Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recon Mission: Downtown Salem

Like I mentioned in Park Profiles: Salem MA, this city is my home (or was for 26 years of my life). That being said, I have had a lot of time to find different street spots worth skating. I have found so many that I have decided to break them into a few Recon Missions posts, so there isn’t too much info at once.
Downtown Salem is old. It dates back to the early 1600’s and it still has streets built of brick and cobblestone. This is not very conducive to booting, but practice makes all possible.

The first spot I want to highlight is the Brick Gap, on Central Street. This 9-set is classic Salem; a brick launch into a blind brick and cobblestone landing. This is the first gap I ever aired and is still my favorite to this day.

Make sure the coast is clear before jumping though because tourists tend to walk into your landing quite often, which can be very dangerous.

Three more gaps are right around the corner near The Old Town Hall. The 9-set in the alleyway is fun, but it doesn’t have much of a landing spot.

The stairs in front of the lawyers office are a nice small gap, and taking a line over either of the walls makes this gap more challenging.

Back in the alley, the wall-to-wall drop gap is a creative, yet dangerous trick that is great for video shots.

Downtown isn’t all about gaps, though. What is known as The Old People Rail on Ash Street is the perfect height handicap rail along the sidewalk. Its downhill slope makes long grinds and switch-ups easy to achieve here.

Two more great rail spots are at the Visitor’s Center. The small green rails at the center’s main entrance are nice for quick tricks.

The Bell Monument possesses a thin round rail that is great for grinds but I was once told that this was a National Monument, making it a federal offense to “deface” it with my skates, so skate at your own risk.

These are my favorite spots in Downtown Salem but if you are ever in the Witch City keep your eyes open and I’m sure you will find awesome street spots of your own.




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