Brooklyn Banks: Skateboarding’s Iconic Shred Mecca in NYC

Uncover the charm of NYC's legendary skate spot, Brooklyn Banks. Immerse in its history, fight for survival, and its unyielding skate spirit.

Brooklyn Banks, have you ever skated there? Legend has it that Brooklyn Banks to skateboarding is like Yggdrasil to Norse mythology; it’s pretty much the World Tree of skate shred spots. Sure, it’s just underneath a pretty old-school bridge, but skateboarding at Brooklyn Banks becomes a tale of its own. Hang ten, folks. We’ll dive into the history, design, and even the controversies surrounding this fan-favorite skate spot. Let’s find out what made this chunk of New York City street a skateboarding heritage in its own right. If you’ve got your decks ready, buckle up (or, should I say, strap those helmets on?). It’s gonna be a solid ride.

What’s all the buzz about Brooklyn Banks?

Okay, imagine skateboarding in a spot that’s packed with character and history. That’s what Brooklyn Banks stands for. Discovered by skaters around the 80s and pretty much turned into shred heaven by the 90s, it has been a solid choice for skateboarders, BMX riders, and scooter kids. In fact, the spot is so iconic that it’s even made its way into legendary video games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skate.

Image of the brooklyn banks skate spot with skaters and cyclists in 2009. Source: wiki commons
Image of the brooklyn banks skate spot with skaters and cyclists in 2009. Source: wiki commons

The Brooklyn Banks, nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge, is a lot like a concrete playground, full of ramps, ledges, pillars, and stair sets for that perfect grind. So, what makes this place so insane?

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Brooklyn banks: skateboarding's iconic shred mecca in nyc | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What makes the Brooklyn Banks unique?

If you’re keen to roll up to a skate spot that has stood the test of time, definitely consider a visit to the Brooklyn Banks. But wait, does the fight to keep Brooklyn Banks alive end here? No!

  • The Two Banks: Rideable embankments reserved by skaters for the juiciest flips out there.
  • Rails and Ledges: Just the right height to challenge any skater, whether you’re a novice or pro.
  • Stair Sets and Pillars: Fancy a game of S.K.A.T.E? This is the place to be.
  • Non-Stop Action: A spot that highlights the indomitable spirit of skaters, always resisting attempts to close it down.

What happened to Brooklyn Banks?

In 2010, the Brooklyn Banks Skatepark closed due to Brooklyn Bridge renovations. The city shut down the banks, claiming it was for repainting the roadways’ underside. However, they weren’t promptly reopened, and several red bricks were removed.

Image of brooklyn banks in 2010. Source: wiki commons
Brooklyn banks: skateboarding's iconic shred mecca in nyc | image of brooklyn banks in 2010 wiki commons | skateboard salad

Brooklyn Banks, though flourishing, has seen its share of challenges. One skater, Steve Rodriguez, went on a mission to fight for this spot in 2004. In May this year, the area known as Brooklyn Banks was finally reopened to the public on the bridge’s 140th anniversary, now a part of the broader public area named the Arches. After over ten years of exclusion, the park was formally inaugurated, welcoming skateboarders.

The beauty of Brooklyn Banks

As a skater, I find it insanely invigorating to witness such a communal spirit. It’s amazing to see how everyone comes together to protect a place like Brooklyn Banks. It’s just a skate spot for the uninitiated, but for us skaters, it’s much more than that. It’s a symbol of our rebellious spirit, always ready to own the streets and stand tall, regardless of the obstacles.

Dive deeper into the wide world of skateboarding personalities in Skaters You Will Meet Part 5.

“Brooklyn Banks to skateboarding is like Yggdrasil to Norse mythology, it’s pretty much the World Tree of skate shred spots”

To shred or not to shred, is that even a question? Yes, the Brooklyn Banks is iconic and all, but like everything in life, skateboarding here, too, has its pros and cons. It’s pretty much like a gnarly heel flip on a good day; you win some, you can lose some.

Do respect the spot: Don’t litter or cause damage.Don’t ignore locals’ codes and conventions.
Do warm up prior to skating: Helps prevent common skateboarding injuries.Don’t forget your safety gear, especially if you’re a beginner.
Do check weather conditions: Wet surfaces can be hazardous.Don’t disrupt traffic or pedestrians.
Do follow the local laws and regulations.Don’t harass or disrespect other skaters who may just be learning the ropes.
To avoid getting the cold shoulder from local skaters or running into any unwelcome surprises, obey these dos and don’ts.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Every spot has its story, and Brooklyn Banks is just teeming with tales! Have more questions about this iconic New York City skateboarding spot? Are you not a big fan of going through chunky paragraphs to find the answer? No worries; I’ve got you covered!

What are the must-attempt tricks at Brooklyn Banks?

Well, a surefire way to immerse yourself in the spirit of Brooklyn Banks is to try out basic street tricks like ollies and kickflips. Advanced skaters might want to take on rail grinds and stair-set jumps. Each location, be it the banks, ledges, or stair sets, calls for a special set of skills. Looking for some trick inspiration or fancy learning new ones? Get your fill here.

How does Brooklyn Banks compare to other popular skate spots?

While it’s hard to compare iconic skate spots as each has its unique flavor, Brooklyn Banks stands out for its street cred and the sheer variety of skate features it offers. Unlike orchestrated skate parks, it maintains an urban, adventurous edge unique to street skating. If you want to explore more iconic skate spots, check out The Greatest Skateboarding Moments.

Is there a particular time to visit Brooklyn Banks?

While the skate spot is typically accessible year-round, kind weather is your best bet for a seamless skate session. Avoiding peak hours and weekends might help dodge the crowds, although the lively atmosphere of a bustling skate spot can be infectious! For more insights on the skateboarding community, be sure to visit Worst Pro Skateboarding Bails.

Will Brooklyn Banks remain a skate spot in the future?

Well, the future for Brooklyn Banks has been in the balance for some time. Despite attempts to convert the area, the skateboarding community, led by dedicated skaters like Steve Rodriguez, has successfully resisted such actions. The fight for Brooklyn Banks isn’t quite over yet, and all skateboarders are urged to support the cause. To know more about the threats facing skate spots and the skaters’ responses, explore Was Covid Good for Skateboarding?

Final thoughts

As we cruise to the end of this discussion, it’s evident that Brooklyn Banks isn’t just a skate spot. It’s a symbol, an institution, and a testament to the resilience and passion of the skateboarding community. Despite challenges, the spirit of Brooklyn Banks lives on, transforming mere concrete and rails into a piece of skateboarding history. It stands tall, reminding us of our skateboarding roots and the essence of street skating.

Have you ever skated at Brooklyn Banks or any such iconic spot? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article insightful, don’t hesitate to share it, and be sure to check out the full blog for more skateboarding tips, history, and culture. Until next time, keep rolling, stay curious, catch you on the flip side, and as always, stay stoked!

Key takeaways

This post dove into the captivating world of Brooklyn Banks, its far-reaching impact on skate culture, and why it’s at the heart of the skateboarding community in New York City. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The Brooklyn Banks is a shred paradise nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge, packed with a variety of skate features.
  • It is regarded as a symbol of skateboarding history and urban skate culture.
  • Over the years, efforts led by skaters like Steve Rodriguez have ensured the spot’s survival against several threats of closure.
  • Despite some recent changes and ongoing challenges, the future of this iconic skate spot remains in the balance, with the skate community standing strong to preserve it.
  • Every skateboarder can participate in keeping the spirit of Brooklyn Banks alive by respecting the spot and signing the online petition that aims to save it.
  • Skateboarding at Brooklyn Banks transcends sport—it’s about community, heritage, and the unyielding spirit of street skating.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

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