I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve rolled my left ankle, much less the right one. I’m getting off an ankle roll as I write this. I do recall the first time I rolled it, though. I twisted it so badly that my friend Dan had to lug me 10 blocks to my house. I was literally crawling at one point. Definitely a high point. Do your ABCs, use the Thera-band and stay off the booze. That stuff doesn’t help recovery at all—PMA does not involve substance abuse.
Slappies. That’s really all I should say, but then you’d wonder, what about them? First off, learn them. I’m not saying you gotta have all bases covered when it comes to your skateboarding roots, but slappies and powerslides are good ones. Anyway, I was learning backside slappies when I stuck and put down my hand to break my fall. My thumb was on top of the curb while my hand flattened out on the street. Sweet. Break your thumb to get your roots—that’s how valuable they are.
I went up to SF from LA, headed out to a rail with Gabe Morford and, lo and behold, I ended up cracking my tail. I must have cracked my common sense as well. I thought it’d be worthwhile to 5-0 the rail again with a broken board. Well, I broke my wrist. You know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, I should have fixed it (i.e., changed boards) before I broke something, like I did.
It was 1988, and I’d just moved out to Ma’adi, Egypt. My dad and I finally got all our stuff shipped out, including my first board—a Vision Gator! I finally had a reason to leave the house before summer break was over. I found some kids flying off a jump ramp in front of my school and I thought I was as cool as them. I launched straight to tailbone. Couldn’t stand up straight for the first week of school. Rad.
Early attempt at East Coast living. I was doing fakie flips down some stairs in Chinatown with Giovanni Reda. Some guy at the bottom of the stairs was way too close, but I tried to ignore him. Bad idea. I had my eyes on the bystander instead of my board and ended up trying to kick out the board to reverse backbend. Pinched a nerve that’s bothered me ever since.
In 2000 I was on a Real tour out on the East Coast. We just got into DC after driving all night and decided to skate around the city. It was well into the a.m., so delirium was setting in. We found the infamous Gold Rail and start skating it. Missed the rail and my feet tangled up. End result was a contusion that started in the middle of my back and traveled all the way down to the bottom of my butt. Six weeks before I could walk properly.
Getting clips for Chomp On This, I clipped my sack on a rail. Ended up going to the hospital after I realized blood was dripping out my hole. Got X-rayed and then drove cross-country a week later with balls the size of a grapefruit. They no longer were two—just one big swollen mess. Pissed blood for a week, but back skating in six.
In 2002 I moved from San Francisco to New York. Mild form of mental anguish. Still seeking therapist.
This one goes back to my pre-teen days. I think a lot of us have this idea that punching materials stronger than our bodies (a car, a wall, a door, a skateboard, and sometimes even your head) is actually a good idea. Not only does it relieve your immediate stress, but it also makes you look tough, ensuring no one thinks you’re a softie. So, yeah, my knuckles are a little chipped up in the name of being tough. Tough for people to watch, that is.
Eternal Calcium Deposits in the Hip
It used to be a good idea to take everything to my hip, but nowadays that kind of action results in protruding contusions visible through the jeans. Now I try to take it to the elbow. The swellbow factor is nothing compared to the hipper factor.
Recently, I thought it would be a good idea to kick a rail I was skating as if I were filming a scene from Bloodsport. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, don’t worry—Jean-Claude Van Damme wasn’t too good. Nine stitches later, I realized I should focus on one trick at a time. Don’t go rolling up to handrails thinking about what’s next when you haven’t even finished the task at hand. I’ve officially hung up my skateboarding shoes—the ones I wore when I split open my shin. They’ve got bad luck all over them—and blood.