Football season is finally here. That means summer is almost over and people will be flooding the stadium grounds week after week to cheer for our beloved Big Cats. As much as I look forward to home games, the more I think about our team’s turf, the more my mind dwells on all the wonderful skate spots that lie near TIAA Bank Field.
Some of you may remember when Anthony Van Engelen switch pole-jammed the (now gone) gap to street on Bay St. (Thrasher Magazine SOTY Issue, 2016). It’s true, yes: The Urban Core and surrounding areas are littered with a wonderful variety of skate spots. And for an even more radical pregame experience, it’s possible to tailslide and tailgate in the same day. Check out some of these spots we found, all within a 1.5 mile radius of The Bank.
Florida Theatre (Distance from TIAA bank field: 1.1 miles)
The Florida Theatre is known as a historic landmark. A laundry list of famed musicians and comedians have drawn folks to the famed Forsyth Street venue. Still, some are drawn to the theatre for a different purpose; I’m talkin’ slappies, here.
Directly in front of the venue’s ticket booth is a near perfect, long, yellow, curb. The road abutting the curb is well paved. The curb itself is well-sauced (it grinds good), and the sidewalk has a certain smoothness that lends itself to superb power-slides. Having spent many hours here, I would put this spot in the running for best curb in the city.
The Slanual, Humps N’ Bumps, Red Manny Pad (Distance from TIAA bank field: 1.0 Mile)
When it comes to iconic skate spots in Duval, it’s hard to beat the trifecta that is The Slanual, Humps N’ Bumps, and The Red Manny Pad. The Slanual is a down-sloped median between two streets, which requires not only manual prowess, but an intuitive sense for car-dodging. Directly next to The Slanual lies the infamous Humps N’ Bumps. The moniker says it all: a sidewalk spot that’s great fun for speed pumping, launching into the street, or bank-to-bank gap attempts.
While Humps N’ Bumps has been featured in countless videos since the 90s, The Red Manny Pad–Just around the corner from HNB–might be the city’s most-filmed spots. Surprisingly, THe Red Manny pad is nothing special; essentially, a manual pad to rough ground. However, the low-bust factor and its legacy has made it a go-to for local skaters for years.
Baseball Ledge (Distance from TIAA Bank Field: 0.8 Miles)
This spot is full of untapped potential. A very long ledge with small gaps every few meters or so. The ledge is wide enough to ride on, which makes gap-to-manual tricks a must. The ledge at this point is unwaxed and the potential for hassles is minimal, provided there is not a Jumbo Shrimp game going on. (Don’t say we sent you!)
Metro Park (Distance from TIAA bank field: 0.3 Miles)
You won’t find many spots closer to TIAA Bank Field than those skatable within Metropolitan Park. Now defunct, Metro Park was a place for big concerts and festivals before Daily’s Place assumed the role. Now, it looks more like a skatepark, with options for wallies, manny pads, rails, and gaps. Just around the corner are ledges that provide opportunities to draw distinctive lines. All of which is so close to the stadium, you could score a session during halftime and make back in time to catch the third-quarter kickoff*.
*The Jaguars gameday policy explicitly prohibits re-entry.