• February 26, 2024

Watch Taunting Death, Finding Transcendence, and Bombing Hills on a Skateboard | The New Yorker Video | CNE | Newyorker.com

[upbeat music]

[Zane] Bombing is like walking fast, feeling the wind

the feeling as if the board is rumbling on the asphalt,

I am just getting past this point of return.

You give in to speed.

If you stay on the tight rope

and you effectively walk on tiptoe,

Once you are on the other side you will feel amazing.

It’s like holy shit, I just got away from it

that was nice.

Not, it’s just a manhole cover

like you’re in a different place. OK.

[laughs] Exactly.

Well it’s a place, of course it’s a place.


Oh there it is. Damn it.

How mad? That was the sourest.

We go this way.

[funky music]

I see a skateboard as a link.

It’s like I’m more comfortable on a skateboard

than walking.

It’s like my church.

It’s what i love

It’s like what gets me out of bed.

And if that’s not what we’re all looking for

I really don’t know what is.

I moved to San Francisco in 2013.

I moved to town for the hills.

There is something that is just so special to me.

It’s such a freedom.

I can really escape while walking fast.

I pretty much moved here

Go skateboarding,

specially for skateboarding down the hills

and only to be part of it

the larger skate community here,

Because it’s a bit like the mecca of skating.

It’s a sacred place for skateboarding or an unholy place.

My father hates bombing.

He helped me skateboarding

Take me to competitions like, seriously, such love

and support that is offered to me.

But the only thing he can’t leave behind

bombed and it’s understandable.

People died on this shit.

It’s not a joke.

It’s not easy to take.

[Adam] While you go down

You are definitely careful and aware.

But a lot of it magically floats away

Because you experience this euphoric feeling

just to go fast.

And when you are with friends

It’s like sharing that experience

[Zane] For normal hills we go around

20 to 30 miles per hour.

You feel the rumble under your feet.

You feel the wind

I associate howling with it

Because it’s at the bottom, you just scream.

[hip-hop music]

I usually bomb with my camera bag

That’s like 20, 30 pound bags.

I got used to it somehow

Art balances me out.

It is really important for me to be

in this good mental space when I’m filming with people

because if I am not

then it will totally affect the result.

I think in extreme cases where you do

life-threatening things, you have to know

with certainty that you will be fine.

And that everything will work out.

The moment you feel doubt in the air

whether it is from yourself or from others,

Then it gets strange.

For sure.

Oh my goddamn god!

[Zane] I think because of the inherent danger of bombing,

You are forced to be as present as possible.

You don’t really think about dinner

if you are halfway to Quintara.

[Man] I like to go a little ahead of green.

We can do it in 10 seconds.

No, do you see the countdown?




Right now.

[Zane] The timing of the traffic lights is important.

It’s a little more of a guessing game

but if you pay enough attention

You can find the pattern and assess the risk

and be able to sink when it is most likely

that you will be able to have a clear path.

It is dangerous. Its scary.

[hip-hop music]

[Adam] When you have a full squad,

They will see you go through the intersection.

They just make more presence.

If you like four or five or six or 10 homies

They treat you as your own vehicle.

[Zane] There was such a culture

Bombing raids in SF.

It’s always been like that.

The first footage I ever saw in SF was in the future

the Powell Peralta video was primitive.

It was Tommy Guerrero who only took driveways

I think down in the sunset

And so he bombed in that sense.

And that’s the first footage I’ve seen of SF.

What makes bombing raids so special in SF?

is the way it’s packed so tightly together.

And you can take a hill for 15 minutes

Hop on a bus and head up another hill.

You can bomb for a long time

the time through an urban landscape, and,

like avoiding cars, pushing through intersections.

Thank you for making these hills the way you did.

whoever the architect for this city was.

[Man 2] Are we making hype? Yes, hype.

Okay me too.

[Zane] Basically a route, if you’re bombing in town,

is a series of exit roads.

The first floor hype.

That was like what the guys showed me

over at Potrero.

Potrero started, lights off.

48 stop, take that to the clipper.

There you piss, bring that down to the whirlpools.

Eddy spits you on the sidewalk, on the street.

You take Grand View and then

They take from the top of Jersey.

Take that all the way down.

From Jersey take this to Dolores

from there you meet the 33 stop,

to the middle intersection at Corbett.

Take Corbett, it’s a bit of a dodging.

Spit you out on the 17th.

Post of a church and a market.

And then you skate from there to 49 hot Van Ness,

and skate from there to the parking garage vertebrae.

Take that, spit you out on Bush

and you’re in the market and it’s done sober.

Dude. It’s like a violent ballet through town

that just offers such a unique terrain.

All the hills and all the concrete

that was somehow just poured over her.

And that’s so unique.

Unlike any other city, really?

And just the culture here.

Many other places are quite against what we do

but there is room for artistic expression here.

Dude, Sydney kids aren’t kidding like …

[Man 3] I thought you were raw, dude.

But, dude, what happens to these kids?

Are they getting gnarled and gnarled?

Or do they burn out faster?

Like bombing?

For example, when you’re really starting out that young

Just get insanely comfortable or …

[Man 3] I dont know. There is just something

All 12 year olds did it in San Francisco.

Yes. -They don’t talk about it

but they just know how to do it.

Exactly. It’s just a skill.

For the system that is set up that we live under

We’re definitely not a good fit.

[Adam] What?

You enter.

You can’t get that through your head.

It’s good. It’s okay.

You don’t have to like me

It’s okay.

[Adam] We just go back

this way and then we’re out of here.

We’ll only be down one.

It’s all good man

Thank you for being cool

All right.

Okay let’s go

Skateboarding cannot really be contained.

The majority of people who are passionate

about that we will do it later.

No matter how many times you are told not to do it.

The first year

of the Dolores three-way rapid bombing contest

was badass because we had never seen anything like it.

And in the end, hundreds of people left

Down that one hill and how, the cops couldn’t stop us.

The first one was really cool because it kind of

brought the skate community together.

It was like a flash mob.

It wasn’t really planned. It just happened.

Over the years,

More and more people decided to show up and it was

a bit like a party or a spectacle.

And there were a lot of people who were just like

on the sides, like when taking a picture or just

Drink beer to see something.

[Adam] The more crowded it gets.

The more options there are, the more injuries can occur.

One person actually died.

I wasn’t there last year so I don’t know the exact details.

but that’s why the news started covering it.

[Newsperson] A 23 year old man from San Francisco

was identified as the person killed

during an inadmissible extreme sports event.

[Reporter] The police say the young cyclist

was seriously injured, as was another teenage skateboarder

in a separate incident at Dolores Park.

[Adam] Other than the first, I’m not the biggest fan.

It’s just a couple of people that get together

and just doing something that isn’t really for everyone.

It’s not a fun, playful thing that anyone can do.

[Zane] When you bomb

with a hundred other people you barely met

Just shit is going to happen.

As it is, it is dangerous to bomb

with like four people, five people.

If you don’t know them well enough

You must have complete confidence in those around you.

I’m definitely trying to stay alive

to the best of our knowledge and belief.

But when there’s an easier way to kill yourself

like, yeah, it’s a nine-to-five and do that and,

like drinking beer and going to sleep and doing it again

You’re just killing yourself more slowly.

I’ll skate until I absolutely can’t anymore.

And then I’ll get a garden chair and how

We’re going to be drilling trucks downstairs and it’s you

I’ll push myself down the hill and it’ll be great.

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