Skate Anatomy: Kenny Hughes
I was skating the Daly City miniramp with Joey Pepper and Rob Welsh. I’m not too sure what trick I was trying, but it ended with the axle of my truck slamming down on my left toenail. Not thinking anything of it, I just sat down. Once I got to my house, I checked my toe. There was blood, and the pain hadn’t subsided at all. I called and made an appointment with the foot doctor. The doctor told me I was going to lose the nail in time and that it would be best to let him remove it to release the pressure on the toe. In the end, he was right. It felt better but left me limping around the house for another week without a toenail.
I was out in Long Beach skating the Belmont ledges. We were skating around the back, and I wanted to try to tailslide one of the kinked hubbas. After a few tries, I was fully getting into the slide but getting thrown off by the kink at the end. On what would be my last try, I ollied too high and straddled the ledge. As I was coming down, my leg slammed onto the edge of the kink and split wide open. I looked down and saw a rip in my pants, hiked them up and found a gash in my shin all the way to the bone. Rob G. and LBC Dave took me to the hospital and made sure I was OK. Dave, can I grab that footy sometime?
Knocked Out Front Tooth
I was skating a school where I did my first front board on a five-stair rail. It had been a few months since I’d tried the trick, but I was feeling good about trying it again (ollie, slide, land). Unfortunately, when I landed I was still sideways with my back foot on my tail. My board shot straight up into my mouth. It happened so quickly. I put my hand over my mouth and looked around at my friends confused. About 30 seconds later I let out a huge, “F**K!” and dropped to my knees with my mouth gushing blood. We never found the tooth, so I assume I swallowed it.
Broken Jaw, Split Chin
I was skating vert one day, trying a nosegrind tail grab. As I was coming back in, I leaned too far back and whipped out in the transition, smacking the side of my face in the process. I remember sitting up, stunned, thinking I was OK and then realizing my chin was bleeding and my jaw felt tight. Chet Childress was there and rushed me to the hospital (Thanks, Crooks.) They gave me seven or eight stitches in my chin and told me I’d broken my jaw and needed surgery. I remember being put to sleep and waking up in excruciating pain, unable to open my mouth. They’d wired my jaw shut. I feel lucky because since I had braces at the time, they didn’t have to put too many wires through my gums. I had a strictly liquid diet and because I was still missing that front tooth, the straw fit right in front. I drank milk shakes, liquid hamburgers, applesauce and Ensure for four weeks.
Split Chin (again)
It was my final run during the Tampa Pro one year. I’d wanted to 5-0 fakie the bank to wall, so I figured I’d save it for my last trick. I tried it and came relatively close; close enough to hear the “One More Try” chant. I got to the top of the roll-in and charged it, no time for pussin’ out. I got into the 5-0 and fully committed to coming in when—bang!—I hit the bank and stuck. I did a full scorpion, feet right over the head. This was not a good look, especially in mesh shorts. I smashed my chin on the concrete and had to be escorted out straight to the hospital. A few hours later, with eight stitches in the right side of my chin to match my scar on the left side, it was time to head to Ybor City.
I went snowboarding up at Bear Mountain with a friend who was visiting from North Carolina. We took one ride down the mountain to get a feel for it, and on the lift back up my friend suggested we go through the park. I’m no stranger to transition and figured if I can skate a miniramp, how could it be much different? I’d find out in a few short minutes. There’s a huge halfpipe at the start of the park, so I figured I’d try a frontside air. I hit the lip and took off wrong, but landed in the lipslide position and thought I’d just slide right in. I caught my toe edge and flipped into the bottom of the pipe, landing right on my collarbone. Twenty minutes on the slope and one run down, I managed to cripple myself. It took two weeks for my shoulder to start feeling normal. I’ve since taken it down a bit when I go snowboarding.
Split Ass Crack
I tried to feeble grind a 17-stair rail in England. There was a pole to the right of the landing that I had to dodge when riding away. On one attempt, I sacked on the bottom of the rail, bounced and flipped over onto my hands as my back smashed into the pole. The rail gave me a gash as long as my index finger and about 2 1/2 inches wide in my asscrack just above my asshole. The doctor had to stick his finger in my asshole to make sure everything was working properly. I had to be put to sleep to receive the stitches because they had to stitch the inside and the outside. Over the next four months, I had to wear gauze in my asscrack that made me feel like I was wearing a man-pon.
I was trying a nollie 180 heel up the step-up gap at the Vans Park in Ontario and landed with my weight wrong. I couldn’t get my feet off the board in time and it shot out from under me. I slammed both shins into a flat bar and they split right open. I was nervous about pulling my pants up to look, and when I did I just saw white meat and some of my bone. It was so sudden that I hadn’t even started to bleed yet. I got seven stitches in my left shin and six in my right.
I was in Europe during the summer contest one year. We’d just finished practicing at Wimbledon and were heading back to the hotel to get ready for the night’s festivities. I was grabbing my board and bag out of the van when I accidentally backed into some guy holding food and walking with a group of friends. I apologized and continued into the hotel. The guy squared up with me and started to talk shit and call me names. I explained to him that it was an accident and I didn’t want any trouble. We argued for a minute, and I decided to walk into the hotel. As I reached the door, he blurted out something about my mother that I didn’t take too kindly to. I dropped my bags, angry as hell, and went back to face him. He continued yelling shit, so I squared up and punched him in the mouth. The food he was holding dropped to the floor. I squared up and hit him in the mouth again. This time I split my knuckle wide open. It just started gushing blood. I went into the hotel and jumped into the shower to clean up. Against my better judgment, I decided to go out that night. Around 4 a.m., my friends and I decided it would be a good idea to go to the hospital because my hand was still bleeding. I got some medical attention but they told me they couldn’t stitch it up because it was a mouth wound and they didn’t want to sew any infection into my hand. Even the slightest contact with anything caused me some insane pain for the next week. I asked the distributor to take me to the hospital. A doctor looked at my hand. He put my hand on a small desk and told me to turn my head. He stuck my hand with something to numb the pain and kept insisting that I look away. I snuck peaks from time to time anyway. He took out a small object and put it inside my hand. I could feel the spoon scraping on my knucklebone, just scraping at the infection. After that, my hand felt better and now I have a nice scar to remind me of one of my least favorite trips across the pond.