Dolores Park Hill Bombing Continues as Skaters Dodge SFPD Barricades

Despite San Francisco police urging skaters to stay away from Dolores Park today, the annual hill bombing event went ahead — and was quieter than expected.

Skaters attending the highly anticipated hill bomb skipped the heavily barricaded Dolores Street hill and instead rolled through the park before taking on the steeper Church Street. There was no sign of the police clashes that marked last year’s downhill edition.

One fight between a skater and a spectator began and ended quickly after members of the audience intervened. Several skaters fell and one was left sitting on the sidewalk, assisted by volunteer medics, to treat a bloody gash on his head.

Paramedics took at least one skater to the hospital. Shortly after 8 p.m., a young man lost control at the bottom of the church and crashed, apparently hitting his head on the raised curb. Firefighters rushed to him and placed him on a stretcher. He threw his hands up in bravado as he was wheeled into the ambulance. The crowd up and down the hill cheered.

Youtube video

Paramedics take an injured skater to the hospital. Video by Joe Rivano Barros. July 6, 2024.
Two rescuers help a person lying on the ground while another person helps. A bystander takes a photo and a few others observe the scene nearby.
Paramedics attend to the skater, who was later taken to hospital. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros. July 6, 2024.

More than 100 San Francisco police officers had closed the park to downhill skating in the hours before the skaters arrived, zigzagging barricades along the sidewalks and blocking intersections along Dolores Street. Officers manned the barriers and police cars circled the park.

So skaters chose an area with less police: the park itself, before heading to the steeper Church Street on the other side of Dolores.

“Everybody stay out of the way! Don’t cross!” shouted Chris Long, a veteran skater who urged the crowd lining the church to leave room for those hurtling downhill.

Skaters zoomed down the street at breakneck speed, while the crowd screamed and clapped. When a skater was safely down, the crowd erupted in applause; when they crashed, the crowd groaned.

“It’s a bit like playing pinball in real life,” said Amire Lofton, an experienced downhill skater who has competed in several hill bombs.

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