Top 100 Things I’ve Done – #15

Top 100 Things I've Done Add comments
Bomb a hill on a skateboard.



The last time I skated it was the 4th of July in, I think, 2001. I had just come home from one cookout to change before going to another. At the time I was still in college and living with a bunch of friends. My roommate Dave suggested we bomb the hill on our street. I was hesitant to do it at first, but I said what the hell and grabbed my deck.

In case you don’t know, bombing a hill on a skateboard means just going down it as fast as you can. In case you haven’t ridden a skateboard, there are two fears when you start to reach high rates of speed.

1. Truck Wobble – When the board starts turning left, then right, then left then right on it’s own, because the trucks (wheel axles) are not designed for high rates of speed.

2. Death Pebbles – Little rocks, about the size of a pea, of which millions and millions exist. These tiny rocks act as instant stopping mechanisms when they come in contact with a skateboard wheel.

Dave went first. He took off fast, but he was more skilled than me…so I got off to a slow start. Starting slow didn’t matter. After about 50 feet I was freaking flying. Luckily I didn’t hit a death pebble. Unluckily, when I hit about 30 mph, truck wobble set in.

There is a point when you’re bombing a hill on a skateboard that you know you’re going to fall and there is nothing you can do about it. When the truck wobble became violent and I had reached that point, I jumped off the board, but humans can’t run 30 mph. They can try…but I only got about two foot stomping, knee cracking strides in before the upper half of my body did an unavoidable forward roll into the hot pavement.

First my elbow hit. Then my head. Then my back. Then everything else. I could smell the flesh burning off me. In slow motion I could feel the death pebbles I had missed embed themselves into my skin. When i stopped skidding my deck was still rolling down the hill. By itself. Just bouncing along…all innocent like. Dave wasn’t even in site and my head was ringing. Blood was making my clothes stick to me. It was pretty vicious.

That was the last time I skateboarded. My interest in it had been fading anyway. I wasn’t getting better any quicker than I was getting injured. Don’t get me wrong, bombing hills is a lot of fun. In fact, I recommend bombing the bus tunnel from the east side of providence to downtown. Preferably at night, so you don’t get flattened by a bus.

The best part about bombing that hill near my house and tearing my flesh off as a result, was learning to be more careful with my decisions to test my ability. I still take risks…lots of them, but since that 4th of July, I think they’re a bit more calculated.

One Thought on “Top 100 Things I’ve Done – #15”

  1. alli Says:

    i know its a little late, but i sooooo remember when that happened. you took those nasty pictures so show everyone, it was disgusting looking then, and just as gross now!!

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