One of my first injuries came when I was doing a frontside air. I fell in a straight Pete Rose slider position with a board still in hand. I broke my thumb and ripped off the nail, which is insanely painful in itself.
Charleston, we have a problem
When I was 17, I was doing a half-Cab Japan air over the spine at the Charleston Hanger. I laid back on my foot and dislocated my ankle. Broke both the tibia and fibula bones in my leg, and I still have six screws in my leg.
I dislocated my pinky finger at some contest in SD, CA. I just fell on it wrong and—pop! The thing still won’t straighten out.
In Japan, I fell and slapped my hand so hard on the ground that it blew out my palm. My palm literally burst open. I had to get surgery to close up the pad of my hand.
I was doing a Rocket air off a jump ramp and held on too long. I broke two teeth, and the force of the fall shoved my braces through my lip.
One time on an Acme tour, Remy Stratton, Chris Ortiz, and I went to a town in Ohio to skate this new park. Some guys told us about this punk show that was going on later that night. We went to check it out and when we were playing a game of pool watching some bands this guy came up and said we didn’t belong there. Then he asked if I was Omar and I said yeah. He socked me in the face right there! My bottom tooth fell right out and he and his goons tried to gang up on us outside. A week before that, he had done the same sucker-punch thing to Mike Ness at a Social Distortion show. About five years later, some people from that town told me that dude had gotten shot and died in another fight. Seems like he was trying to make a name for himself. RIP.
Keep Your Chin Up
I’ve busted my chin open about seven times. There are too many different stories that I don’t care to elaborate on. Landing chin-first in pools, on ramps, in the street. All the same outcome: a busted chin and a lot of blood.
While jumping off the back of a dumpster into a bank, my board bounced up and hit me on the back of my head. Because Black Label wood is so strong, my board gashed open the back of my dome and I had to get 14 stitches.
There are a lot of injuries I can’t remember having happen, but the most recent of them was when I literally scalped myself on the Creature obstacle at the Vans Downtown Showdown. You might have seen some of the footage. I just didn’t dodge the top part right. I ended up getting a hundred and something stitches on the inside of the cut and 32 staples on the outside of my head. But I lived to skate another day.
Pole Jam Gone Awry
At the Tampa Pro, I slid out and hit the pole on the street course. I tore every single ligament in my knee and I still have two screws in there. Everyone that was there witnessing it has deep emotional scarring from the event.
Broken Bones Brigade
I was 13 years old doing a demo at Val Surf in LA. I was doing a lipslide and caught up on someone’s board hanging over the edge of the lip. I broke my elbow and still have three pins in it. It was super embarrassing because the whole Bones Brigade team was staring at me.
Who brings a knife to a snowball fight
Around 1994, me and my good friend, Angel Cabera, who owned TSA, which is now Kr3w clothing, were in Big Bear. We went out drinking at a bar in town called The Fridge, and when it closed we went out front and were about to leave. Angel had just purchased a new van for his team. As we were waiting to leave, some girls were walking out, so he threw some snowballs at them for fun. Next thing you know, the one girl got pissed and was all in his face screaming. So, she ran and got some of her guy friends and they came up all irate with her. At first we laughed it off, but then one guy threw a bottle at us and it shattered on the van. We started brawling with them until one guy took out a knife and stabbed four of us. My friend lost a lung and I got stabbed in the shoulder and had to get rushed into surgery. But once Angel chased the guy down and got the knife out of his hands, the dude wished he had never crossed Angel’s path.