Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Pad Appreciation Post

This clip is one example of how/why I have really grown to love knee pads in my "advanced years," even for “simple” low-impact street skating. 


This was a Half-Cab Boardslide to Fakie gone wrong. While it’s a very easy trick, nothing is fool-proof (and even the "easy" stuff gets more precarious as you approach 50-years-old). Here, I turned in to the boardslide too forcefully. The result was that my front toe-side wheel came around too far (because I rotated too hard), and it clipped the side of the slide bar. You can see in this screen grab how angled my board is—it almost looks like I am doing a Feeble grind. This is the moment my wheel clipped.


When my wheel clipped, the front of the board stopped sliding. Inertia caused the back end to start swinging around. Since I intend this trick to go to fakie, my body was torqued to bring the back end around, too. This exacerbated the problem. When the back swung all the way around, my rear toe came off the board and went into the slide bar, as can be seen in this screen grab.

With my toe hitting, all sliding came to a dead stop. Inertia, however, kept my upper body going. I stumbled forward, planted a foot, and went into a controlled fall/knee slide (e.g. see video). I got up, totally unscathed, and kept skating as if nothing had happened. Without knee pads, I would have been forced into one of those common rolling/tumbling falls (onto my shoulder/elbow/hip/side). Those kind of bails can still leave you a bit banged-up—hipper, elbow abrasion/swelbow (without elbow pad), chewed-up hands/wrist injury, etc. If possible, those are all things I want to avoid at this point in my skating/life. Knee (and elbow) pads put the odds way more in my favor, as they clearly did in this situation. And for that, I have become a huge fan of them, even for “simple” low-impact street skating. At this stage of the game, I'll take whatever advantages/comforts I can. I don't wear pads every time I skate, but can honestly say I've never once worn them and thought, "Man, I really shouldn't have done that." The opposite, however...