If you are following STEAKS Shredder B000M on Instagram you might have noticed she loves herself some good rolling time on the streets of NYC. If you have been admiring her urban skate trips but have felt too overwhelmed with questions on how to embark on similar adventures in your own city, you are in luck! In this STEAKS Stories guest article B000M shares her Top 10 Tips on how to skate the streets. Get ready to be inspired – just in time for summer skating in the streets!
#1 Navigating through busy streets and pedestrian areas 🚸
When there’s lots of humans and moving vehicles, skating can seem very intimidating – but here are some suggestions on how to build your courage. For ultimate navigation, be loud and make yourself seen. Especially when vehicles are turning, you might be in their blind spot, so make yourself known. Be ready to stop at any given moment. When skating in the presence of pedestrians, move out of the way for them, and if you find yourself in a game of chicken – just stop. Let the person pass, then move on your way.
Urban skating isn’t just fun, it also looks pretty cool! Photo credit Bladers and Quads of NYC, I Roll NY
#2 How to spot skate spots and places to avoid 👍👎
So many things are skatable! If you’re looking for ledges, look for the ones with black edges – that means they’ve been coated with many layers of wax. That usually also means it’s a spot you can skate without getting kicked out, but not always. Especially in cities – pay mind to building security. If they tell you it’s time to leave, leave immediately (unless you really want to get the police involved). Try to avoid heavily trafficked areas, even if the spot looks perfect. I use this awesome app called Loke that shows local street and skatepark locations!
#3 Obey traffic laws 🚦
I’m not your mother, but seriously. Do your best to obey the traffic laws! Drivers are not looking for people zooming around on 8 wheels. If you run a stop light or choose to skate against traffic, you’re putting yourself into some real danger.
#4 Night visibility 🌠
Visibility at night is important if you plan on skating alongside traffic. Light-up wheels are a great option so drivers know you’re skating. Bike lights and reflective gear are a bonus! The more people you skate with at night can also greatly improve your visibility (see #5). Once you get to a session spot, I suggest changing wheels to avoid attention from unwanted passersby.
The more the merrier! B000M (first on left) with her street skating crew. Photo credit Terry Newman
#5 Safety in numbers 👫👬👭
The more the merrier! Skating in numbers greatly enhances your visibility to drivers and pedestrians. It’s also a lot more fun! It’s smart to have a buddy and to always look out for one another just in case you get lost and/or separated from the group.
#6 Protection ⛑
Skate at your own risk, but to me protection is important and here’s why. I want to skate as much as possible, we all know injuries happen – but why not greatly reduce the chance of injury! People often say protection makes them uncomfortable, I get it – but it’s truly just a matter of getting used to skating with gear. Protection can also be perceived as ‘uncool’ – but so were fanny packs, and look at where we are now. Honestly, don’t let your style dictate your safety.
Here is my choice protection:
- STEAKS® basic crash shorts
- TSG low profile knee guards
- Shin guards
- Triple8 stealth elbow pads
- Triple8 working hands wrist guards
- Triple8 certified sweat saver
#7 What wheels?! 🛸
You’ll want to go with something on the soft side unless you want to feel the vibration of every bump. A harder wheel will also slow you down on crummy concrete. Bigger wheels will give you more speed but will make it very challenging to grind or slide on anything without changing your wheels. My go-to wheels are the Ricta Clouds. They have different hardness options, but mine are 78a (anything 88a and below is doable for street stuff) and are 55mm (2mm larger than my park wheels).
“If you see something cool, skate it!” – creativity: the most challenging but also the most fun aspect of street skating. The sky’s the limit. Photo credit Bronx Born Blading
#8 Bring a backpack 🎒
A backpack with essentials will make your experience more enjoyable. Without the necessities, you might find yourself needing to call it early due to unexpected mishaps. Skating with a backpack might throw off your balance, so it’s also useful to practice skating with one on before hitting the streets.
Here’s a list of my must-haves that I always skate with:
- Skate tool, Alan key, wrench, and handheld bearing press
- extra set of wheels (Juice Ritas 99a)
- washers, extra bolts, extra bearings, extra toe stop
- Bluetooth speaker (headphones make it very challenging to hear your surroundings)
- wax for ledges 🤟🤟🤟
- first aid stuff (moleskin, bandaids, sport wrap)
- water bottle
#9 Skitching – yes, no or maybe so! 🚕
Skitching is the act of hitching a ride by holding onto a motor vehicle. There are many places where skitching is illegal. It can also be very dangerous. Again, I’m not your mother but if you decide to do it – proceed with caution. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done it.
#10 Be creative! 💎
If you see something cool, skate it! Traffic barriers, fire hydrants, loading docks, stairs, etc. Try different stalls, grinds, slides, grabs, whatever! The world is your oyster, so go out and have fun!