My Personal Decision
In 2014 I decided to wear a helmet when skateboarding. It was a skateboard-slam that nearly knocked me out, which made me consider it. Up until then, helmets were a no-go in the street skateboarding scene. It doesn’t make sense, but smoking cigarettes doesn’t make sense either, but people still do it.
I wore my helmet on and off since I wanted to avoid anyone looking at me funny. In 2015 I started my skateboarding channel on YouTube. My focus was (and still is) to film my skateboarding out of my own perspective. The camera is attached to my helmet, and I had an excuse to wear one.
When Mike Vallely (my favorite Skater at the time) announced that he wouldn’t step on a skateboard without wearing a helmet anymore. He continued doing a campaign with Triple Eight. The campaign was called #GetUsedToIt, and they pushed the message on social media. A move like this by a legend like Mike V was long overdue in skateboarding.
How I Protect Myself
Protective gear has a bad stigma for no reason. I’ve been wearing soft kneepads under my pants since 2012. I feel naked stepping on my skateboard without them at this point. I could hide the kneepads, but the helmet, I couldn’t hide. That’s what held me back for the most part. It felt like I had the word ‚PUSSY‘ written on my face.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a full set of protective gear at my local skate shop. Now, whenever I am skating at a parking lot or skating something small, I’ll wear my helmet and my FP kneepads. Whenever there are ramps involved, I am going to be fully padded.
Over time skaters learn how to fall. But there are falls that you don’t see coming or aren’t even your fault. For this type of falling, I wanna be protected. Humans are not made for the kind of abuse that skateboarding puts us through, but we created something that helps us cross that bridge as safe as possible; helmets and pads.
Why are so few people wearing it?
The reasons you typically hear against it are barely rational, kind of like when a suburban 12-Year-Old tells you why the Thug Life chose him. Or whenever you ask a cigarette smoker why they smoke. The latter has at least the excuse of being addicted.
The excuse of accepting possible brain damage or even death just to look eased on your skateboard shouldn’t be as accepted and standard as it is. Even with safety gear, you run into a high risk of getting hurt. However, it heavily reduces the risk of getting a severe injury that you won’t recover from.