LA City Council seeks to impose speed limit, traffic rules on skateboarders

Skaters bomb Mission Hill. This week, the L.A. City Council could put an end to “bombing,” an extreme style of skateboarding where skaters shoot down hills at top speed.
Skaters bomb Mission Hill. This week, the L.A. City Council could put an end to “bombing,” an extreme style of skateboarding where skaters shoot down hills at top speed. Nick Sherman/Flickr

This week, the L.A. City Council could put an end to an extreme style of skateboarding called “bombing.”

Bombing is when a skateboarder shoots down a hill at high speed. The practice is thrilling, but dangerous; in January, a 15-year old boy was killed in a collision with another skateboarder during a “bombing” run down a hill in San Pedro.

Kevin Rodriguez – who’s 17 - says he doesn’t wear a helmet when he bombs, even though the law says he should. But he says he’s careful not to skateboard downhill into traffic.

“Sometimes we do it in the night time," says Rodriguez, before adding, "There’s no cars. Or we do in parking lots or private downhills.”

But when you’re bombing down a steep hill a 40 miles an hour, you don’t need another car to wipe out.

“[Y]ou get speed wobbles," Rodriguez explains. "That means that your board wiggles too much and you can’t have control so you just… you just eat [it] on the floor.”

On Wednesday, the L.A. City Council will talk about putting an end to bombing. There’s a proposed ordinance to require skateboarders to obey the same rules that bicyclists do — like stop for stop signs and stay on the right side of the road.

Skateboarders would also have to obey a speed limit: 25 miles per hour, whether you’re “bombing” downhill or not.

blog comments powered by Disqus