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Longboarding In NYC: Where To Skate In The Big Apple

Longboarding In NYC: Where To Skate In The Big Apple

For my next trip to New York, I plan on taking my longboard with me so I can go cruising, exploring, and bombing the great bike routes and hills the city has to offer!

Two of the best places for longboarding in NYC are the endless bike paths that run along both riversides, and the breathtaking pathways and hills of Central Park. There are also other lesser known locations and epic routes you can take to have a blast pushing, cruising, and/or freeriding on your longboard. Read on to learn about some the best spots I’ve found as I was planning for my trip.

See also:
Longboarding in San Diego
Longboarding in San Francisco
Longboarding in Denver

1. Longboarding along the Manhattan riversides (NYC)

The Greenway bike paths along the Manhattan rivers are top spots for cruising and traveling on your longboard in NYC. The Westside commuter trail, aks Hudson River Greenway, is the best for longboarding and runs along the Hudson River from Dyckman Street in the North to Battery Park in the South through Hudson River Park and Riverside Park. It’s the most heavily used bike path in the U.S and offers a smooth and scenic trail for longboarders.

If you like long rides with little traffic, you can focus on the uptown portion of the path around the Little Red Lighthouse, under the George Washington Bridge.

The bike lane stretch along the East River Park is quite good as well, wide and well paved for carving. The pavement gets a bit rougher as you ride further South, however, but it gets smoother again near South Street Seaport. Although the East River Greenway runs along the East Side similar to the Westside path, it gets interrupted Midtown from 34th to 83rd streets, so you have to ride on narrow bike lanes in traffic around the United Nations building.

2. Longboarding in Central Park (NYC)

Central Park is also a gorgeous and compelling area for longboarding in NYC. One great spot for some nice freeriding is Great Hill in the Northwest side of the park. There are also mild hills you can practice sliding on around the pool on the Northeast side of the park.

The Central Park loop lets you push around the park on your longboard along with the cyclists at good speed. The path is obviously best for skating when traffic is relatively low. Strawberry Fields Hill just in from the 72nd Street entrance of Central Park is a great spot for honing your pushing and sliding skills.

Skater’s Road is a nice flatland Central Park spot well-suited for beginners and longboard dancing.

3. Longboarding in Brooklyn NY

Prospect Park in Brooklyn is also among of the most popular longboarding spots in NYC, namely for downhill skating and sliding. Center Drive has great longboard runs, being a quiet and broad street with nice hills for freeriding and moderate sliding. The street has some good grass run-outs to help you slow down when you’re going too fast. You easiest access is through the entrance at 16th street in the South West part of Prospect Park.

There’s also a good zone for practicing flatland longboarding near the 15th Street Prospect Park train station and the Bartel-Pritchard square.

Another fantastic route for distance skating on your longboard is Sheeps Head Bay in the South of Brooklyn area. There you can skate along a 9-mile run (18 miles both ways) on one of the smoothest bike paths in NYC. It’s a mostly flat surface with a few mellow hills. The run starts at Emmons Avenue and ends at 84th street, a scenic 9-mile dedicated bike path along the Jamaica Bay which runs through a wildlife refuge. From Manhattan you can take the B or Q train to Sheeps Head Bay in Brooklyn.

4. Distance longboard skating across Manhattan

If you’re into long-distance skating, an awesome longboarding journey in NYC is to skate from the Broadway Bridge North of Manhattan all the way down to Battery Park at the South of the Island. Bob Cromwell from New York has done it and has put out a detailed report of his epic journey in his extensive post with some cool pictures of the main points on the route.

Here’s a summary of his path:

  • Start at Broadway and 10th Avenue heading down toward Dyckman Street along the Harlem River and on the Harlem River Drive bike path, under the Washington Bridge.
  • 159th to 59th Street: through the Jackie Robinson Park, along Saint Nicholas Park, into Central Park and past the reservoir, along the American Museum of Natural History, down to Columbus Circle.
  • 59th to 23rd Street: Broadway through Midtown, skate through Time Square, past the Ed Sullivan theater, Madison Square Park, Flatiron Building
  • 23th Street to Battery Park: Chelsea Piers, Hudson River bike path, along High Line Park and the Meatpack District, around North Cove and Battery Park City.

5. Freestyle & skatepark longboarding in NYC

If you’re into park and pool riding on your longboard, there are quite a few skateparks you can hit in NYC. Here are some of the best ones:

  • LES skatepark: the best street park in NYC since its 2012 revamp – for some, even one of the best in the world. All kinds of skaters go there, so it sometimes gets crowded. See photos
  • Pier62 skatepark (Chelsea park): the biggest and best transition park in NYC. It’s located on the Hudson River.
  • Riverside Skatepark (Andy Kessler Memorial Skate Park) has a 10′ vert ramp.
  • Tribeca Skatepark: also located on the Hudson River at Pier 25. Photos
  • Hamilton Bridge Skatepark: located in Washington Park. Has a nice shallow bowl and two separate riding flows. Photos
  • Thomas Jefferson Skatepark: a recent skatepark located in the Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem, by the Harlem River.
  • Cooper Skatepark in Brooklyn
  • McCarren Skatepark in Brooklyn
  • Astoria Skatepark

If you’re into hardcore street and freestyle longboarding, here’s a pretty long list of street skating spots in NYC – be aware skateboarding is prohibited in a many of these places though.

See also: where can you skateboard?

Photo credits:
Featured “Central Park Longboard Race 2012” (CC BY 2.0) by jschauma