol’s dad, Big Bear was tripped by an officer only to have Big Papa Bear plow right into the officer. Oops! Bear said he was sorry and the officer asked him to skate in his lane. The only drama I heard about was the skater who took out an old woman then tried to keep skating. The crowd tackled him and he was arrested, yet he appears in the video after the race so he must have been set free.
Does anyone remember that big fat hose laid across the road? The pavement was wet all around and the hose was about 3 inches tall. I almost ate it hard and a bunch of other guys around me had a hard time too. Good times. At Delancey street a bus was turning left but was stopped halfway through it’s turn and I was blocked. I kicked my board underneath and squeezed through the wall of pedestrians but the board bumped a tire and bounced back. UGhhhhhhhh, I had to run back around the bus yelling at pedestrians (I was pissed). An old woman picked up my board and handed it to me, awwwww.
The head wind was strong coming off the Atlantic Ocean and the final stretch after Canal street was hell. My legs were destroyed and because of my adventurous ride I was behind a lot of the guys I wanted to beat so I kicked and pushed and kicked and pushed. I even pulled a few sneaky hide next to a car or bus and pass you kind of moves to bump my self up a few places.
The end is always a run for the money. Broadway was extremely crowded with traffic and pedestrians and Mark Walberg was shooting a film right next to the finish line so the cops were there waiting with the paddy wagon to haul us away if we caused too much rif raf. The production assistants surrounded us and demanded that we leave their shoot. The stuntman was 30 floors up acting out a suicide jump and even he seemed to be impressed with out crowd of barbaric yelling, chanting, stoked longboarders, all 300 of us. What a day to race Broadway.
A BIG SHOUT OUT TO MARK SCHAPEROW, BUSTIN BOARDS TEAM RIDER. Mark has been focused on his training and race tactics all year and proved that hard work and dedication will overcome all obstacles. I am proud of Mark and stoked that he is a part of our crew because of his passion for skating. His energy and enthusiasm inspire more than people he knows. The sport of longboarding is fortunate to have riders like Mark to set an example for everyone. He worked hard and earned the title of Broadway Bomb 2009 CHAMPION! Get Die!
After the race we were surrounded by reporters from all sorts of publications who wanted to know the story of the race. All of the hype and support his year really promoted the event in the media world of NYC which will help the growth of our sport immensely.
Thank you to everyone who participated this year. Please log in to the Bustin community section and upload your photos so everyone can see them. Tag everything Broadway Bomb related and help grow the event so next year we have more than 400 skaters battle Broadway.
Top Finishers Broadway Bomb 2009
1st Mark Schaperow
2nd Collin (send us your last name)
3rd Theseus Williams/Jimmy Soladay
4th King Solomon, Michael Poli, Adam Crigler (one of these fine gentlemen placed 4th)
5th (awaiting video verification)
6th (awaiting video verification)
More coverage @
“Giant cement choppers, hoses, gridlocked traffic and irate traffic cops made the homestretch the most perilous.” – J. Hayes
“At one point there were two police paddy wagons driving next to us, yelling as us to pull over. None of us did, because we knew that at the next red light, we would snake through the traffic and he would be stuck.”