Skate Anatomy: John Rattray

John Rattray

Left side

Grand ankle:
“Tried a grind in Spain. Hurt my ankle. Ripped it to bits. Did some physical therapy in Scotland, now it’s much better. Thanks, Scottish-physical-therapy ladies.”

Butchered hip:
“Tried hopping carelessly up onto a 10-inch-high bench in London. Hung up, tumbled forward, thought nothing of it. Later that evening, some internal bleeding brought itself to our attention in the form of a dinosaur egg on my hip. The resulting hospital visit may be remembered as ‘The Butchery at Ealing General.’”

Shabby wrist:
“Warming up on a Texas miniramp, I ollied into a frontside Smith stall. I have done that many, many, wondrous times, but this time it threw me to the floor like I was an unwanted, old boot. It was then that a reasonably trustworthy wrist became the shabby wrist. We all know about the shabby wrist.”


Punctured lower lip:
“Out skating in Barcelona one day with Sem. We went to a spot where you go from a high point to a low point with a maneuver in between. I managed the classic stomp-back-foot-down-on-tail-with-maximum-commitment-while-front-foot-stomps-the-ground. The board then sprung up with incredible speed and force and the tip of the nose smacked me hard in the face. There was a bloody tunnel leading from the outside world to the inside of my mouth. Spicy food was problematic for some time following this.”

Irritated back:
“I dislike snowboarding because of this injury. I think I was 16 years old, trying frontside 360s off a shitty jump on a surprisingly nice day at Glenshee. That’s in Scotland. I landed unexpectedly abruptly on the flat and jarred something in my back. Since then, I have had problems only regimented stretching sessions abate. Since then, I have grown to dislike snowboarding and it is since then I have been slowly transforming into a grumpy, moaning, old git—charmingly self-deprecating, however.”

Right side

Shand ankle:
“Borrowed Jon Allie’s board, tired in Clairemont, it was the end of the day. My board broke, but at least my trucks would turn and didn’t weigh a ton. It quite obviously just didn’t respond like my own board. I should never have done that. I’m an idiot. A year later, I still have nagging pain in that joint.”

Bent finger:
“Skating a pool one night with friends, I was trying to learn to have no fear of pivots on the ladyfinger coping—if that’s the correct term. On one, I whipped up into a pivot and all of a sudden had an identity crisis. What am I doing up here? Who am I? That sort of thing. This momentary lapse of reason basically shemped me on reentry, causing an uncontrollable dive to the flat. Halfway down, I recalled having been in similar situations three or four times before. This was clear thought in the face of impending, crunching, physical discomfort. Result, bent index finger.”

Toe paralysis:
“Every morning I limp to the toilet for the first piss of the day. This is because, for some reason I can’t remember, the long toe of my right foot suffers from a strange form of nervous damage. I have to walk on the outside edge of my foot till it all warms up. This problem is exacerbated by ill-fitting footwear.” SB