This is What the Biggest Skatepark in N.Y. Looks Like

October 30th, 2013 | 5:54 am | Spot Updates | 19 Comments

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We try to keep the skatepark coverage few and far between, but given the stupid Daily News article about this place, the internet could stand to use a current piece about it.

The Hamilton Bridge Skatepark in Washington Heights is around eighty-percent complete. You can technically skate as it stands now, provided you don’t get in the way of the workers. A lot of the surfacing still needs to be finished. NY Skateboarding posted blueprints of it two years ago, so you can use those to fill in the blanks of what hasn’t been finished. Most of the hubba ledges will have marble-ish pieces affixed to them (their bare surfaces are all already waxed.) The brick quarterpipes (they’re real bricks, not faux bricks) are probably the funnest part of the park, but they all remain without coping or a top surface. If you skate them now, you’re sliding on actual brick not sliding much. The park is getting two handrails, though no sight of a flatrail in any of the mock-ups. Some of the ledges are beveled and look like they are staying that way (see the three-stair Philly step into the bank), which seems like an odd choice for a skatepark. Who knows, maybe they do put metal on the edges later on.

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The park is maybe one-and-a-half times the size of the L.E.S. Park. There are two levels of the street section, which is most prominent in the panoramic photos above. Behind that, is a narrow, downhill run of ledges that includes an actual straight ledge. That ledge is waxed to all hell and deadly. (Like, ollie onto a 5050 standing still and grind to the end of it -deadly.) Considering the park’s proximity to the Bronx, one of the few remaining rollerblader refuges, you can rest assured that it will always be overcoated with candles.

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Under the bridge is another street section. It’s dark and dusty, and thus, difficult to get photos of. It basically has the same lighting as the Fat Kid Spot, and white lights underneath for nighttime.

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There are huge spotlights surrounding the entire park, so the city finally trusting skateboarders after the sun goes down is a nice and unprecedented gesture. It’s no Paine’s Park, and complaints from the “Why the hell can’t you guys build a straight ledge?”-corner will continue to reverberate (especially when they use straight slabs of marble to decorate the fence that borders the park), but the banks here are super fun. They look like they’re decking it out with landscaping afterwards, and the park itself looks like it won’t be completed until the end of the year. The “official” opening date is anyone’s guess.

Located at Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, right under the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. It’s off the 181st stop on the 1 train. The Heights isn’t exactly Lower Manhattan or northwestern Queens in terms of skateboarder population, so you can definitely catch a mellow session here, assuming you show up early enough on a weekday, for many years to come.

19 Comments

Comment by hhh
  • its no paines park? at least this park has something to skate

    October 30, 2013 @ 7:41 am
  • Comment by Snack
  • Only bringing up Paine’s Park because it’s the crown jewel of northeastern skateparks embracing normal straight ledges.

    http://quartersnacks.com/2013/08/skate-spot-porn-tempelhof-skate-plaza-in-berlin/#comment-231208

    October 30, 2013 @ 11:38 am
  • Comment by trizzy trent
  • I’ve been here a few time since it opened. It’s an awesome park and can’t wait until the banks have coping, it’s going to be a real fun park. My only concern is, in the street section by the banks, there is a pretty high drop if anything were to happen it wouldn’t be pretty. They should definitely considering making a fence along these parts, just to avoid something bad.

    October 30, 2013 @ 12:29 pm
  • Comment by jimmy
  • i like the brick quarter pipes liike the original harlem ones that were in the street

    October 30, 2013 @ 1:09 pm
  • Comment by beatski
  • @hhh

    yeah, paines is pretty damn beat. big waste of money.

    October 30, 2013 @ 1:25 pm
  • Comment by new yorker
  • yall are bugging

    i’ll trade les or astoria for paines park

    yes, i’ve been to all of them.

    October 30, 2013 @ 1:28 pm
  • Comment by swamady
  • paines is alright but when you go there everyday you realize how much it sucks

    October 30, 2013 @ 1:44 pm
  • Comment by mugsy bogus
  • wonder if they have the same mentality as my dad when i found some old pipe and asked him to teach me to weld a rail together….he made me make go at a slant bc ‘how are you supposed to slide down/across it if it’s not at an angle?’ haha it actually became a very fun up rail years later in its long ass life

    October 30, 2013 @ 4:56 pm
  • Comment by Bzzzzz
  • Idk if id trade Paines for les and Astoria, but Paines is pretty chill. Looks like this park is going to be chill though.

    October 30, 2013 @ 7:15 pm
  • Comment by hhh
  • and when did it become franklin paines bike park fund? fuck man, 10yrs of anticipation down the drain.. thank God i didnt think itd ever really get built. and there were a thousand ledges at fdr from city hall, where the fuck did they go? not all of them were used, and there were more than just straight ledges, there was diversity among them and they couldve been used creatively, unlike the lack of diversity and creativity at paines. moral of the story, this park looks fun, sorry for the rant

    October 30, 2013 @ 8:44 pm
  • Comment by hhh
  • kinda fun, maybe* id like to skate it before i judge, but that may never happen. and thanks for clearing up the reference, snack.

    October 30, 2013 @ 9:04 pm
  • Comment by beatski
  • whitehall is the best skatepark in philadelphia

    October 31, 2013 @ 1:34 pm
  • Comment by TheRuggedPicturePoser
  • I used to smoke crack and shoot dope there. Wash Heights, Inwood, BX have mad hills and a vibe that isnt as cool guy as downtown. Often overlooked. Being from NJ it was always close to us. Bombing the 178 subway hill, skating the bus station upstairs waiting to go home. I remember going to Mallaley when I was in Eigth grade me and my boy, who was younger, took a trip to skate there one friday night. Probably 90/91. The dude who drove stopped and bought two nickles at Cool Melody Jamaican spot and two Bud 32ozs. I was too young to party, but always remember that shit. Skateboarding takes you to the coolest spots!

    October 31, 2013 @ 3:48 pm
  • Comment by Rat Lord
  • TheRuggedPicturePoser just gave the most amazing random-as-fuck-but-still-awesome-skateboard-subplot story ever. Rat Lord loves you, Garden City OG.

    November 2, 2013 @ 3:04 pm
  • Comment by mark
  • Paines is terrible. This place looks dope.

    November 2, 2013 @ 5:32 pm
  • Comment by TheRuggedPicturePoser
  • As bad as the name is, I can apreciate the SK8 Mafia aesthetic. East Coast hip hop, bros hanging out, dress code is loose (baggy). Put the La in the air! These dudes using Bahamadia tracks from 95, only thing is, they didnt use the Primo remix.

    November 3, 2013 @ 6:46 am
  • Comment by Little Yerry
  • I skate Paines 5 days a week and I wouldnt trade it for the world

    November 18, 2013 @ 4:58 pm
  • Comment by Young Mullet
  • is this place lit up at night?

    February 18, 2014 @ 4:26 pm
  • Comment by Young Mullet
  • all nyc parks shit on paines park.

    February 18, 2014 @ 4:27 pm
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