Three things happened in the last week that have me reassessing some basic assumptions about pads/safety gear. Moreover, they all played directly into my existential fears of an older skater who wants to ride this train as long as I can.
First, is this clip of my friend Chad. Nollie bigspin to disaster. A trick he has on lock. But things occasionally go wrong, as they did here.
WOW. Imagine what would have happened without that helmet. That type of
slam is my second most feared slam on transition (my MOST feared
transition slam is the type that broke my leg).
The second and third things that happened are intertwined. First, I was skating the aforementioned 4’ mini ramp three days ago. The session was winding down, and I headed over to the street area for some more laid-back skating. I was considering taking my kneepads off, but was feeling a bit lazy, so I didn’t. About 10 min later I did one of those things were you run with your board a bit before hopping-on (to gain speed). It ended badly. I am not totally sure what happened when I finally stepped on my board. Front wheels might have hit a rock. I might have gotten wheel bite. I might have misplaced my foot. Not totally sure. What I am sure about it is that I suddenly went down HARD as soon as my board hit the ground. My forward momentum sent me directly onto my forward knee (and hands). Pad slipped down (don’t think gasket did), and I got a pretty bad abrasion on my kneecap, which also swelled up a bit. Hands got chewed-up, too. Now, a knee abrasion is no big deal. I’m not concerned about that at all. What DID freak me out was thinking about what would have happened to my kneecap if I did NOT have pads on when I fell. That could have been very bad. This fear was greatly exacerbated 24 hours later…
...because the next day I saw a post from “Dan” on Instagram about his…recently shattered kneecap.
So, all of this stuff, especially Dan’s comment above (and my diminished ankle capacity), now has me really re-considering some of my basic assumptions about when I wear gear (and when I don’t). And this is coming from someone who already wears gear more than most probably do. I’m not sure where all of this is going to land me, but I'm taking a hard look at some of the choices I make.