The annual event known as Dolores Hill Bomb, in which a bunch of skaters — including professionals — commandeer the hilly part of Dolores Street next to the park, has marked another casualty. Respected skater and local skateboard entrepreneur Tomoko Oikawa, a.k.a. Tomo, took a nasty spill on her last ride of the day and fractured her skull.
The event took place on Thursday, July 11, and 21-year-old Oikawa remains hospitalized with brain swelling. She is reportedly responsive, though not speaking, and a portion of her right skull had to be removed. Oikawa's older sister, Shizuka Oikawa-Fung, tells the Examiner that Tomo has been heavily sedated for pain management, and the removed portion of her skull is being kept "incubated in a lab in Los Angeles."
Tomo is the founder of local skateboard company Tomo Skate Co., which sells artistic skate grip sheets for skateboards. And as CBS SF reports, the local skating community has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 for Tomo's care and recovery. It has so far raised almost $18,000.
She is reportedly responding to touch and light, but is mostly resting over a week after the accident.
Shizuka-Fung tells CBS SF, "It’s very hard. I try to be strong... she’s so strong and and independent. Seeing her so helpless in bed, hair all gone and tubes and machines everywhere, it’s really daunting. It’s really daunting."
The annual hill-bombing event, which began in 2016, was the site of an ugly confrontation between skaters and police in 2017. That same year, recently deceased Thrasher magazine editor Jake Phelps took a bad spill at the Hill Bomb and was hospitalized.
Below, video from this year's Hill Bomb, including one from Instagram showing a kid riding down the hill while simultaneously shooting off fireworks.