The worst part of skating New York is battling the harsh Winter weather consisting of a mix of rain, sleet & snow. Temperatures do vary so it’s not the cold that holds NY hostage it’s typically the melting snow combined with salt & sand scattered throughout the streets. Wind of course can make skating suck any season of the year. You can however do as many skateboarders do in the off season – evacuate to Florida, Cali or Barcelona – whichever your wallet will allow. If you can’t evacuate or are visiting New York in the Winter here’s 10 tips how to survive.
1. The “Real Snowboard” – After the first snow fall the streets will be covered with salt and sand which sucks if you’re riding wheels in the low 50’s. Pick up a set of cruiser wheels with some crappy bearings and setup an old deck. If you keep the bearings clean periodically you will have a Winter cruiser for years to come. Just remember to watch out for ice.
2. Trash Bags – Whether it’s rain, sleet or snow having a trash bag handy always helps keeping your setup dry/rust free. Nothing worse than arriving at a dry spot with soaked grip.
3. Bodega Coffee – It’s true we love our bodega coffee and at times skate through the streets enjoying a cup. Double satisfaction in the winter when it heats up your hands. Hot chocolate could work too for the younger crew.
4. Bad Weather Spots – Spots with a structure overhead and or painted pavement can remain dry or dry quickly. Astoria Skate Park, Coleman/LES Skate Park, the TF or even 12th & A might be worth checking out after some bad weather. Some spots even have crews that will shovel them out after a heavy snow fall – mad props to those guys. Parking garages can be a secret gold mine security permitting of course.
5. Indoor Parks – Safest bet is to take advantage of New York’s indoor skate parks including: 2nd Nature (Peekskill, NY), Skate Brooklyn Mini, Oil City, 5050 (Staten Island, NY) or Garden Sk8 and The Bridge which are close by in New Jersey. Other indoor spots like House of Vans, Homage TF and the KCDC Mini are only skateable during special events, follow our Event Calendar for dates & locations.
6. Check Your Apps – Social Media is a great way to check if a spot is dry or covered in snow. Pay attention to your weather app’s radar and check your spot’s hashtag or location tag for status updates. Doing so has saved us numerous times in the past.
7. Snow Skates? – Snowboarding is sort of an option, you can take trips or hit up hilly parks like Central Park. If you’re not into snowboarding then maybe you would be interested in snow skates which are special boards with grooves and special grip made from zinc coated steel studs. They run about the same as a new complete but will last you several winters. Watch the vid above to get a taste of whats going down on these things.
8. Backup Hardware – Kingpins would be top of the list, as the temperature falls your metal hardware can break or crack. Have a backup supply with at least one kingpin some bolts and a few bearings just in case. Don’t forget to have some sort of skate tool as well.
9. Thermals – Thermals under your pants can help you warm up quicker and retain your body heat.
10. Cheap Stretchy Gloves – Every winter we buy a few pair of cheap stretchy gloves on St. Marks. The cheaper the better so you don’t get bummed after wearing through the fingers or falling and ripping the palms.
Do you have something to add to the list? Add your tips below.