BTW, I ride with helmet, spine protector, butt pads and knee/shin pads. Besides the obvious protection, they actually help keep me warm.
+1 as do I - the shin pads and add elbow pads. Learned my lesson after my 1st year that falling sucks and hurts a whole lot more for older guys (especially the next few days following). Appropriate gear is always a good thing. I'd rather be laughed at then take a beating and not be able to ride at all. And like everyone else has mentioned do no detune your board. you want sharp edges so that when you actually get you skills up and start carving harder and leaning over further your edges will hold and not slip out. Like already stated detuning is what the park rats do and has somehow transferred over my guess is by way of noobs who don't ask questions.