stand clear of the closing doors

How One Brave Skateboarder Jumped Over the Subway Tracks

Allen Ying / 43 Magazine

When this photo of a skateboarder clearing the tracks at the 145th Street subway station started making the rounds online, the first instinct of the skeptical Internet was to question its validity. The second, in light of a recent rash of subway deaths, was to call the stunt stupid. It’s not fake, but it was scary, said the photographer Allen Ying, who took the shot from below, on the tracks, in January. “I knew I was facing where the train was going to come from,” he told Daily Intelligencer from California, where he’s preparing for the third-issue launch of his skate magazine 43 next week. “There weren’t a lot of tries.”

While Ying was wary of giving away too many details about the illegal activity — although there are more in the magazine — he did say there were witnesses to the late-night jump. “There were a mix of people who were worried and scared and excited,” Ying said. “People who ride the subway that late don’t have much else to excite them.”

Allen Ying / 43 Magazine

The trick, an ollie landed by a skater identified as Koki (see more behind-the-scenes pictures here), will be included in a forthcoming video from Colin Read, a.k.a. MandibleClaw, a follow-up to this 2011 subway skate video:

People online have been saying he should’ve come from the other side, so he wasn’t going toward the third rail, but it would have been impossible,” explained Ying. “We had scouted the subway pretty well. This spot is probably the only one where that was doable.”

And no, the rider didn’t use a ramp. “But I like that people are speculating that he did,” Ying said. “It’s ridiculous.”

How a Brave Skater Jumped Over the Subway Tracks