The Day I Gave Up Skateboarding (Yesterday)

Busted! Compound fracture of my wrist, that is. It happened just when skating was going so good. A great new board, a downhill section in town closed to traffic for a few weeks, my continued obsession with the sheer fun of skating. But in the back of my mind, I promised myself to quit if I ever had a serious crash. It wasn’t at high speed or anything, it was just goofing around on the street in San Francisco and suddenly the board shot out from under me and I fell back and instinctively blocked the fall with my arm. I just about fainted when I  looked at my wrist; it might be the single most worst moment in my life.

I drove to Marin General Hospital in kind of a daze, shifting with my left hand, and they were incredible. I lucked out in getting a wonderful surgeon. I walked into the hospital in such a mess, and walked out about 24 hours later with everything put back together.

I’ve got two plates and pins in my wrist and it will heal up fine, but if I were to continue skating and damaged that arm again, who knows what could happen. I’m fond of my right hand.

Am I mature or what?

(This is being written by me speaking into a microphone with MacSpeech Dictate, which by the way, is a wonderful alternative to keyboarding.)

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

25 Responses to The Day I Gave Up Skateboarding (Yesterday)

  1. Aww, Lloyd! Bummer … glad you're all right though. You've had a good run since the incident with the logs in the forest when you hurt your shoulder I think it was? Heal up quick! And learn to type with your toes! Hahha!

  2. What a bummer. Were you wearing wrist guards? I'm 48 and I've been thinking about getting deeper into skating, but I'm also afraid of that exact injury. It's hard to do much without the use of your hands! Get well soon.

  3. I second the ladders thing, I am not cleaning out those rain gutters again, I have been courting disaster for years. But I will keep skating modestly for now, I'm only 61 but no chance I will last as long as you! Never say never Lloyd…

  4. Lloyd, sorry to hear about your fall! In the bigger picture, you are a great person. That is so much better than being a great skateboarder. My next roll will be dedicated in your honor. Respect and wishes for a speedy recovery my friend. Sincerely, Cliff Coleman

  5. All the best with your recovery Lloyd, I hope you grow some roses out of that sh*t luck. I stepped on a nail in the summer, had to stop travelling and have ended up as a teacher in Madrid. At the time I was also slightly comforted to learn Cousteau got into underwater filming through rehabilitative swimming after mangling his arm in a car crash. Doesn't make it less frustrating to have your plans messed up but there's hope there's other positives hiding in it.

  6. Second thoughts: I've injured myself a few times and driven 3 miles to the hospital. But you did it with a compound fracture in your right wrist with a stick shift? Through S.F. streets and over the bridge? Very impressive

  7. dam – DAM

    so sorry, Lloyd. But (always a but) am so glad for you it was a)not worse b)you got prompt medical care c)you got a good surgeon.

    all I can hope is you take the time to heal well, and be patient with yourself. glad to hear you will be sensible about future endeavors…it is not worth risking much worse.

    will keep you in my thought..

  8. Lloyd, just remembered I have read quite a number of articles, thought I would pass this along..

    eating dried prunes greatly increases bone strength,healing (even better than many bone drugs)..

    bones "dried prunes"

    and go to google scholar and google it too.

  9. It is regrettable, when as we grow older, the needs of our bodies force us to modify our activities. Just hang in there as best you can. You certainly have many other things to enjoy. Take care.

  10. Argh! Walking through a swampy area the other day with a friend we both noted how we're not skipping on slippery stuff anymore (at least on the outside), falls not being something to jump up and walk away from in these days of less forgiving bodies. Glad you found good help immediately, bravo on driving yourself in and strong wishes for a speedy recovery.

  11. So sorry to hear that. I really liked seeing you skate boarding. You actually inspired me to start at the age of 53.

    You can surf instead, sea is much gentler to our bones then asphalt. I wish you a fast recovery.

    By the way, I would recomend everyone to train Judo for a while, to learn to fall safely. I trained for couple of years, starting when I was about 45. I had one potentialy very nasty fall from the bicicle at full speed. Thanks to Judo, instead of couple of serious fractures there were just a few scretches.

  12. Get well soon!! One reason I do not surf more than chest high waves anymore here at age 60. And sand bottoms only. Just too brittle anymore for a bad wipe. Good on you for the spirit to keep trying though. Very instructive for all us elders who have the spirit still but should dial back the risk due to age.

  13. I quit 35 years ago in high school to avoid the fate you suffered. Sorry about your fall but glad you had years of enjoyment.

  14. ah Lloyd. Thought of you. Bet you were doing some skateboarding too, when you were this lass’s age.
    Sky Brown wins UK Skateboard Championships gold in women’s park

    Ten-year-old Sky Brown won gold at her first national competition with victory in the women’s park at the UK Skateboard Championships in Salford.

    Brown, who is aiming to become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian at next year’s Tokyo Games, scored 308 points to secure the title on Sunday.

    “I am going to try and do surfing for the Olympics as well because I just love them both so much,” Brown added.

    “I feel like skateboarding and surfing are my happy place.”

  15. Golly. I would not have guessed you started that “late”. From following your blog/videos, sort of thought you had done it since a youngster. However, if I recall, you have always been active in various sorts of sports, and I guess much of the muscle learning/balance learning may be transferrable.

    All good….

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