By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
What would be of your skateboarding without your legs? You may think it’s imposible, but there’s a guy that is showing the world that there are no limitations to this sport.
The Story of a Skater with a Prosthetic LegThis is Clément Zannini. He’s a 27-year old skater from Vittel, France. He was also born with a severe birth malformation in his right leg. As a result of this, Zannini has to wear a prosthetic leg to move, walk and ride on his skateboard. That’s right.
“I don’t have an explanation on why I am like this. It’s a mystery and it will be a mystery for the rest of my life”, says Zannini on a short documentary about him made by Red Bull. Nevertheless, looking for an explanation to his condition has never been the most important thing in his life.
His first skateboard was, in fact, a gift from his parents. They have supported him heavily along his riding journey. Soon after he started, he realized that the absence of an ankle in his right leg made him unable to do some tricks, or to do popular tricks in the same way as everyone. But that didn’t stop him. He just skates in his own way.
But don’t let that fool you. Zannini is a prolific skateboarder who can pull really hard street tricks, awesome rail slides and great flips on his board. Just take a look at his Instagram page @sumilidons to see what this guy is capable of.
Passion vs. Pain
“I don’t see myself as a role model. I’m just doing what I love”, he says. His only intention is to skate and learn every single day. “I’m 100% about skateboarding. I don’t give a shit about something else”. Even though he gets a lot of pain after his skate sessions (he has to cut some parts of the skin around his right foot after each ride), he is determined to never stop.
His persistence has made him appear in several articles and news websites, and he even got a sponsorship from a German skateboarding brand. “When something is harder, it’s better the feeling to do it”, he says.
“With skateboarding, I respect myself more. I push myself further from my limits. I know them, but I don’t care about them”. We know that Zannini doesn’t seek to be an inspiration for all skateboarders around, but every one of his tricks and moves should remind us of all the times we’ve abandoned something in our life because it just looked too hard. If you are learning a hard trick and you’re just about to drop off, remember Clément Zannini, and remember that it’s not about knowing your limits. It’s about knowing how to overcome them.