237: Jeremy Henderson The Godfather of NYC skatebarding 1989 Thompkins square park contest, photos by I Ching. Shut Skates NYC Rodney Smith fills us in.

Jeremy NYC Henderson The House of Steam I CHING

Jeremy Henderson Boardslide 1989 Tompkins square park NYC

Jeremy Henderson NYC I CHING The House of Steam wall ride

Jeremy Henderson Wall Ride 1989 Tompkins square park NYC

Photo’s I Ching

Jason Oliva The House of Steam
Ok so these photos from Irene Ching are too cool!!

NYC’s Jeremy Henderson, Barn Ramp Local and Godfather of NY Skate competing in 1989.

For all the skate historians touring NYC, Tompkins Square park is between 7th and 10th, and Avenue’s A and B in what used to be lovingly referred to as Alphabet city. Along with this seminal skating event the park is also infamous for the Tompkins Square park police riot(1988). Not many people remember this bit of NYC history. I do because myself and Chris “Weepy” Blank happened to be in the riots attendance. We where walking home (Chris’s Mother had recently moved into one of the near by re gentrified apartments) after attending a Danzig (hell yeah!) show at The Ritz and found ourselves in a bit of Chaos. A lot about that neighborhood has changed since then it was in 1989 when The Ritz moved uptown and Tompkins Square park till this day is still closed every night to the public (seriously do not cross that park at night, it will earn you a one way ticket to a police holding cell)

I am not gonna say much here about these pictures. Hopefully Irene Ching and her NYC Crew can chime in with more detail. Maybe Rodney Smith of Shut skates will add a thing or two as well. (Oh look, he has!!)



I’ll do my best to keep you updated on NYC. The SHUT shop will open in three or less weeks. It will be located at 158 Orchard street between Stanton and Rivington.
Our office is in the basement. Come check us out when your in the city.

The photos you have are from back in 1989. Shut and Skate NYC ( a now de-funkt shop that was located in L.E.S. ) held an Am. contest in Tompkins Square park. It was in association with the parks dept. Because of the parks departments willingness to support skate boarding at the time, this contest was legendary and laid the groundwork for skate parks in NYC.

Not trying to take anything away from Kessler ( Riverside wasn’t the first NYC skate park). After the contest these ramps were placed ( thanks to the parks dept.) in Malally park ( in the Bronx near Yankee stadium) and designated as the first skate park in NYC.

The contest was pretty big and got written up in THRASHER. Shut also received it’s first cover, which Henderson got at the banks.

Jeremy Henderson NYC SHUT Thrasher cover October 1989

The Parks dept. commissioner Bill Castro put up the money up, gave the “ Go ahead” and the Shut squad built the course. This was the biggest step toward skaters no longer being labeled as a “menace to society”. The parks dept. was keeping a close watch on the activities. None the less we kept shit in order and impressed the City officials.

We invited some of the top Am riders from Cali ( H-Street, Schmitt stix, Circle-A, Z etc…) as well as the mid –west and east coast. Bryce Kanights and Bill Thomas shot the flicks.
Some notable riders included Danny Sargeant , Brian Lotti, Carl Schultz, Steve teague , , Jeff Toma and the entire Shut team.

1989 was also the same year Darren “Team Steam’s Moose” Menditto , Steve Herring and seven Shut boys made the NSA eastern district finals for Vert and street.



Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Nice one Rodney!!

Big thanks and best of luck with SHUT’s NYC Flagship operation. I know we will all be hanging out there soon.

Keep checking in for News and pictures from the Upcoming SHUT shop grand opening and as always go to http://skatedaily.net for all your skating news.

Its vacation time!! See everyone in a week or so…. keep the emails flowing


10 thoughts on “237: Jeremy Henderson The Godfather of NYC skatebarding 1989 Thompkins square park contest, photos by I Ching. Shut Skates NYC Rodney Smith fills us in.

  1. I Ching

    They built this setup for a contest in Tompkins Square Park (9 St/Ave A) sponsored by Swatch. I recall Hosoi wearing a ton of those watches back then. I still think the hot pink knee gasket is the absolute fashion statement. The park is alive today with skateboarders at the very same spot.

  2. TTY

    Brian Lotti was rippin, I think he got placed 2nd that day. Man that was a sick contest.

    Probably the most vivid memory I can recall from that contest was when my friend Dollar asked Bruno when Shut was coming out with a kick nose and Bruno said ‘spoon nose yes, Schmitt Stix..no (while gesturing a kick nose with his hand)..

    lol, the good old days. U know what Jeff Pangs’ the man I had to get that in there.

  3. Pingback: Skating in New York City - 1989 - Pros Jeremy Henderson, Tony Hawk Videos

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  5. Chris Freeman

    While looking for my friend Jeremy on the web I found this blog. Cool.
    Always glad to see words about the old days. For the record, those ramps were designed and overseen, and built by Chris Freeman. That would be me. Me and Bruno did the grunt work getting all the wood and all. I over saw the installation in the Tompkins park, and later directed this mad crew of volunteer carpenters, there were like 80 of them, and I taught them with my plans how to build a big ramp in a day. It was sick.
    At the end of the day I was standing there saying, Holy shit, I just designed and built the first skatepark in NYC.
    Malally was scary and amazing. Chris

  6. Derek Rinaldi

    I remember this day. Jerry Daseking and I were sitting in the parking lot of the NJ Transit station in Point Pleasant, hung over as hell from drinking LI ICED TEAS at this party the night before.

    We contemplated the trip for a long while. After about 40 minutes, we decided to just get breakfast and stay south, knowing it would be an epic day in Tompkins Sq.

    Oh youth!!

  7. Carl Schultz

    I remember driving down to that contest with Jeff Toma from Albany. Of course we get totally lost and eventually roll up to Tompkins Square and man people we’re going off! I just remember being blown away by all these rippers from the NY guys to guys from out west. Can’t remember how I placed but it was a great day.

  8. Pingback: #SaveTompkins X King – Frank151.com

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