Broadway Bomb

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Broadway Bomb
Broadway Bomb race logo.png
You Could Die
Event typeLongboarding street race
Distance7.9 miles

The Broadway Bomb is a longboarding race held every year along the length of Broadway in Manhattan. The event was founded in October 2002 by Ian Nichols with an initial set of sixteen competitors. After growing in size every year, by 2018 more than 7,900 riders competed.[1]

The event is unsanctioned by the City of New York, meaning that the race takes place in ordinary city traffic with no organized protection for riders, vehicles or pedestrians.

When participation reached thousands of riders in 2012, the New York Supreme Court granted an injunction declaring the race unlawful.[2][3] Since that time the New York City Police Department has deployed in force to prevent or disrupt the event.[4]

The element of danger involved with unsanctioned street racing is reflected in the race's slogan, You Could Die.


The race was founded in 2002 by two local longboarding enthusiasts - Ian Nichols and Fred Mahe - as a more challenging alternative to another longboarding event, the Central Park Race. [5]

The inaugural Bomb took place with sixteen riders. By 2010, the event had grown to include over one thousand competitors on the streets of Manhattan.[5]

The race's growing popularity drew concern from city law enforcement. In 2012, organizer Ian Nichols cancelled and disassociated himself from the race, facing a formal injunction from Justice George Miller of the New York Supreme Court. [2] [3] [6]

The website for a short time posted:[7] 1.) Pursuant to Court order, the Broadway Bomb race and flash mob will not occur on October 20, 2012. 2.) Participants in any such event will be subject to arrest.

Despite the official cancellation in 2012 and with active NYPD opposition, the race has gone ahead every year without further incident while seeing even greater attendance and international interest.


Always held on the 3rd Saturday in October, the race begins at noon, beginning at the intersection of 116th St and Riverside Drive in Upper Manhattan. The route closely follows Broadway and concludes eight miles later at the Charging Bull sculpture in Lower Manhattan.

The rules as defined on the official website[8] are:

  • Broadway Bomb is ALWAYS FREE
  • Wear a helmet
  • No skitching
  • No knocking other riders off their boards
  • No knocking down pedestrians
  • Stay on Broadway as much as possible

The rule forbidding skitching - the use of motor vehicles to gain extra speed - led to disqualification of the apparent winner Adam Crigler in 2009.[9]

Participants and winners[edit]

Official participation numbers are not recorded and vary according to sources. An indication of popularity can be gauged by the number of registrants on the unofficial contest calendar maintained by the Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association.

October 19th, 2002[edit]

The inaugural race. Participation: 14-20 riders.[2][10] Winner: Aussi Richard, with a time of 34 minutes.[10]


Participation: 38 registered.[11]

Men's winner: Mark Schaperow. Disqualified: Adam Crigler (skitching).

Women's winner: Sara Paulshock.


Participation: 423 registered.[12]

Men's winner: Mark Schaperow.

Women's winner: Sara Paulshock.


Participation: 1,256 registered.[13]

Men's winner: Kiefer Dixon.


Participation: 1,937 registered.[1] Despite police activity, attendance was reported as high as 1,500.[14]

Police action and arrests[edit]

Since 2012, the race has been formally outlawed and actively obstructed by the NYPD.


In the year the race was declared unlawful, a major police presence prevented the competitors from massing at the start line. Orange crowd control nets were deployed at intersections along Broadway to trap and divert riders from the main route. Police vehicles and scooters were used as barriers. [15] [16]

Despite the significant deployment by the NYPD, no arrests were reported.[15]


As in the previous year, police deployed orange nets to trap and obstruct participants.[17] [18] Among the police forces arrayed at the starting line were a number of NYPD mounted police.

Police officers near the starting line distributed leaflets to riders, describing the legal consequences of participation.

News outlets reported that up to 38 arrests and summonses were issued to individuals, [19] [20] [21] [14] with some of those detained as young as thirteen.[14] Arrests along the route were concentrated at the starting line, around 105th St and at Columbus Circle.

There was at least one claim of assault against a participant by NYPD officers,[22] and one report of a rider being Tasered. [20] [21]


In 2016 there was no significant police presence.


In 2017 police presence was significantly greater but no known arrest happened.

Video documentary[edit]

In the 2010 Broadway Bomb, Robin McGuirk recorded a first-person video of his seventh-place performance, making it available on the video sharing site Vimeo.

In 2011, Joe Goodman produced the documentary Push Culture - The Broadway Bomb, describing the history of the race and examining longboard culture in New York City. The film is available on Vimeo.

In 2013, 3rd-place winner Miles Evans recorded a first-person video of his ride, making it available on youtube.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2012 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Judge Halts Annual Race of Skateboarders". New York Times. 19 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Judge Bans 8-mile NYC Skateboard Race". ABC News. 19 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Thousands Of Skaters Face Off With NYPD Over "Broadway Bomb"". Gothamist. 20 October 2012. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b "About Broadway Bomb". Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Broadway 'Bomb' Blows Up Skaters' Cred in Court". New York Observer. 21 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Broadway Bomb". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Broadway Bomb rules". Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Congratulations to Bustin Riders Mark Schaperow and Sara Paulshock". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  10. ^ a b "2002 NCDSA Events board". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  11. ^ "2009 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  12. ^ "2010 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  13. ^ "2011 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  14. ^ a b c "Cops bust skateboarders' 'Broadway Bomb'". New York Post. 13 October 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Skateboarders Defy Court to Race Down Broadway". New York Times. 20 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Skateboarders defy court order". NY Daily News. 20 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Cops Set Up Traps To Stop "Broadway Bomb" Skateboarders". Gothamist. 12 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Skateboarders' 'Broadway Bomb' Is a Bust in NYC". Epoch Times. 13 October 2013.
  19. ^ "'Broadway Bomb' Skateboarders Busted by Police". WOR Radio 710. 14 October 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Broadway Bomb Skateboarders Face Off With Police". DNAInfo New York. 13 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Broadway Bomb Skateboarders Face Off With NYPD". Huffington Post. 14 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Skateboarder Claims Cops Assaulted Him During "Broadway Bomb"". Gothamist. 13 October 2013. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.