Skateboarding appears more popular today than ever before in San Francisco, as evidenced by the many whippersnappers using skateboards as style accessories or to reclaim their youth. But only a select subpopulation actually use decks for transportation (see motorized boards cruising the SoMa bike lanes). An even smaller faction is daring enough to hard-core shred on the city streets.
Have you seen the videos showcasing the proud, the few, and the sufficiently scabbed who propel down (i.e., “hill bomb”) SF’s famous inclines at adrenaline-inducing speeds? They are terrifying. Watching them is enough to make you dig through the attic for your old Tony Hawk tee, and live vicariously through YouTube.
But, if attempting hill bombs are part of your quarter- or mid-life crisis, you are required to a) wear a helmet, b) use elbow and knee pads, and c) make sure your health and life insurances are in order.
↑ Kearny Street in North Beach
Using the Kearny Street sidewalk steps in North Beach as a starting point, this skateboarder has against all odds survived careening down one of the city’s sharpest inclines.
↑ Twin Peaks
What this route lacks in safety and commonsense it makes up for in scenic beauty (dig that cityscape) and verdant surroundings. That these rapscallions made it all the way down without slamming into oncoming vehicles is sufficient proof of miracles.
↑ Hyde Street mayhem
Everyone in this video is grounded for a month.
↑ Dolores Park hill bomb
In July, hundreds of skateboarders gather on Dolores Street across from the park for an impromptu hill bombing event that results in wipeouts, wails of glee, and cries of bone-bruising pain. Skaters block off Dolores from Liberty to 18th Street, climb the hill, and fling themselves toward the unknown. The results are jaw dropping, to say the least.
For a safer, city-sanctioned ride, check out one of San Francisco’s many skate parks.