There were some very important “lessons learned” during yesterday’s board meeting. I want to make sure I send out these minutes so that we don’t forget them.
OBJECTIVE OF MEETING:
Discuss series of events from yesterday’s session, identify failure mechanism, and implement corrective actions.
- Arrival of UPS parcel containing dope-ass wheels
- Installation of dope ass wheels
- Frictional road surface grip testing of dope-ass wheels.
- Recount failure event details
- Assess damage
- To test assets (i.e. dope-ass wheels)
- To test facilitators and personnel
- PR Cleanup (damage to ego, Nia’s trust in my ability to stay safe)
- Corrective actions
AGENDA ITEM 1: Arrival of dope-ass wheels
I ordered a set of Santa Cruz Slimeballs™ about a week ago. They were selected for 2 reasons. One, they look sick. Two, the durometer hardness rating is 78A, meaning they’re softer than my existing surfskate wheels but smaller than my longboard wheels. Now these can go on the surfskate, and the big wheels can go back on my longboard. They arrived in the mail midday yesterday. WOOHOO!
AGENDA ITEM 2: Installation of dope-ass wheels
After logging off of work for the day, I was PSYCHED to try out these wheels. So I put them on my surfskate. I re-used the bearings from my old, 97a wheels, and turned to YouTube to learn how to get them out. In a few minutes the Slimeballs™ were mounted on my surfskate and I was ready to rip.
AGENDA ITEM 3: Frictional grip testing
The plan was to ride down the street and see how much grip these babies really have. I dropped into the wave across the street from my house (neighbor’s driveway), then came out into the street with some speed. Not a lot, but enough. Which brings us to agenda item 4.
AGENDA ITEM 4: Recounting of failure event
I approached the other side of the street. I did a small trim turn to set up for my toeside carve. During this trim turn, I thought: “huh, weird, feels like I slid a little…” I was a little scared, because the curb was coming at me quickly. My snowboarding instincts kicked in. (i.e. when you’re rapidly approaching a tree, you carve hard to get around it). But this wasn’t a tree, and in hindsight it would’ve been fine if I just hit the curb and rolled into the grass. So anyway I carved really hard. And before I could realize I was flying through the air, I was on the ground. My wrists hurt, and I couldn’t see.
AGENDA ITEM 5-A: Damage to test assets
Luckily, upon review my dope ass wheels were fine. No damage to report.
AGENDA ITEM 5-B: Damage to test facilitators and personnel
I had slammed down to the pavement on my hands, and ripped a good chunk of skin off both of them. The sight of my own blood made me queasy and I realized I couldn’t see because my glasses flew off my face. I had to find those before submitting to full-on unconsciousness.
Turns out they also slammed into the pavement pretty hard and I am now looking through scratched lenses. While I’m able to type up these minutes right now, my right wrist is notably sore… most likely sprained. I was also wearing a tank-top to look cool, so my extremely muscular arms were exposed while I rolled down Federal Street. Therefore, I also note 3 additional scabs distributed across both elbows.
It is worth noting that this damage also put an emotional toll on Nia. While sitting in the garage, seeing stars and flirting with the edge of consciousness, I sent her a text:
“Can you help me? In the garage, I fell”
She rushed to my rescue, equipped with a first-aid kit and a glass of water. I realize the sight of my blood and pain made her scared, and for that I apologize. Which leads me to item 5C.
AGENDA ITEM 5C: PR Cleanup.
After cleaning my wounds, Nia rightfully reprimanded me for not wearing my helmet or wrist guards. This hurt my pride because to my ego the message was: “you suck at skateboarding, and you’re not 13 years old anymore… IDIOT.” But the truth of the matter is, she was right, I do need to be more careful. My existing safety protocol is as follows: Wrist guards and helmet when skating on ramps and/or at high speed. When well within my comfort-zone (cruising, mellow surfskate carving, flatground), no PPE required.
AGENDA ITEM 6: Lessons learned and corrective actions
Lesson 1: softer skateboard wheels, including those with hardness rating 78A, require diligent breaking-in before their grip can be fully accessed. Until that point, they actually have less grip than regular wheels.
Corrective action: implement “soft wheel break-in” protocol next time new wheels are purchased, and research the break in process for harder wheels too, if there is one.
Lesson 2: need to increase awareness of safety (while still maintaining cool factor).
Corrective action: amend safety protocol to include “new wheel break in” as a session-type requiring PPE.
Ok that’s it. Meeting adjourned. I gotta go lick these wounds.