Basically, when you bomb a hill, you start at the top of a hill in a road or other paved surface with your skateboard, and ride down it, on said skateboard. Bombing hills is one of the longest running traditions in skateboarding, and is probably one of the first things folks did on the rolling plank.
If one bombs hills regularly, they may like using a longboard. These are longer (duh) and have wider trucks. Wider trucks mean more stability, which means less speed wobbles, the archenemy of anyone who bombs hills. Still, a lot of people bomb on their short board, and have no problem.
Before you bomb a hill, you should be aware of a few things.
- The traffic pattern of the road
- Your ability
- and the road surface
The traffic pattern is important for obvious reasons. You don't want to bomb a hill that crosses a busy street halfway down, unless of course you like pain and death. Also, you don't want to bomb a hill that has a lot of traffic on it, itself. It's bad enough getting passed by cars when you are starting, but if traffic is slow, you will end up having to avoid cars that stop and slow down along the way.
Knowing your ability is pretty much a no-brainer also. Don't bomb a hill if you can barely ride, and don't start on a 60-degree grade. Work up to that stuff.
The road surface is something most people treat as an afterthought, unless it is really bad. You don't necessarily judge all of the difficulty by the surface, but the smoother the surface, the more difficult it is. For instance, a relatively mellow hill that is smooth as glass will be about as fast as a rough hill that is steeper. Beware of deceptively smooth roads!
The experience of bombing a hill is second to none. You are moving at speeds of upwards of 25 mph, and you are a mere 3 inches above the ground. Knowing that a small rock, or a slip of your feet could send your relatively unprotected body hurtling along at the ground at an incredible rate also adds some excitement. Also, you can keep going at this speed for quite a few blocks after the hill, without pushing at all. I highly recommend it.