Love and War,
I had the same when I was in grade 8. Plate and 5 screws. They took it all out 1yr later.
2yrs ago, broke ankle=2pins.
Long story short from my experience. I had to fight to get the later pins removed (just this past friday). The one doc, didn't want to go in there at all. I went to a different one, he took them out. The only time to my knowledge that they leave "hardware" in, besides if it's really really bad, is if the patient is older.
In your case, my two cents,....
If you're going to fall wether or not you have hardware,,,if it's going to break, it's going to break. Did you ask your doc the pros and cons? Why leave 'em in there? What are the benefits? Ect. Make up a list of questions before your next appointment, ask him/her.
As far as skateboarding,,,,good idea on the extra protection.