I can’t speak in terms of actual statistics but from what I’ve personally seen over the past few years in NYC as well as throughout the parks and recreational areas within the NY tri-state area, the esk8 community is slowly but surely growing.
What was once considered a “luxury toy” for only those with deep pockets, has now become a much more mainstream and affordable sport. This is undoubtedly due to in part of “brand x” boards that essentially cost as much as your typical gaming console. It is allowing those who want to get into the sport an opportunitiy to do so without breaking the bank. Naturally, this is also playing a huge part in the amount of esk8 riders we are seeing out and about.
One of the biggest drawbacks or I should say thorns to the sports for this perticular area are the roads. Unless you’re on a bicycle path or some kind of designated commuter / skater pathway, the roads around here suck! Uneven surfaces, cracks, pot holes, poor repairs, metal grates / covers, and general debris make it a real life obstacle course. Then you have the pedestrians who are in la la land and drivers who all seem to have gotten their drivers license yesterday. It’s pretty crazy to say the least.
If the board you’re on is not properly setup / built to tackle these issues or if you do not have the expertise and experience to overcome them, you are not going to enjoy “the ride.” It’s for this reason I also believe we are seeing a big second hand market on esk8 equipment in the area.
Nevertheless, on a daily basis, it’s not uncommon to see a handful or more esk8 riders in and around the NYC area, and thanks to Kaly, I’ll be adding myself to that list in a few short weeks!