Updated: Aug 28, 2020
In a skateboarding culture where wearing a helmet is nearly nonexistent, this professional skater is shooting for an Olympic gold helmet in tow.
Anderson is a straight up badass who is destroying the stigma of wearing a helmet in a culture where helmet wearing is seen as nerdy, dorky and straight up uncool.
Well, I’ve worn my helmet for so long and I’ve gotten as far as I have with my helmet that for me to take it off now would be stupid. - Andy Anderson
I would like to start by saying my knowledge of today's professional skateboarding world is that of an 80's baby with memories of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game and punk music. But what I do know is that preventable head injuries happen daily and influential children will copy what they see their heroes doing (or not doing). What is not lost on me is the incredible athleticism and talent it takes to competitively skate and recently I learned about an incredible Canadian skateboarder who is shaking up the industry with his talent and unconventional style. His name is Andy Anderson.
Andy Anderson is a 24 year old professional skateboarder from White Rock, Canada and he is changing the game with his talent and conviction to his identity by always wearing a helmet. This is unheard of in the industry because of the helmet's stigma of being uncool, dorky and only for children. Andy has repetitively been asked to remove his helmet for ads, photoshoots and even on tour because "it's not cool”. Every time he declines and wears his helmet regardless. I can’t imagine being a 24 year old with conviction like Anderson, especially in the competitive environment of professional sports. I can only imagine having influential industry folks shoving their opinions your way on how to capitalize on your talent, gain a following and make it to their version of the next level. To be able to continuously shut out this kind of pressure while staying true to who you are cannot be easy. This young man is one of a kind and earns the badge of being a complete badass in my book. The video below shows an interview with Anderson that captures his energy and overall positive vibe of excellence.
Why do skateboarders avoid wearing helmets?
Skateboarding has been seen as a symbol of rebellion and attracts thrill seekers and daredevils of all ages. As Andy mentions in his interview above, a lot of skateboarders are drawn to the sport because of the danger aspect and wearing a helmet can take away this aspect of the sport. While researching this topic one of the articles that popped up was titled "How to Look Like an Asshole on a Skateboard" where the author tore apart another article that emphasized gearing up in safety gear before getting on a skateboard. The original article may have been excessive on the amount of protection they were suggesting, yet the hate the suggestion of wearing a helmet received is not uncommon. Andy is a trailblazer paving a safer path for the next generation of skaters. You can witness his example catching on as legendary skaters like #MikeValley and #TonyHawk are protecting their noggins with a helmet.
A dream of mine is to get a Knockin' Noggins helmet on Andy Anderson and those who blaze their own trail and own who they are daily. Anyone who skates with the conviction paired with insane talent deserved a custom helmet on us.