NYC Bans 10th Annual Broadway Bomb Skate Race

Photo caption - One thousand plus skaters mob the 2011 Broadway Bomb beginning on west 116th street.
One thousand plus skaters mob the 2011 Broadway Bomb beginning on West 116th Street.

Words: Rob Rodrigues

The 10th Annual Broadway Bomb, scheduled to go down this Saturday, October 20, has been halted by a restraining order granted to the city of New York by the State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The ruling to prohibit this skateboard rally/race and any similar race set off a chain reaction of responses on the Broadway Bomb's Facebook event page. With 1,959 people listed as attending, city officials were definitely spooked by such a mass gathering lacking a permit. Skateboarders and longboarders who assemble for the race, which is part of three days of scheduled events organized by the NY Longboard Association, despite the ruling are subject to arrest and will be held accountable for obstructing traffic on Broadway or any other city streets.

Ian Nichols, the event organizer, was ordered to appear in court on Thursday and mandated to officially cancel the event. The lack of a costly Parade Permit will put an end to this yearly event that was first held with less than twenty skaters in 2002. Last year the race was attended by over a thousand skaters and was routed directly through the Occupy Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan. This put the event on the radar of the city and its police.

According to a statement from the city’s Law Department, skaters have "engaged in reckless and dangerous behavior such as failing to stop for red lights, cutting off and weaving through moving vehicles.”

Similar events that are popping up around the world will start to face the same growing pains the Broadway Bomb is experiencing, leaving organizers to struggle between maintaining underground appeal and legitimizing events by appealing to city officials and corporate sponsors. Either way, the growth is a force to be reckoned with.