Skate Anatomy: Neal Mims

Neal Mims

“I’m finally getting health insurance.”


Fifty stitches above left eye.
“I tried to 50-50 this rail in Denver, but it had a shitty runway, and I couldn’t get enough speed. I didn’t get my board on the rail, and I pitched. I landed on my dome and arm. I split the skin all the way to the bone—you could see my skull—but I didn’t get a concussion. They had to put the stitches on the inside of my skin. It looks good now, though. You can’t even really tell.”

Five stitches in top lip.
“I tried to grind a picnic table bench and slipped out. Somehow my head got caught in the space between the tabletop and the bench. My lip got cut on the bench. It was hanging off. My friend’s mom was a nurse, so she stitched it up.”

Smashed heels.
“I tried to 360 flip the Carlsbad High gap, kicked my board away and landed on my heels. Both heels just swelled up
immediately. I couldn’t put shoes on for three months; I had to walk around in Payless slippers.”


Cracked rib.
“I tried to backside tailslide a 12-stair ledge. I didn’t get on and got pitched off and landed with my arm under my ribs. I was coughing up blood the rest of the day.”

Eleven stitches on thigh.
“I was skating a mini-ramp and tried a kickflip Indy, but I kicked the board straight down—it was an old one with a razor sharp tail—and landed on it split-leg. It sliced me. I had fat hanging out of my leg right next to my left nut. I lucked out.”


Compound ankle fracture.
“I tried to switch ollie a flat gap, just a curb to curb, and I landed with my foot under my tail and my ankle folded. I looked down and saw two rips in the skin—not cuts, but tears. My ankle looked like a pumpkin. I was sort of homeless, so I didn’t go to the hospital; I bought an air-cast and didn’t skate for three months and used lots of ice. It’s still stiff. I probably should have gone to the hospital.”

Broken wrist.
“I broke my scaphoid bone. The doctor said it’s one of the worst bones to break in your wrist. I broke that the same time I split my dome open on that rail in Denver. I had a cast for 12 weeks.”

Ebola leg.
“I was skating a mini-ramp when I was 10 and launched off the side of it. I landed on my feet and then went to my knees and landed on a piece of wood with a nail sticking out of it. The nail went in just below my knee. I went to a shitty hospital, and the doctor just gave me a tetanus shot. A week later, my leg swelled up and got all pussy. I was walking and felt this pressure at my ankle and heard a—pop!—I screamed and went down. It felt like I broke my ankle. My mom drove me to a different hospital. The doctor took one look and said we had to go into surgery immediately. The nail had infected my muscle that went down my shin, and the popping noise was my
infected blood vessels popping from all the pus and blood that had swelled up. They had to amputate half my muscle. They said I’d have trouble walking and never skate again. My mom got me a plastic brace that I wore for six months and worked my leg back up.”

Torn next-to-pinkie-toe toenail.
“I had shoes on that were too small, so I wasn’t wearing socks when I skated a gap. I got home, took my shoe off and it was soaked in blood. My toenail was all ripped up.”SB