Mike Vallely Skater Profile

Sponsors: Elephant Brand Skateboards, Iron Fist Clothing, Airwalk Shoes
Hometown: Long Beach CA, Stance: Regular, Age: 45, Status: Pro

Last Update: Thursday, February 26, 2015 Submit an Update

Mike Vallely on Instagram (@mikevallely)


Jay Adams The first time I met Jay Adams I was living in Huntington Beach, CA. It was 1990. I didn’t know who he was. He came to my house with Tony Roberts. He said he wanted to meet the kid who had told the skateboard industry to Fuck Off. That was me? He was crouched on the sidewalk, outside my Lake St. condo — Like a great warrior, relaxed yet ready. He eyed me up and down. I was scrawny, bad skin, shy. I could tell I didn’t live up to the image. He looked wild. Completely untamable. Dangerous. I didn’t understand what he wanted, why he was there. He made me uncomfortable. He shook my hand like it meant something. Later, Tony tried to explain to me who he was, why he had wanted to meet me. I didn’t get it. I didn’t care. In 2009, I was vacationing with my family on Oahu. We traveled to the North Shore to eat at Cholo’s. As we were being seated, I noticed Jay Adams carrying chips and salsa over to our table. He was a bus boy. I kept my head down, I didn’t want to be recognized. I didn’t want him to see me, seeing him. By this time, I knew all to well who the hell he was and having him bus our table didn’t live up to the image. He recognized me. He crouched down next to my seat — Like a great warrior, relaxed yet ready. He told me how much he loved my show DRIVE on Fuel TV and that what I was doing was in his estimation the real deal. He shook my hand like it meant something. It did. It meant something to me. He went back into the kitchen and came back with a bowl of guacamole. He discreetly slid the guacamole onto our table and kept walking as if busy or distracted by something else. Jay Adams had just flowed us some guacamole. It was one of the coolest, most meaningful things that has ever happened to me. Listen Here: soundcloud.com/streetplantgarageland/jay-adams Photo: @jgrantbrittain #StreetPlantBrand #MikeVallely #JayAdams #SkateCreateEnjoy #NeverComply #OneHundredPercentIndependentSkateboarding


The Poet The first time that I saw him It was as if he had just materialized An animation moving through the parking lot Mythological, untouchable His limbs like paintbrushes His board a puppet on strings He invited me to join him in a jam session He carried me in his rhythm I felt his radiation The second time that I saw him He carved a maze out of the concrete And dared me to follow him I took to the path earnestly And where I lost the trail He would reemerge and usher me onward I felt privileged to dance behind him To study his choreography To linger in his shadow The third time that I saw him The weather had changed New pedestals were being erected He mocked the passing storm with indifference In a sort of spontaneous performance art He tuned way down, where no one could follow him Where others became frustrated and confused I paid close attention I knew I was in the presence of a genius The fourth time that I saw him We became friends He opened up his world to me He let me hang out where no one else could belong And he ran up a several hundred dollar phone bill on my dime Then pissed himself laughing on my parents couch He lived on the edge of insanity Inspiring me daily And writing the future with each breath The fifth time that I saw him We were both survivors of something He was gracious to my wife and daughter But his eyes were still wild And as we stood together in some new arena I simply thanked him I thanked him for what was I thanked him for what is I thanked him for what will be He’s the poet that wrote our masterpiece Listen here: soundcloud.com/streetplantgarageland Photos: Mark Gonzales / 1987 by @jgrantbrittain #StreetPlantBrand #MikeVallely #NeverComply #SkateCreateEnjoy #OneHundredPercentIndependentSkateboarding


STREET PLANT In 1987, Westwood Cycles hosted yet another demo, this time bringing together The Gonz, Natas Kaupas, Jesse Martinez and myself. This may be one of the only times Mark, Natas and I have ever been videotaped skating together. What I remember most about this demo was that the locals were no longer content to just sit and watch. The talent in the streets had been evolving rapidly and with it came a more snide and ridiculing audience. Although there was plenty of support for us, there was also a great deal of dissatisfaction and frustration with even the idea of a "demo". Where some locals were cheering for us, others began heckling and at a certain point the crowd began to turn on us. Then a bunch of local skaters started skating, completely taking over the demo and getting increasingly louder and louder cheers from the audience than we had been receiving. Suddenly, (not captured here) Natas began to skate away from the parking lot -- Mark and I followed him. We skated fast and hard away from the scene and we ended up at some lunch-break picnic table, behind some business. It was just the three of us and without a word, we just started skating the picnic table, together. No audience, no heckling, no pressure. What no one understood was -- We had to skate, it was who we were -- It had nothing to do with being pros -- And if we were going to get heckled over there, we would be just fine skating together over here. It was a strange moment in time -- I'd only been skating for three years but here I was, fleeing a demo with my heroes who were now my friends. It was a sort of last stand for what had been. I guess that's just the way it goes. Edit: @markniznisbet Watch the full-length edit here: streetplantbrand.com/video #StreetPlantBrand #MikeVallely #MikeVallelyVideo #MarkGonzales #NatasKaupas


STREET PLANT @kristiansvitak and I spent the day with Master Craftsman @professorschmitt working on some new @streetplantbrnd Weapons Of Mass Creation. First up (in my right hand) was the Elephant On The Edge Reissue— Working from the original World Board (in Paul’s right hand) —Thanks to @eeriggs222 — Paul Roller Traced the shape to the exact / original dimensions. This board will be released sometime in 2016 — Stay Tuned! Next up (in my left hand) was The Tusker, a 15.5 wheelbase board for all the Big Boys out there who have been requesting such a board from Street Plant. The shape is a larger scaled, modern version of my original Powell Peralta shape: 9 inches wide and 33 5/8 Long. Paul loved the shape so much that when he finished cutting it, he hand cut one for himself on his preferred 16 inch wheelbase, that’s the two tone board that he’s holding in his left hand. Finally, Kristian dialed in a new shape, working from our Never Comply shape, and a ’91 Max Evans Black Label board, Kristian tweaked everything to the dimensions that he prefers under his feet — The result (which Kristian is holding) is one of the best looking modern skateboards I’ve ever seen. It was a magical moment watching Kristian skate the board for the first time… He was so stoked. We’ll have to figure out a graphic ASAP and get this board in production… It’s too good not to share as soon as possible. Thanks to The Professor for always making time for us and helping us realize our dreams and ideas for these designs and for making skateboards that have soul-power. Photo @iriscon #StreetPlantBrand #MikeVallely #KristianSvitak #PSstix #SkateCreateEnjoy #NeverComply #WeaponsOfMassCreation #EngineeredForTheStreets

Mike Vallely Comments

Other Skater Links