Skateboarders fly down SF’s Dolores Street at insane speeds in flash ‘hill bomb’

With incredible skill and speed, skateboarders from across the Bay Area flew down a vertical section of Dolores Street in San Francisco’s Mission District Thursday night.

The impromptu gathering, organized by word-of-mouth and call-outs in social media, drew hundreds to take part in “hill bombing,” the extreme sport of skating down a street as fast as you possibly can for the ultimate adrenaline rush. And no, helmets weren’t the norm.

The amazing daredevils of all ages —  some kids looked no older than 10 years old — zoomed down the hill, turning several blocks of the east side of the city’s iconic palm tree–lined street into the ultimate skating course. As they wooshed by, they held their arms carefully placed at their sides for balance. Some wore masks and interesting hats, and one guy had a balloon bouquet wrapped around his neck.

The sheer size of the crowd blocked traffic, and it is unclear if organizers got permission from the city for the event.

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Matt Beaton, 22, who traveled from Sacramento to skate Dolores, described the vibe as “super-charged.”

“Everyone was seeking maximum brutality of epic proportions,” said Beaton who has been skating for 15 years. “I got the invite today to come bomb some hills with my best friends and there’s nothing on earth I’d rather do.”

The skaters attracted a crowd who cheered on the athletes and were wowed by their stunts. Many took photos with their phones, but unless you had a professional camera it was tricky to capture anything more than a blur; the hill racers were moving way way too fast.

This is the third hill bomb of this scale to take place on Dolores Street in recent years. At the 2017 event, conflict arose between skaters and police, and the San Francisco Chronicle reported there were fights and bottles thrown, but this year’s hill bomb appeared to be peaceful.

“I don’t skate, but I have a lot friends who do,” said Kira Gil, who was on the sidelines taking photos. “I was just there to support them and get the insanity of it all on my camera. It’s a cool event because it was organized solely by the skating community in San Francisco and it’s had the same huge turnout for the last three years just through word-of-mouth.”

Amy Graff is a news producer for SFGATE. Email her at agraff@sfgate.com.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/hill-bomb-San-Francisco-skateboarders-Dolores-St-14090264.php.

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