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Skateboard Sense - The Skateboarding Safety Film! Circa 1975!
by: -RoG-

Ahhh... educational films. Without them, our lives would be full of chaos and carnage, wouldn't they? You bet they would. Fortunately, educators of the past have left us with these wonderful life-saving nuggets of information about how to live our lives like model citizens. And what screams model citizen more than your average skater? Whether you grew up skating on a Powell Peralta board or a Nash, chances are you had your fair share of skateboard related injuries. Well my friends, perhaps if you had seen this vintage skating safety video from circa 1975, you could've avoided those injuries altogether. But you've got a long life ahead of you... plenty of years left to skate and grind. But before you make those speed wheels scream once more,  let's go over some of the lessons learned in "Skateboard Sense". Not only will it make you a safer skater, it will make you a better person too! Golly!

So do you wanna be able to pull off sweet moves like this?

How about this?

Or even this?

Hold it right there, crackerjack. Before you grab your crotch and spin like a whirlin' dervish, you gotta learn how to skate with safety! And just how can you learn? Don't worry, we've brought in the master of safety...

Tom likes his gardening gloves

Meet Tom. He's the Executive Director of the Pro/Am Skateboard Racing Association. While to some of you, that might sound as impressive as a kid saying that he's king of the treehouse, you still had better listen to him. Think of Tom as your skateboarding safety guru who will guide you away from deadly harm while you're thrashing about on the streets. Sure you're gonna fall down, but he can show you how, with the proper gear, you can fall down right.

This protective gear can SAVE. YOUR. LIFE.

When it comes to protecting your body, the most important thing to protect is your head, so wearing a helmet is a must. The members of the Pro/Am Skateboard Racing Association believe their heads are so important that they protect them with the same oversized helmet that you'd see the human cannonball guy at the circus wear. Hey, skateboarding can be just as dangerous as getting shot out of a cannon, believe you me! Oh and uh, protect your elbows and knees with pads too unless you enjoy the sensation of having them scraped over the asphalt at high speeds.

Doin' the butt!

Tom informs us that by wearing the safety apparel he has more confidence while riding his skateboard and can therefore go faster and do more tricks. Tricks like his patented butt-slide maneuver. Obviously, this trick demonstrates just how early skateboarding was heavily influenced by surfing, but when done on land, it's a butt-slide in my book.


Now if you're one of those hotshots who thinks he/she doesn't need safety equipment, well you had better listen up right now and listen up good. You're gonna fall down, and when you do, you'll hurt yourself. The following long chain of events is what usually happens to those who disregard all safety precautions:

You'll go fast, eventually fall down and hurt your knee. You see that extra close-up of the kid rubbing his knee that they threw in there? That's to help emphasize just how much PAIN you're in store for when you think you're too cool to wear safety gear. Oh, but the pain gets worse...

OOF! ketchup?

Next, you'll hop back on that skateboard only to fall down again, this time hurting your hands instead. The kid is rubbing in that fake blood into the palm of his hand with great vigor so that you'll know the kind of agony that awaits you, mister big shot. You gettin' scared now? Huh? Ok bucko, let's see how you handle this next part!

Way to go there, sport!

You think your nonchalant approach to skateboarding will only harm you? Think again! When you skate without safety equipment, you're also a danger to everybody else around you! Because this kid wasn't wearing safety gear, he ran into a pedestrian! That poor lady didn't know what hit her, and now her groceries are scattered all over the ground. Way to go!

Narcolepsy is a serious problem

Actually, this kid just appears to have narcolepsy, because that's the only explanation I can come up with for his randomly falling backwards like that. But who knows... maybe you have narcolepsy too and don't know it! Are you really willing to take that chance!?

ARE YOU!?!?!?
ARE YOU!?!?!?

"This is the way it usually goes and it really isn't that much fun to fall down and get hurt all the time and everybody will hate you!" Did you read that last part? If you don't wear the proper safety gear, EVERYBODY WILL HATE YOU. Yeah, that's what Tom said and he knows what he's talking about! You think they just give any random guy the title Executive Director of the Pro/Am Skateboard Racing Association? I think not!

And look!

Stupid skatin' honkey boy!

The kid almost got hit by that guy's car simply because he wasn't wearing his safety gear! Not only did he almost die right there, but that guy surely hates him now as evidenced the chase around the car and down the street. The guy hates the kid for not wearing his safety gear, that is, not because the kid just darted out into the street. I just felt I should clear that up in case you were confused by the situation. Don't worry, there's no misguided hatred going on here!


Tom goes on to inform us that if we wear gloves on our hands, they'll be protected when we fall too. Wanna hear the good news? You don't even have to buy official skateboarding gloves! Any gloves will work - even gardening gloves! Just look at this kid, he appears to have snatched a pair of gloves that only an ironsmith would wear. Sure, his hands may look like those of a sasquatch at first glance, but at least he's safe!

Whew! I thought his hands were in danger there for a second when he took the gloves off!

Oh, and when you're checking your trucks and wheels to make sure they're not too loose, you don't have to wear your gloves. I guess Tom was just being safe there at first by wearing his gardening gloves, but when he realized there was no danger, he was able to take them off. So now that you've got your board checked out and ready to roll, you need to find a safe, fun place to ride!


One place you definitely don't want to go riding is on a crowded street. Tom says you just can't have any fun skating on a sidewalk or crowded streets. He's got a point there you know... have you ever seen somebody skating on a sidewalk and having fun? I sure haven't! I don't think any skater has ever ventured into such hazardous territory before. And why? Because sooner or later you're going to run into something or somebody. This kid got lucky when he ran into the guy. Instead of pummeling the kid for knocking over his supplies, the man just laughed at him.


Do yourself a favor and find a nice smooth, wide-open area instead of having to worry about pedestrians with lots of facial hair. That's how you have fun skateboarding!

Just put on some Barry White and you'll be good to go

I guess it's also fun to watch some slow-motion close-up shots of Tom's ass as he skates between traffic cones. Don't question it kids, this is EDUCATION.


Tom would like to explain... the impact forces... of the fall. If you know how to fall properly you can avoid being hurt altogether! Simply relax, turn your head away from the fall and absorb the impact on the meaty parts of your body such as your upper arms thighs. Then all you gotta do, is roll like a human bowling ball and you'll be safe as can be! I'm sure it goes without saying that you shouldn't practice this falling technique on a busy sidewalk either.

Nice mic.

Thanks for all the advice Tom! I'm ready to hit the asphalt and skate like a pro! Oh, by the way man... the next time you make an educational film, hire a new boom mic operator. I'm pretty sure that dude was baked. Gnarly! See ya on the half-pipe, bro!


And that's all for the Skateboard Sense film. While it was an unusually tame / positive film by Sid Davis, it's still a lot of fun to watch and extremely educational. I don't kow about you guys, but I learned a lot today. "Know your roots" as they say... well skaters, your roots involved gardening gloves and it's time to bring them back into style.

Click play to watch the film in its entirety!

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email -RoG-

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

The Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special!
Ol' #23 - The Educational School Bus Safety Film!

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