Skate Anatomy: Ben Gilley

Ben Gilley

Left Side

I was ollieing the Meanwhile gap in London and slipped out and went straight to ass. I bruised my ass and my left ribcage. I couldn’t skate for a week after. It hurt every time I’d bend down to ollie.

I was skating a quarterpipe and my board was kind of used and the tail had been scraped down to a point. I flipped out and the board went up and came straight down on my shin; it just gashed it open. My whole sock was covered in blood. It was insane. That was the gnarliest cut I’ve ever gotten from skateboarding. I went home and wrapped it really tightly. I lived on an airforce base, so my medical was covered. I didn’t need stitches; the doctors just checked it out and treated it.

I was skating a rail when I sat on my foot and broke my pinkie toe and sprained the other four toes. I couldn’t walk forever. My whole foot was black and blue. My pinkie looked like a cigarette butt or something. The bruising came up to my ankle, but somehow I didn’t roll my ankle.

A little while after I broke my toe, I was skating and rolled my ankle, but the toes were fine. I healed from that, went out to skate again and rolled the same ankle again. I was out for a month. Then I went to go film a trick and rolled it again. I broke my toe then rolled my ankle three times. That last roll put me out for three months. Even now it’s still kind of tender on certain tricks. I hate rolled ankles; it’s probably one of the worst injuries ever.


When I first got on Label, the pressure kinda got to me and I sorta had a temper. I used to bash my head against my board. I don’t really do that anymore, but I’ve got a permanent egg shell and scar on my head from the beating. Those days are done. I guess I’ve learned to control my temper a little bit.

I was lipsliding a quarterpipe and hung up and fell. My back foot didn’t come off my board, and it just shot into my face. I broke my back tooth on my right side. The first day it was really painful, but after that it went away. I guess the root wasn’t exposed, but I spit out some tooth after that demo.

I was just skating down the street, cruising, and I got stuck on a rock because I had small wheels. It happened to be when I was looking back and my arms went behind my back. I went chest-first into a curb. I couldn’t breathe right for a month. I went to a couple different doctors to get x-rays because I thought I’d broken my ribcage, but they just said I bruised my cartilage. My whole chest was black and blue and I had a big racing stripe right below my nipples.

I was skating this big rail called The Punisher. I was trying to 5-0 it when I slipped out and went to nut halfway down the rail. It shot me down the rail to the very bottom. I landed like a sack of potatoes. It was pretty rough. I jumped back up and ran up the stairs to try to keep going. The pain snuck up on me, and by the time I got to the top of the stairs I was done.

I was skating a spot called Ghetto Banks in Birmingham, Alabama. There were like 20 kids there, all around 14. Some dudes came home from playing basketball, and one of them started punching one of the skater kids. Everyone scattered except me and this one dude. We ended up getting jumped and pretty much got the shit beat out of us. They had one dude holding my arms and another pulling my hair. They were hitting me in the head with a 2×4, but luckily it was rotten so it broke over my head. Then they threw paint cans at us. It sucked.

Right Side

There’s a slam I take in the Black Label video where I lipslide a rail in Germany and break my wrist. The doctors didn’t speak much English and they put me in this medieval device that hung my wrist from these chains. They were trying to pop it back into joint. They did that for a while, then they put a cast on me and sent me on my way. I stayed on the trip for another week and a half, even did some demos. I figured it was a free trip to Europe so I didn’t want to leave when I could see the country. It was pretty fun, but the plane ride back sucked. I ended up sitting in the middle and had to have my hand in my lap. I’d lose feeling and have to drape it down so the blood would rush into it. I had to do that for 12 hours. It wasn’t very pleasant.

I was changing my board and the last bolt was stripped. I
didn’t have any other trucks at the time, so I had to do what I had to do. I had a pair of vice grips and I clamped down on the bolt and bent it back and forth until it broke. It snapped on the second bend, and the broken bolt sliced across my palm. My whole hand was gushing blood and now I have a huge scar.

I was skating a 15-stair rail, and on my first real attempt I just took it to the ground and did the splits. I sat on my right knee and instead of sliding or rolling out, I just came to a dead stop with all my weight on my knee. This was maybe two months after I’d moved out to California. I thought I’d torn all my ligaments because my knee wouldn’t bend. I felt that I was over with before I’d even started. A friend of mine had torn his ACL and had these crazy robot braces. He lent them to me and I wore them for a while and got back to normal. I don’t know how that happened. I never went to the doctor. I had no money, nothing.