Skate Anatomy: Charlie Thomas
There was a sidewalk bump that went over rough blacktop at a Taco Bell in L.A.. I fell trying a frontside 180, and when I put my hand down to brace myself my elbow hyper-extended right out of the socket. When I was getting x-rays, the tech told me to bend it a certain way so he could shoot it from a different angle, and it went back into place on its own.
This happened the day after Christmas. My friends had lined up a private session at the park. There was this gap and bank ramp. After a couple tries I was positive the next try was the one. It was the one, all right. I went for it and ended up sitting on top of my foot. The next day I flew back home convinced that I had just hurt it really bad but it would be all right in a few days if I iced it. After nearly a week with a foot that was black and the size of a balloon, my girlfriend made me go to the hospital. I didn’t have insurance at the time, but one of my friends was kind enough to lend me his insurance card. So I went to get it checked out and after about eight hours in the “emergency room,” I finally got my foot x-rayed and found out that I broke two bones and needed surgery. A week later, my alter ego had surgery and got four pins in his foot, followed by six weeks of physical therapy. To this day it’s not on my medical records.
Three years to the day that I broke my foot, I tested fate again. After swearing I would never skate again on December 26, I went against my better judgment and met some friends at the park that day. About an hour into the session, I missed a 5-0 on the flat rail, caught my shin on the corner of the rail and ripped it open to the bone. I was so pissed that I just drove myself to the hospital and ended up with five stitches. I will never, ever ride a skateboard on December 26 again.
Shattered Front Teeth:
Some friends and I were skating in a graveyard and I thought it would be fun to hippie jump over this chain. My feet didn’t quite clear the chain, and I landed face-first onto the concrete. My two front teeth were in pieces, and I managed to bite a hole clean through my lip and busted my chin wide open. To top it all off, I had to skate a mile back to my friend’s house.
Kris Markovich and I were skating this double-sided ledge that went straight out over some stairs. I tried to ollie out to crooked grind the outside of the ledge and slipped out right onto my shoulder and face. When I woke up the next morning, it looked like I got the crap kicked out of me.
On a trip to Arizona to skate some parks, I was warming up in one of the bowls, went for a lien to tail and ended up at the bottom of the bowl with my elbow pinned to my ribs. I kept skating throughout the day and by nightfall could barely breathe. My ribs hurt for the next three weeks.
Broken Pinkie Finger:
Skating at the T.F. one night, I slipped out on a frontside noseslide and landed with my hand folded under my butt. At the time I didn’t think too much of it, but to this day it’s permanently bent. If I put my hand on a flat surface, I’d have to break my pinkie to straighten it out.
Too many slams on the same elbow have resulted in an instant egg for an elbow any time I fall on it.
Board magnets! At any given time I have no less than three or four shinners. Each and every day I skate, I end up with either a bleeding shin or some missing skin. If there is ever an “ugliest legs” contest, I’m a sure winner.