Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Falling Down I

      'A man can fall many times in life, but he's only a failure when he refuses to get up'


Falling down is an inevitable part of skateboarding. If a skater isn't falling down every so often, he probably forgot to put wheels on his skateboard and hasn't been moving. The number of skateboard-slang terms related to falling support this point. Here are a few:       

Knifed - being hit with the sharp front end of a board.
Noggles - a light injury to the private parts.
Bail - the act of jumping off one's board out of fear of falling. 
Schralped -  to remove a few layers of skin from one's body; to graze.
Nutted-  to hurt one's private parts. [Common among skaters who slide down handrails.]
Delam - a chip in the wooden deck of a skateboard due to a fall or crash. 
Sketchy - Someone who lands a trick but is wobbly. 
Slam - a general term for falling off a board and hurting oneself.

What I find most fascinating is how different people deal with the issue of falling. There are many approaches, and each one reflects a specific way that people deal with failure or the possibility of failure in life in general. Here is a list of a few such approaches:

1. The protective gear approach;
2. The slow and cautious approach;
3. The bail approach; 
4. The learn to fall safely approach:
     a. always land on you knees;
     b. lower your body closer to the ground;
     c. remain still;
     d. roll on the ground if sent flying forward;
     e. diffuse impact with surface to as large a surface area of the body as possible;
5. The build up adrenalin - Geronimo! - approach; and
6. The 'I don't think about how dangerous this is' approach;

 There are also common ways that people react to having fallen:
1. The I'm embarrassed that I fell reaction;
2. The I'm tough that I fell and got back up reaction;
3. The 'this is skating' reaction;
4. The blame and bash the skateboard reaction; and
5. The laugh at oneself reaction.

The next few posts will discuss the above ideas in detail.     

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