Skate Anatomy: Bobby Puleo

Bobby Puleo

Left Side

Broken ring and pinky fingers:
“Skating a backyard miniramp, trying to stalefish grab over a channel, somehow I managed to land on the flat with my bodyweight crushing the non-grabbing hand, resulting in my two fingers pointing in the opposite direction. I remember the doctor shot me with Novocain between the fingers and then, using a pen out of his pocket as a brace, cracked them back into place.”

Sprained knee:
“Skating a miniramp with a set of stairs next to the edge of the ramp, I come out of a backside 50-50 heading off the side of the ramp into the stairs. I tried to jump onto the stairs but my leg went through the opening rise of the third or fourth stair, creating a brace for my bodyweight to crush my knee laterally. Worst three months of my life.”


Ruptured spleen #1:
“Skating a ditch in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I tried to ollie this hip with a pole on the dirt deck. You could go to the left or right of the pole, the right being behind the pole and a farther distance to clear. I hung up on the landing and slammed ferociously, with my arm underneath me, rupturing my spleen. The doc managed to save half of my spleen, which helps fight bacteria. I’m thinking, ‘Cool, still got half.’”

Ruptured spleen #2:
“The first demo of a tour, go up a quarterpipe in one of those skateparks that are set up to go back and forth. Came down the quarterpipe to meet my teammate, Jose Rojo, at the bottom of the ramp. I remember making eye contact, then trying to turn and duck from this 6-foot 2-inch, 170-pound dude heading right for me. He tried to jump over me, but I caught his knee and shin in my back. I was scared that I ruptured my kidney, but after a little while I thought I would be all right. It didn’t really feel like when I ruptured my spleen the first time. That time my blood pressure dropped immediately. So this time I didn’t go to the hospital right away. Instead, I waited three days in which time I thought my back was just bruised. On the third day, I was eating dinner and started getting the most obnoxious stomach pains. I thought I had to use the bathroom, but the pains started to feel very different. My blood pressure dropped very quickly, so I called an ambulance and off to the hospital I went. Upon arriving at the hospital, it turns out that I had been bleeding internally for the last three days. I got X-rays and it turns out the other half of my spleen is ruptured. I meet the surgeon and ask for a pain remedy. They give me morphine and then tell me I can’t authorize my own surgery while on morphine. I have to contact a family member at like two in the morning. So I call my parents’ house in New Jersey, hoping one of my brothers or my father picks up the phone—not my mother, because she will flip. Sure enough, my mother picks up the phone. I tell her what’s going on and she faints on the kitchen floor. Meanwhile, I’m on morphine on the other end of the phone on an emergency-room gurney trying to yell into the phone to my mother who is collapsed on the kitchen floor. At one point, I was asking her if I should call her an ambulance. Anyway, surgery goes well and I don’t have a spleen anymore. My mother shows up to the hospital two days later with a black eye from fainting. I keep Jose 200 feet away from me at all times. Just kidding.”

Right Side

Broken foot:
“I pushed off the curb in front of my house and somehow pressure-cracked a bone in my foot. I skated all day long, but the shit hurt. I spent the next two months of summer in a cast and couldn’t do anything all summer long.”

Sprained knee:
“Cess-sliding on a piece-of-shit quarterpipe at a demo, my wheel hit a screw sticking out of the surface. It flung me to the ground, thus spraining my right knee soon after recovering from my left knee. No more cess-sliding.” SB

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