Home News City Race Regulations? or Outlaw.

City Race Regulations? or Outlaw.

written by Mike July 28, 2009

By: Mike Dallas

In a recent edition of Concrete Wave I learned the rules of Downhill racing, unfamiliar with the rules and regulations of ISGA (International Gravity Sports Association) competitions. DH racing allows only one push to keep the pull of gravity the greatest control. A race requires controlled variables to fairly judge one’s performance but the rule impairs a rider’s push strength advantage. Because the IGSA is a gravity honoring association the rule is regulated.

New York City racing is much different. There are few controlled variables, as each course changes without notice. The city conditions riders face are fast pace and extreme. One variable is the pace of each course’s obstacles. Outlaw racing in the city happens regardless of pedestrian or other physical obstruction.

The Central Park race crowns the most athletic longskater and the Broadway Bomb crowns the best Outlaw skater. The reason I write this article is to clarify how I feel about these races. I believe the skater with the best trained sprint endurance will win the Central Park race and the skater with the best street smarts will win the Broadway Bomb.

The finishline for the Broadway Bomb 2008 was a mix of emotions. Skaters shares stories and skaters congratulated each other while some skaters complained that some had skitched during the race. Skitching is a term used for holding on to a vehicle while skating. Because the race proves that a competitive longboarder will reach the bottom of Manhattan faster than a vehicle in traffic, skitching is a demonstration of finesse. Skitching is like catching a wave. Just because you can catch a wave dosen’t mean that you can’t surf. I understand the frustration racers feel when someone catches a few fine skitches and finishes with a faster time. Skitching is tough! I watch riders try and fail and I watch others transfer vehicle to vehicle dominating busy intersections. To catch a good skitch is to use an extension of your skating potential despite it being very dangerous and probabally illegial.

New York City’s races are not sanctioned or insured. The rider assumes all liability and risk. The rider chooses what is responsible skating and what is dangerous approaching each unique situation. A rider who is comfortable skitching and can decode a line of traffic has greater advantage. City riders practice outlaw technique because it is the most efficient mans of transportation and saves energy.

The Broadway Bomb is a different race this year. Broadway will continue to evolve as New York matures and this year will by-pass Times Square. The once epic stretch of race is now obstructed by a pedestrian lounge of sorts. Loose pebble flooring and a crowded seating area will challenge riders to detour, against the original Broadway Bomb rules. Because this rule will be jeopardized so has the entire races integrity. Local riders debate the ruling in our everyday sessions and have decided to “abolish” the ruling. AS the race matures, so does the rider. The outlaw skaters of New York demand fair play as many wish to break the 8.2 mile 25 minute mark. I encourage your thoughts as this is a highly debated topic. I assure this is only for the sake of discussion and represents aggressive street skaters of New York City.




You may also like


KING July 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I agree with Dallas. Skitching is an every day part of the New York longboarding commute, if the chance permits itself….hold the fuck on! NYC longboarding is a style of its own. How could a race that represents NY not include skitching?! There are those who argue that this is an unfair advantage.To that I say…there are plenty of cars, Grab One! What’s the problem?

mrbriandavenport July 29, 2009 at 8:51 am

get to the finish as quickly as possible!! end of conversation.

Theseus July 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

Don’t get me wrong I like to skitch with the best of them. There’s nothing like catching the perfect wave that slings you 20 blocks in a instant. The problem, I think, with allowing skitching in the broadway bomb is the unessesary risk factor. Let me explain. The bomb is already dangerous. People from all over the country with Different skill levels race the bomb. It’s a grand meeting place for die hard longboarders as well as new riders. Say someone sees a rider skitching, he then may feel pressured to skitch as well to catch up. This is an instant decision, like all decesions made during this race. You’re pretty much commited and for someone who doesnt know NYC streets hitting a grate or pothole at these excelerated speeds is murder. There’s enough to worry about during the race without worrying about grabbing onto a passing car to keep up with that crazy dude who just shot past you holding onto a cement truck. I mean is this race not dangerous enough. It takes one rider falling off his skitch and run over by the car to permanently brand this race as a deathwish. Plus what about the cheat factor. I’ve got plenty of boys that would meet me with their car somewre in the city and run every traffic light to help me win a race. Overall I love skitching, and I think I’m one of the best scithers out there, but during the bomb……..hmmm I don’t think so.


KING July 29, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Broadway Bomb slogan…….”You could die!”

That’s right people have diff skill levels.Number one rule I tell people-Skate to your skill! If everyone had the same skill level then whats the point of racing. The top doesn’t play down, one should play up to the top, that is how one gets better! We wouldn’t go to another city and tell them their hill is bigger than we’re used to skating and that it’s unfair. This is what we do in NYC! All these crazy variables is what makes this race so special. And quite a few of last years top finishers skitched.Welcome to NY! I’m sure there are a few people who can get friends to meet them with skitches……Don’t do it! During the race Go HARD! The bomb is not a free ride….It’s is a race! After the race we can cruise around and “sight-see”.

J. Hayes August 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Great article Dallas…to skitch or not to skitch? is this race man vs. man, man vs. car, or man vs. self? True, the straight run is quite challenging and technical in of itself, but part of the amorphous nature of the landscape of NYC is the traffic….I don’t skitch all that often because I’m not all that good and cars go fast as shit even to the red light at the end of the block….i’ve seen trucks get torn in half under the wheels of an 18 wheeler, and I’m glad it wasnt my leg- however, i think skitching should be an option for the bold….also, i motion we each be allowed either ball and chain maces or a bullwhip.

Presto August 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I have mixed feelings about this. I agree with King: it’s the city and it’s a race. Traffic is as much a part of skating in the city as the street and sidewalks, so it’s crazy to think you can have a NYC race without cars playing some role. Skitching is an skill, like sliding in downhill races. If you try and slide around a corner too fast and above your skill, you’re gonna eat it same as if you try and skitch in the city.

But, imagine 200+ skaters all grabbing on to buses and cabs down Broadway. That’d be a sure way to have the cops take a little more interest in the race. But of course, not all the racers will grab on to cars. If people skitch, more power to em; they’re truely adapted at skating in the city. But in the coming years if everyone decides it’s okay for everyone to skitch, then we might have a problem.

Leave a Comment