What Does Bombing Mean in Skateboarding? The Ultimate Guide

Get the lowdown on what bombing means in skateboarding, from its thrilling risks, history, to safety tips. Stay stoked, skate safe.

Have you ever considered diving headfirst into the concrete jungle, armed with nothing but your trusty skateboard and infantile bravery? It’s definitely insane, but that’s pretty much what ‘bombing’ is in skateboarding! Imagine you, a skateboard, and a hill—now combine those three, and what do you get? You’re in for one hell of a ride. Fasten your safety belts, folks. This is going to be a killer dive into the world of bombing!

What does it mean to bomb a hill on a skateboard?

“Bombing a hill” in skateboarding refers to riding downhill at high speeds. The term “bombing” is used because skaters often tuck their bodies, similar to how a bomber plane would go into a dive, to reduce wind resistance and increase speed as they descend. It’s one of the purest forms of experiencing speed on a skateboard, but also requires high skill and confidence.

Image of skaters riding a skateboard downhill. Source: unsplash
Image of skaters riding a skateboard downhill. Source: unsplash

The skater must be able to navigate obstacles, make quick decisions, and have the ability to control their board at those high speeds. Bombing is all about the rush, the freedom, and the challenge. When you’re bombing, you’re not just shredding on a board. You’re essentially going toe-to-toe with gravity—and almost always, it’s a crazy rush.

But remember, with all the fun comes responsibility. When you’re out for a hill bomb, it’s not just your life in your hands. You’re also sharing the street with motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, so always maintain a solid awareness and keep things as safe as possible.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

What does bombing mean in skateboarding? The ultimate guide | 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.

Has bombing been around long?

The thing about skateboarding is it’s always evolving. Still, bombing has been a part of it for quite some time. Skateboarding greats of the ’80s and ’90s, like Tommy Guerrero, Julien Stranger, and Chris Senn, are known for their thrilling hill bombs. These dudes utilized street features in a totally new and insanely radical way.

Fast forward to modern times, and the tradition is kept alive by crews like GX1000, spearheaded by skate icons like Sean Greene, Pablo Ramirez, and Frank Gerwer. Their videos are packed with killer hill bomb sessions and have significantly repopularized hill bombing.

Are hill bombs just about speed?

While speed is a huge aspect of bombing, there’s more to it than meets the eye. For one, controlling your board at high speeds is a skill in itself. It takes insane balance, quick reflexes, and some serious guts to pull off these tricks. Tricks like a frontside 180 kickflip to hill bomb, like the one done by Jon Allie, and the hill bombs incorporated into Dennis Busenitz’s part are prime examples.

“You’re not just shredding on a board, you’re essentially going toe-to-toe with gravity—almost always, it’s a crazy rush”

So you’re asking – To bomb or not to bomb? Let me put it to you this way—Skateboarding is about pushing your limits and finding your unique way of expressing yourself. Bombing can be a part of that—if you’re ready for the risks and committed to safety.

Image of skaters hill bombing in san francisco's hills. Source: unsplash
What does bombing mean in skateboarding? The ultimate guide | image of skaters hill bombing in san franciscos hills unsplash | skateboard salad

Bombing hills on a skateboard is an insanely thrilling experience. Just like any extreme sport, it comes with its own set of rules. Here’s the nitty-gritty, a ready reckoner of what to do and what not to do while bombing hills.

Always wear your helmet and safety gearDon’t ignore the safety gears
Start with small hills before moving onto steeper onesDon’t bomb on a hill you’re not comfortable with
Always maintain a healthy respect for traffic lawsDon’t assume traffic will always see you or give way
Start with small hills before moving on to steeper onesDon’t bomb on wet, slippery pavement
Learn to stop safely at high speedsDon’t tango with vehicles and pedestrians
A comprehensive set of dos and don’ts for executing a successful hill bombing

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As we tackle the twisty terrain of bombing, it’s foreseeable that you’d have a few burning questions. We’ve compiled some of the most common inquiries we hear about bombing in skateboarding for you.

Is it legal to bomb hills on city streets?

Generally, laws differ from city to city and country to country. While some places might not strictly prohibit it, most cities have traffic laws that skateboarders must abide by. Failure to do so can land you in trouble with law enforcement. Besides, there’s also the risk factor to consider. So yeah, checking local regulations and prioritizing safety’s always a solid choice.

How do I prepare for my first hill bomb?

The first step is always preparation. Ensure you’re equipped with all the necessary safety gear – a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, slide gloves, and right skate shoes. Start small, and work your way up from smaller hills. Build your skillset comfort level, and always practice respectful and safe skateboarding.

Where are popular places to bomb hills?

With its steep and long hills, San Francisco has always been a popular choice among hill bombers. It’s something of a holy grail for bombing enthusiasts. There’s even the annual Dolores Hill Bomb event, but it’s recommended only for highly skilled skateboarders, given the risk involved. Remember—always skate safe, no matter where you are!

Final Thoughts

Bombing hills is a rite of passage in skateboarding, a perfect blend of adrenaline, grit, and skating skills. As you hop on your board for a thrilling ride, remember balance is key—not just on the board but between fun and safety. You’ve got one sweet life—live it, love it, and skate it, but don’t forget your helmet! If you’re new to this and a bit overwhelmed, no sweat—here’s a great place to start.

So, are you pumped to kick your board into high gear and bomb some hills? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? I read and reply to every comment. Spread the stoke, share the article, and let me know your thoughts. Appreciate you stopping by. Stay rad and shred safe!

Key Takeaways

This piece gave you the 411 on the wild world of bombing in skateboarding. Here’s a quick rundown of what we discussed:

  • Bombing is a high-speed downhill skateboarding tactic
  • Hill bombs gained popularity in the ’80s and had a resurgence in the mid to late 2010s
  • Always wear a helmet and safety gear when tackling hill bombs
  • Bombing isn’t just about speed—it’s about control and balance too
  • Local laws regulating skating and bombing vary, so always check beforehand
  • San Francisco is an infamous city for its challenging hill bomb spots
  • Always skate responsibly and considerately.

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.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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