I think it is safe to say that most boarders have fallen off their boards at some point. Some of us do it gracefully with a lovely tuck and roll with little consequences. Others, not so much. And not everyone has a rad ass friend like this guy:
The first time I ate some asphalt definitely left its mark and I was sore for a few days, but I managed to not break any bones. I bruised my ankle later but that’s a different story.
I was coasting down a piece of the Chehalis Western Trail in Lacey, Washington when I got the speed wobbles for the first time. I was still fairly new to longboarding at the time but I managed to stop them once, then I got them again. I was coming to a turn at the bottom of the gradual hill and I bailed (which really didn’t work out) and fell with my hands out because I couldn’t move my feet fast enough to keep upright. Needless to say I rolled a few times and came to a stop. I scraped up my knee and leg pretty good, and a piece of my thumb nail chipped off into my thumb. The best part was we were three miles away from our car, and the fastest way back was to jump back on and ride there.
I swear the last thing I wanted to do was get back on my longboard and ride the rest of the way to the car. I wanted to chuck it into the nearby stream.
*throws longboard into stream*
This was really the first time I fell where I couldn't catch myself without any real damage so I was pretty frustrated.
But I got back on my board, and I also learned key tip #1.
Our first instinct when we fall is to throw our hands out in front of us. DON'T DO THIS! Tuck those puppies into your body and take the impact of the fall with your body instead of your meaty little palms. And, no, this doesn't mean I want you to land straight up on your face. You want to try and roll into the fall so you don't scrap up your hands or break your wrists trying to stop your body from hitting the asphalt.
You also want to keep your body moving, in the direction you were going. If you just try to stop all at once that is when bones break and skin gets shredded.
Practice falling in some grass or sand so you can get comfortable with falling. Like he said in the video, the best skateboarders are great at falling, because you are going to fall a lot when you are perfecting tricks. Same goes for longboarding, you want to be comfortable with falling because it will most likely happen.
The next tip is a pretty obvious one:
Now you would think that this would be an automatic decision, but I wasn’t wearing any protective gear (brilliant, right?), when I took my fall. Wearing protective gear is especially important if you are going to do any downhill or freeriding. You need to protect your joints and keep your skin road rash free. If you are going to fall you might as well be prepared for it.
I use the Saver Series from Triple 8. The pads are comfortable and they don’t feel bulky like some others I have worn. When we go for longer rides I wear my helmet. It's never a bad idea to wear protective gear, just like ordering pizza is never a bad idea either.
When you ride, make sure you are not stiff-legged. Riding with stiff knees will make you absorb every little bump and thump you roll your board over. You want to keep your knees slightly bent to absorb the bouncing as you ride. It is similar to riding downhill on your bike. You don't actually fully sit when you are going down a bumpy hill on your bike because it just ravages your backside.
I hope this helps to save your skin (literally) when you are out there getting your board on.
Do you have any tips on how to fall? Or if you have a good shred story share it with us! No shame!
See you out there! Keep calm and board on!
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