Skate Anatomy: Rob Welsh

Rob Welsh

Left side:

Punctured kneecap:
“Remember ollie bolts? When you were little and couldn’t ollie good, so you have the bolts protruding out the top of your board so they catch your sneaker? The board popped up and jabbed into my knee. It was actually dangling there like a coat hanger. I still have a circular ollie bolt scar on my knee. The shit went through my dungarees.”

Broken index finger:
“Skating Alameda skatepark, I was coming up over this thing, and Minute Bol mixed with Refrigerator Perry was coming up the other side. I snagged my finger on him and went flying. He didn’t move an inch. My hand was going left and my finger was pointed at me. It was insane. Once again no insurance, so now I have seven knuckles on my left hand.”

Permanent egg on hip:
“I was trying to learn blunt fakies way before I could ride backward. I just kept going to the flat over and over again for about a year until I finally learned them. It actually helps me out though, because it holds my pants up.”

Sprained left ankle:
“That happens like every other day.”


Broken face (twice):
“The only times I’ve had my face broken have been sucker punches. The first time was on the last day of school, eighth-grade year. This kid named Sebastian Lombardi, who still has one coming to him, was definitely punching somebody, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. He tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned around, standing up against the wall. I had a free trip to the emergency room with a broken nose. I was bleeding into a bucket. It was so bad that I couldn’t skate. That may’ve been the worst year of my life, next to this one.
“The other time, I was drinking in Portland, Maine. I stumbled into some random spot, started dancing with some random girl, and randomly woke up in an MRI. I had no idea where I was. I had gotten off the plane that day, home for Thanksgiving, and when I woke up I thought I was still in California. I had a broken mandible, and couldn’t chew for a long time. I didn’t even get to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I still don’t know who did it, but he ruined Thanksgiving…son of a bitch.”

“I was pushing at a jump ramp, bending down to do an early grab, hit a rock and flew headfirst into the ramp. I was seeing weird colors—lime green out of the corners of my eyes. It was like seeing stars in a cartoon.”
Right side:

Shattered kneecap:
“Going into eighth grade, right before school started, my friend bet me to do a backflip off some loose palettes. They gave out, and I didn’t really quite make it around. I shattered my right kneecap and cracked my left one. I was out for a good year on that one. There was a lot of swelling. I was in a wheelchair for the first month of school. That was a painful experience. Emotionally, physically…pretty traumatizing for a young buck.”

Broken hand:
“Freshman year. I don’t know what I was fighting about. What did people fight about back then? ‘I’m cooler than you,’ or whatever. Basically, this kid was giving me some lip, so I cracked him. I didn’t realize it was broken till the fight was over. I think I broke it like first punch in and then, lo and behold, I’ve got a broken hand.”

Ankle sprain:
“I sprained my ankle at Bay Blocks. I was trying to do a nollie back tail, going full-speed, and caught my toe on the ground between my ankle and the ledge. I heard it pop. I didn’t have any insurance, so I didn’t go to the doctor or walk on it for like a month. There was a black bruise all the way up my leg. That was the worst ankle injury.”

Scraped side:
“We were bombing hills, and for a kick we were trying to see how fast we could go back up the hill hanging onto my friend’s car. So I was really going for it this one time, and when my buddy put it into fourth gear, he yells out the window ‘Forty!’ I had to push away because we were coming to an intersection, I freaked out and panicked and just dove to my right side. I slid on my head and my shoulder for like 20 feet. I could hear my head grinding on the ground. I burned through my skin so far that it didn’t hurt, because it went past the nerve endings.”

Torn ACL:
“I was trying a 360 over this bump to barrier, warm-up style, like, ‘Let’s see what we got.’ Next thing you know, I’m on the ground. I felt my skin stretch from my femur to my tibia. I should have stretch marks. Rumor has it, one of Carl
Lewis’ relatives passed away, and I got his ACL. So look out, folks.” SB