Posted by:on August 4th, 2006
Not that kind of concussion. Yeah, you aren’t cool if you wear a helmet. If you have to wear one, you want to try to look cool right? There are a couple ways to approach this, but before I get sidetracked. This post was supposed to be about yesterday when I watched my friend Steve take a hard slam that rung his bell but good. In the middle of an otherwise ordinary session he bailed in a medium sized bowl and did the classic “land back on your board to Wilson” which resulted in his head slamming back into the bottom of the concrete transition. I could tell by the way he hit that his helmet wasn’t going to help much. Keep reading to find out how to look cool in a helmet and how to get a concussion while wearing one.
How to look cool in a helmet.
Method One: The Corporate Billboard Skateboarding’s dichotomy: Corporate America sucks, but it’s cool to plaster stickers and stencils of skateboard corporations on everything you own as well as stuff other people own. Buy a helmet with a graphically arresting corporate logo or put a ton of stickers on it. Pretty much the path of least resistance.
Method Two: FTW! That’s right. The man wants me to wear a helmet, but I don’t have to buckle it. I don’t care! I’m crazy. Watch me man, I’ll do it! I don’t care how stupid I look clutching my head after I slam and my helmet has whipped off.
Method Three: The Dork Session. Wherein you use helmets that weren’t made for skateboarding such as the construction hard hat, the odd hockey helmet, the toy helmet or some other bizarre accoutrement with negligible safety values. Note, the bicycle helmet does not count. No matter what. You will look like a complete ass without any sense of irony. Unless you are Peter Hewitt or somebody. Also part of the dork session method is putting ridiculous stickers on it or otherwise modifying it with plastic toys, spikes or whatever.
Method Four: The Fake Dork Session. Helmet companies have have started to capitalize on the dork session by manufacturing helmets that look like you are ready-mades. See the fake baseball batting helmet and the genius, but rare fake German infantry/biker helmet that is hard to pull off (not literally..) Thanks for the picture tip on the Bad Lieutenant MC.
Method Five: OG Flyaway (with free concussion!) This will only make you look cool in an already uncool circle of people. You’ll be king of the geeks though. Getting back to Steve, he slammed on the back of his head, an area noticeably deficient in the design of the Flyaway. It’s almost as if the helmet was designed to let you hit the back base of your skull on purpose. These helmets showed up some time in the late 70’s full of airbrushed fiberglass glory. They looked excellent, in the Bill and Ted sense. Some time in the eighties they underwent a slight form factor change, but were still made from fiberglass. This model was not quite as short. Later still in the 80’s they got even rounder and made switch to ABS plastic for the shell. These tend to look like a bowling ball. Rumor has it that they were bought by a rollerblade company and/or disappeared in the 90’s. As late as 2004 you could still coax some N.O.S. out of Mike McGill’s skate shop but it was a process that took months.
I’ve gotten at least one, but possibly two concussions, both wearing my trusty Flyaway helmet second generation fiberglass model. The first one I woke up as I was being walked into my house. Seems I had hit my head on my backyard ramp and my roommates walked out there to discover me laid out. As thoughtful as they were, they still let me go to sleep on the couch right away. Thanks guys. The second one was after a horrific slam in Klamath Falls that would have surely left me a drooling vegetable or dead had I not been wearing a helmet. In any case, the Flyaway probably disappeared because it wasn’t very functional in protecting the back of the head. After seeing Steve’s slam I think I am going to buy a different helmet. Of course, my Flyaway was sitting on the deck as I skated yesterday. Don’t tell my mom.
Method Six: Let your skating do the talking Don’t worry about what their people think. Take Dan Huges who recently appeared in as a punch line in an article in Thrasher, with the caption “Skatenerd”. Whatever. He doesn’t care and rides harder and higher than a lot of you, even in his full face helmet. That’s not him in the small collage above, but he is below. Dan, send me a better shot and I’ll post it.
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