By Doug Brown

It’s helmet time. There are more reasons to wear a helmet than not wear a helmet. Sadly, in skateboard culture you hardly see anyone wearing a helmet. Look through any skate magazine, or watch skateboard videos online and you will rarely see helmet use. The culture won’t embrace it.

I’m a huge advocate of wearing a helmet. Yes, there were lots of times in my skate travels that I didn’t wear a helmet, but I should have. At my age, I’ve gained enough wisdom to appreciate my brain and the importance of protecting it. It no longer matters to me what other people think of me wearing a helmet. I visit hospitals often with Athletes For Hope and have several stories of meeting people with brain injuries caused by not wearing a helmet. A brain injury can make you lose your sense of taste and smell for life or experience memory loss.

I’m not trying to scare anyone, but just informing you that it’s a good idea to wear one–in fact, it’s a great idea! At any time, you can injure any part of your body, but hurting your head is serious business. A few years back I was invited to visit a young man in the hospital after he had a really bad skateboard accident. He was going down a huge hill with his friends and simply hit a rock. He had to have surgery–his head was cut open and staples put across his skull. Luckily, his recovery was good.

Another time, several years back I was skating a half pipe with my buddies having a normal session, laughing and having fun. My friend was slowly going back and forth and rode off the side of the ramp while hitting his head on a cement wall. We didn’t think anything of it.  Later that night we found out he had to go to the emergency room and had a metal plate put in his skull for life.

These are heavy stories but also a reminder of how easily something can go wrong just by hitting your head. Get out there and skate as life is too short to not stay in motion. Just protect that delicate brain of yours and have fun.