My Skateboard Story, Part 8

Posted: 2020-04-23 in Uncategorized

This blog sat dormant for most of 2014 for a host of reasons.  I just got married during summer 2013, so there was a lot of adjustment between Q4 of 2013 and Q1 of 2014, finding a house to live in, getting used to that whole “living with a girl” thing, finding a job, etc.

After moving into our new house in November 2013, we began combining our household equipment and other worldly possessions.  Something I hadn’t done in years was gather all of the boards I owned into one location for a picture:8908EDF8-C655-4290-8027-D0DCC91FCC88.jpgLeft to right, back row:  Moose Pool board, Indy 169’s, Earthwing Slide A’s; Earthwing Superglider, Bennett 6.0 Front, Indy 149 Rear, Bennett Alligator wheels; Earthwing Supermodel, Randal 180’s; Earthwing Butterballs; CLB Eleanor, Randal 180’s, Earthwing 76mm Superballs; TVS Lady Cruiser, Randal 160/DH’s, Abec11 Flashbacks; Homemade Darren Lott “Gumball Machine” street luge, Veloz trucks; Seismic Blastwaves; Pavel Downhillbilly Ditch Board, Randal 180’s, Abec11 Pink Powerballs; Neversummer Deviant, Bear Grizzly Trucks, Neversummer NSA Wheels; Dregs Race (owned by Biker Sherlock, raced by Dane VanBommel), Randal DH trucks; Abec11 Flashbacks; Tunnel Comp, Other Planet Trucks, Abec11 Retro Freeride wheels; Sector9 Race, Indy 169’s, Sector9 GOS wheels.  Standing on edge are an LVBC 8.5″ blank on Gullwing Street Shadows and Spitfire 80HD’s; and an Alien Workshop Josh Kalis on probably Indys and Spitfires.  On the floor, left to right:  Homemade 70’s cruiser, black Krux, and those damned Jelly wheels that I said I got rid of in Part 4 or 5; Hobie Skitch Hitchcock World Champion, ACS trucks, loose-ball urethane wheels; Element Ray Barbee, Element Phase 2 trucks, Element All Terrain 95a wheels; way in the background is a Creep Show Superhero deck that eventually got set up on Paris Street Trucks and Orangatang Onsens; in front of that is a Dregs Mini (from the same collection as the Raceboard pictured above); and a 70’s Hardwood blank with Tracker Midtracks and OJII wheels.  Not pictured are a matching homemade 70’s board, a Dregs/H-Street Pool board (on Stage 3 Indys, and Gravity Super Slider wheels, rounding out the Dregs collection I purchased); that Flip Tom Penny from a few entries back; and I swear there was another street/trick setup – that summer, I’d stopped by a local skatepark and gave 3 completes to some stoked skater kids; the Element, the AWS, and a third one that wasn’t the Flip.

All these boards – and I bought a new one to celebrate the new job I’d acquired:  A Sk8kings Maximus, that I’d been drooling over since the board debuted in 2007:  A 36″ monstrosity done only the way that Sk8kings can.  A behemoth of a slalom board that I set up on a Bennett front/Randal rear combo with atomic yellow Abec11 Zigzag wheels.  Sk8kings are great folks, they’ll be in regular contact making sure you’re getting the exact right board for your situation.  The board came with the appropriate wedged risers for my exact purposes.

First time I had it out, July 7, 2014, I went to a mile-long paved path to try it out.  Everything was going good until about a quarter mile from the end:  A small pebble had wedged itself underneath the kingpin of the Bennett truck, in the exact right spot to cause the board to screech to a halt, and send me tumbling to the pavement.  I landed on my left wrist and write elbow, severely lacerating my elbow, and leaving a pool of blood on the pavement, and also running down the skate deck when I picked it up.  I walked back home and got a ride to the emergency room:  4 stitches in my elbow, and they X-rayed my left wrist.  Diagnosis was a broken scaphoid.  They scheduled me for an emergency surgical consult, as that bone doesn’t have a lot of blood flow and has a hard time healing on its own.  I was put on a no-exercise order, as any amount of blood flow could hamper healing.  No lifting any weight of any kind, and they even dissuaded me from walking around the neighborhood.

Oh, that new job I just started?  Yeah, they dropped me on my ass.  On top of that, they kept battling my unemployment claim, saying I was “disabled” and couldn’t work, despite my orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist saying I could do anything they wanted me to, so long as it didn’t involve lifting weight; and there was a lot of light factory work, even office and design work, that could’ve been done.

Anyway, I just had surgery, and all the emergency medical expenses that came with getting stitched and X-rayed, and had just lost my income, and was being battled on my unemployment claim to boot.  Thank God for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, for you Fox News types), for offering my wife and I the chance to have gotten insurance, thereby reducing my bills from $13,000 to $3,000.  I was able to take out a line of credit and get on a payment plan, but still had to find some way of paying the bills.

Funny thing was that the orthopedist pegged me right away as a boardsport enthusiast – my injury is dreadfully common in young men in their mid to late 20’s, as they’re not used to their less-bouncy adult bodies, and carry on skateboarding, snowboarding, etc.  He recommended some gloves that motorcyclists wear, with some plastic skidplates on the palm:  More or less describing the exact same slide glove I’d normally have worn.  I told him that, and he began laughing.  He’d never heard of such a thing, being made for the explicit purpose of skateboarding.

…And that was my 2014.

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