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Why blowing up your knee skateboarding is not the worst thing that can happen to you

I’ve been laying in a German hospital bed in a city -that wasn’t in my skate trip schedule- for three days now. That’s the thing about skateboarding… It takes you to the most random places, hospitals included.

I came to Germany to meet my friends and go to the first IDF European race of the 2014 season in Almabtrieb. You can check the full event report here, it was awesome.

After the race was done and party was had my trip mates and I headed to Stuttgart. I was travelling with part of my skate family: German downhill rider, LGC Austria ambassador & my twisted sister Glori Kpusch; SkateHouseMedia & Landyatchz’s guru Pat Schep (he also happens to be one the of the best people in the scene) and All-American downhill rider, selfie lover and owner of the best wardrobe in downhill skateboarding Billy Bones.

valeria kechichian, glori kupsch, pat schep, billy bones, longboard, longboarding, skate, skateboarding, friends, fun, laughs, giggles, friendship, almabtrieb, germany

Pat, Glori, Billy & me. As dysfunctional as possible.

Billy’s flight was departing from Stuttgart so hanging out the last day over there made sense. We hit the skatepark and I eat shit on my first line. Six hours later an ambulance was picking me up while my friends were trying to find a way to soothe my pain groans.

valeria kechichian, germany, accident, skateboarding, skate

Hi everyone

This was a special night for many reasons. Mostly cause it was our last night all together. The trip has been super fun and we all live in different countries. Despite being regular travelers we don’t know when we will hang out again.

So at that moment, when something like this happens and you realize all your short or medium term plans are crashed as well you can’t help but panic and think WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK FUCK THIS FUCKING SHIT WHAT THE FUCK ARGHHHH.

I got hospitalized in Stuttgart and got my MRI done. The doctors’ opinion would change every day and happily the diagnose got better for me and my knee. Surgery was no longer inevitable and despite the size and color of my knee I left the hospital thinking I would be back on board soonish than later.

valeria kechichian, longboard girls crew, longboarding, skateboarding, skate, hall of meat, thrasher,

Hello, beauty.



During those days in the hospital I had to make the unavoidable call to my mom telling her “sit down, don’t panic for what I’m gonna say but I’ve been hospitalized in Germany for three days now” I was talking to her and I felt her concern and yes, a little anger. She couldn’t understand why I keep putting myself in these situations, she can’t understand why I couldn’t wait to recover to jump back on my board… she was so upset until I said “Mom, not being able to do this is what would kill me, living life in a couch watching TV would kill me faster than this”. And so she understood.

valeria kechichian, longboard girls crew, longboarding, skateboarding, skate, hall of meat,

Pat & Glori stayed with me for some days to take care of me and take me out to photosynthesis.


They took me to the cemetery

valeria kechichian, longboard girls crew, longboarding, skateboarding, skate, hall of meat,

and that made me really happy

We are skateboarders. Despite our skills, we are skateboarders. We dream on being on a board as much as we can. We have something in our lives that fill so many gaps and provide us with so much joy that most of the times I wonder how other people live without something like this on theirs.

If five days in the hospital, nine months of rehab and some serious pain is the prize I have to pay for living life the way I do, for having the ridiculous moments of joy skateboarding and longboarding provide me, for meeting all the beautiful souls around the world I am lucky enough to run into and be able to reach people I would have never dreamed of, then I’ll pay double. I’ll pay whatever it takes. It’s all worth it.

One year later, I’m as recovered as I could be despite the permanent damage in my knee. I slowly started longboarding a couple of months after the accident and it took me 9 months to start skateboarding again. That first drop in was glorious. And scary. And awesome. I thought I’ve lost it but to be honest, it felt like I’ve never left.

valeria kechichian, longboard girls crew, skate, skateboarding, cool, rad, strong women, longboarding, bowl, vans, hoopla skate, concrete wave skateshop, hawgs wheels, xs helmets, nnim

First day skateboarding after the accident and 9 months rehab

Whatever you do in life, make sure it’s something you like cause in the end that’s what keeps us going. Skate safe & stay positive, it makes all the difference.

For Glori, Pat, Billy, Tina, Fee, Weizi, Juan Luis, Carol, Elena, Ben, Alon & Fede. This wouldn’t be a happy story if it wasn’t for them.

valeria kechichian, longboard girls crew, longboarding, skateboarding, skate, accident, smile, friends, friendship, strong women

Glori & Pat were there when most needed. Thank you kids <3

Valeria KechichianValeria Kechichian




  • Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing Valeria! Two weeks ago I fell off my longboard and sprained my knee, too. Two weeks of resting and using crutches whenever I’m out. For someone who used to skate almost every day, it’s torture.

    People expect me to give up longboarding… They don’t understand that this is my life. I can’t wait to get better, get back on my board and feel the rush of the wind in my face again. When I’m on my board, the world slows down and seems to turn under my feet. It’s a magical feeling, absolutely indescribable.

    I’m due for an MRI soon, and I don’t know what the diagnosis will be. My doctor thinks my healing will be slow. I’m learning to be patient everyday, even with the people I love who want me to stop skating because it’s too dangerous.

    I watch videos of people skating and they seem so invincible. But I’ve realised that everyone falls. Not everyone recovers and picks themselves up. But they can. We all walk around with scars, but that’s life. The scars say we dared to try.

    So thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone. And that as long as we’re alive, we keep going… And never stop skating.

    • longboardgirlscrew says:

      Thanks Lisa! beautiful comment. Hope you recover well. Give it as much time as needed and make sure to keep moving it to avoid stiffness. Everything happens for a reason so enjoy what life brings while you can’t skate 😉
      Big love, Val.

      • Lisa says:

        Hello Val, thanks so much for your comments I was so happy you replied!

        My knee has almost completely recovered now but will have to stop skating for a while… Because it turns out I am pregnant! And my baby is a girl 🙂 I was one month pregnant when I fell but my doctor says she is perfectly healthy, thank God.

        So it looks like it will be a while before I’ll longboard again, but I can’t wait to teach my daughter to skate so we can do it together.

        Lots of love and thanks for everything!

  • John says:

    Good for you. I am 30 and still skate as often as I can. Most of my friends stopped, my career sidetracks me often, and people constantly tell me I am too old, I’ll get hurt, etc. But when I look at they’re depressing lives watching sports at the bar they have never participated it, speaking about their past, and whining about the pain of getting old, it reminds me why we made the right choice. I have never looked back on any injury doing what I wanted and regretted it. I’ll deal with the pain of progress over the pain of decline any day. Skate or die.