Mike Vallely Skater Profile
Sponsors: Elephant Brand Skateboards, Iron Fist Clothing, Airwalk Shoes
Hometown: Long Beach CA, Stance: Regular, Age: 44, Status: Pro
Last Update: Friday, March 23, 2012 Submit an Update
Mike Vallely on Instagram (@mikevallely)
Ryon Rommel Ryon Rommel was not a “Mike V” fan. To him “Mike V” was some over-exposed dinosaur — Irrelevant. Ryon had ambitions of being a pro skater, he was about what came next… Not what was. I know all of this because Ryon told me. When I traveled to Florida to meet Ryon in 2001, he had a secret. The secret was that he was not really a fan of mine. He had written to me almost as a joke… Knowing that I was some bleeding heart pro-skater. He was hoping he could tug on my heart strings and get some free product out of me. He had been recently diagnosed with leukemia and he had written to many skateboard companies and pro-skaters — Sharing his story, looking for product, for support. He knew that I had a reputation to respond and so he figured he’d clump my old-ass in with the others. I took his letter seriously. Of course I did. I wrote him back. I told him that not only was I gonna’ send him product, I was going to come visit him. The first time I met Ryon, his secret was revealed. It was written on his face. I knew I was dealing with some punk-ass kid who didn’t really give two-shits about me. That is until we got to know each other. And we got to know each other quick. In a matter of several small shared moments. Moments that we were both completely present in… And I didn’t care that he didn’t care, I still cared about him. And he didn’t care that I was some old-school knuckle dragging neanderthal… He liked me anyway and we became fast friends. I remained friends with Ryon for the rest of his life. We shared many more moments and adventures both on camera and off. One of my favorite times with Ryon was when I visited him and his family without any cameras around. Ryon and I took of to the mall… I pushed him around in his wheelchair and we shared all kinds of laughs and pizza. Without the cameras, we weren’t taking ourselves so seriously… We were just being kids. Of course, I was in my thirties, but that didn’t stop me. Ryon brought out the best in me. I knew who I was in his presence… And he knew he could share anything with me and he did. Even how he wasn’t a “Mike V” fan. We had a good laugh at that. #mikevallely
Several years ago Rob Dyrdek told me I was -- "like the Terry Bradshaw of street skating" -- I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about at the time — I was just like — What? -- But lately I’m starting to think he had a point… Ha, ha. Well, the thing is, he meant it as a compliment... And then I find this old pic. When I was a kid in the 70’s and early 80's — Even though I lived in Giants and Jets country there were only two football teams one could really like… The Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh Steelers. I hated the slick Cowboys, with their slick coach and their slick quarterback. I was a Steelers fan. Period. Blue Collar from the start. Plus Terry Bradshaw was in one of my favorite movies w/ Burt Reynolds -- Hooper. Thanks Rob!!! Rob also told me that I could — “draw blood from a stone” — I still don’t really know what that meant and I don’t have any photographs to compliment that compliment... I'll keep digging. #mikevallely
The Noside Banks The thing is It wasn’t cool That’s what was so cool about it We didn’t strive to fit in To be cool We just were Unconscious Strength A gravitational pull Misfits, outlaws, poets, freaks That’s who we were That’s who we attracted When the school bell rang We met in an abandoned lot Somewhere between Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King Into the dusk And on into darkness Sweat and blood and smiles A meeting place, a proving ground A sanctuary Asphalt and concrete Hardrock Maple, metal and urethane Embedded in our flesh Part of our DNA A moment in time And with us forever The thing is It wasn’t cool That’s what was so cool about it #streetplantbrand @streetplantbrnd #mikevallely
Christmas Morning, 1984 September. Skateboarding was not a welcome visitor in my home. My parents hoped that it was a fad, a trend, a passing interest. Like the music I was listening to. Just something I was going through. The haircut, the bleached jeans. The weird friends. No. If you say it to a young person enough times maybe you kill the urge. Dampen the inner spark. Maybe you steer them away. Back into the flow of the mainstream. Back into the gray of the school hallways. No. October. Mix tapes and borrowed boards. Black Flag and The Bones Brigade. I’d never been so sure of anything. Every moment inspired. Every inch of asphalt alive. No. November. Teachers, the kids at school, local business owners, the police and my parents. With every push I’m more certain. A moving target. Unyielding passion. Definiteness of purpose. No. December. Christmas Morning. Underneath the tree. A Sim’s Jeff Phillips. Gullwings and Krypto’s. Out the front door out into the street. A board of my own. Tears of joy. Yes. I’ll make my own way. #streetplantbrand @streetplantbrnd #mikevallely
I had a great time last night with @annvallely at @steviecab ’s 50th Birthday Bash. It was great to catch up with folks, especially this guy, Bernie O’Dowd @Sk8boardingSaves Bernie is a fellow Jersey Skater and he was the very first person I ever saw ride a ramp - Somewhere in the woods in East Brunswick, NJ. Needles to say that was a heavy moment.. The autumn of ’84. Give Bernie a follow at @Sk8boardingSaves his IG is a fun / creative ongoing love letter to skateboarding. Thanks to @karenmandall for the photo!!! #backwardsbernieodowd #mikevallely
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