Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself. Graphic by Stephen Johnson
Cracked skulls, brain damage, and death are some of the things that can happen from not wearing a helmet, and many new or inexperienced riders still choose ride without one. Most do so following the example of several professional riders.
Professionals have an uncanny way of balancing. They know where they are in the air and it seems as if they can easily catch their falls with their hands and feet.
A large majority of those professionals have also taken major crashes resulting in various types injuries, even they aren’t invincible.
Within the past five years, we have had many of our fellow riders killed or permanently injured due to accidents involving riders not wearing helmets. Just go talk to an emergency room trauma nurse about the severity and number of injuries that could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a helmet, it is appalling.
Watch some videos on the Internet of kids hitting their heads and you will see some pretty graphic images, you might just get scared into wearing one.
Wearing a helmet shows a sign of intelligence. It shows that you are smart enough to want to protect your brain. If younger kids see you wearing a helmet they will be more likely to wear theirs, especially if they look up to you. This means you could potentially be helping protect the lives of young riders.
I went to the skate park recently and there were a total of three of us wearing helmets, and about 15 kids not wearing helmets. About six of those kids had brought helmets, but left them on the side with their stuff while they skated. Some of them were doing some pretty fast, big tricks. It was unclear to me whether they would decide to actually put it on.
If you have ever attempted to ride a skateboard down ramps, or even your driveway for the first time, then you will know that if your balance is a little of you are in danger of flying back and hitting your head. Keeping your balance is not as easy as it looks unless you have many hours logged on board.
Most professional extreme sports athletes do not don helmets, and set extremely terrible examples for riders of all abilities, mainly young newcomers. After all, you don’t want to stand out as the new kid when you’re young. You want to be like your favorite skater and be exactly like them.
There are multitudes of skate, snowboard, BMX, and rollerblade videos with sponsored professionals not wearing helmets. In the videos they pull off tricks that are extremely difficult, making them look easy. So easy, that after watching it, an attempt might be made, leaving you to find out how difficult it actually is.
Protective gear is especially important for inexperienced riders, or people who are pushing their limits; trying something they haven’t done before.
Frankie doing the right thing
Losing your balance can easily happen with any extreme sport, and unexpected elements can come into play at any time.
It is always good to be prepared for the worst, and wearing a helmet while participating in these activities is a great way to accomplish this. After all a crash isn’t usually something you’d expect or want to happen… it just does. – Leecifer