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)


The Ramp In The Woods We heard about a ramp in the woods By the Brunswick Square Mall Under the guise of being normal teenagers seeking social rituals at the mall — Kevin's mother dropped us off She said she'd pick us up in a few hours We were not seeking social rituals We were seeking a ramp in the woods We walked in one door of the mall and out another Across the highway and into the woods Through the bramble, where there was no path We cut our way using our boards as machetes A hazy dusk descended upon us Seeping down through the autumn trees We were lost and about to give up When we heard it… Faint in the distance — Like a blade being sharpened on leather The now unmistakable sound of urethane on plywood We started running in the direction of the sound Into a clearing And there it stood Shining in the imminent darkness The ramp in the woods One lone skater stood on the small deck of the ramp Bernie O’Dowd He hadn’t been expecting us But he was glad that we’d found him Grateful that there were seekers With reckless abandon We took our first ever rides on a ramp Beaming light and warmth into the cool darkness surrounding us We could see our breath And steam rose off of us, through our sweatshirts And it seemed right The riddle of the ramp we had no ability to solve We were just glad to be lost in the enjoyment of the question Back through the black trees Across the highway To the false glow of the shopping mall We returned Initiated and forever changed By what seemed like a dream The ramp in the woods #mikevallely #streetplantbrand Image courtesy of Bernie O'Dowd @sk8boardingsaves


Street Plant is a seed grown from three decades of “failure” in the skateboard business. Street Plant is not a blossom grown in a garden. It’s a weed that’s been cast out. A seed that grows even after its been stomped in the dirt. A sprout pushing up from beneath the sidewalk, pushing through the cracks and breaking them open. It’s a seed grown from pure light and nourished by the deepest roots. It’s small, it’s got sharp thorns, it’s hard to kill. But when it bears fruit those fruit will not be plucked for someone else’s harvest. This is a sowing that can only be reaped by seeking what skateboarding can give, not what it can get you. Street Plant is about planting your feet and standing firm when the only thing that’s got your back is a dead end brick wall. The seed that grows from failure: failure to get along and get over. Failure to grow straight and predictable in neat rows with all the other vines waiting to get plucked. Failure to be a “smart businessman” by refusing to make an act of love into a commodity. Street Plant’s roots go deep, back into simple times when pushing limits and creating didn’t pay dividends you could deposit in a checking account. But Street Plant is not about the past. It’s about the never ending now. It’s about a fight that never ends because it’s a fight we love: The fight to create. This is the battle fought in every hour spent charging some bit of ignored architecture in order to keep all the shit in life at bay. It’s about holding it together by tearing something apart: A bit of wood, some aluminum and urethane. Riding a skateboard is not about getting from point a to point b. It’s about riding hard to that never seen place that belongs to us. Even when that trip doesn't last any longer than the infinitesimal moment when metal scrapes concrete. It’s about using a skateboard as a crowbar to forcibly pry out a space to belong… In a world where you don’t fit. Street Plant: The weed that won’t die. The fight that won’t stop. The session that never ends. @streetplantbrnd #engineeredforthestreets #streetplantbrand #mikevallely #streetplantbattalion #kristiansvitak @kristiansvitak @emilyvallely


From my website: mikevallely.com My Pal When I was growing up my dad could be a real asshole. Not so much anymore. Now he’s just my pal. Lately, just my email pen pal. I haven’t seen him in what seems like a long time. Years. He lives in Georgia. My life has been rather preoccupied lately with total bullshit. He understands. I don’t. Not anymore. When I was little he was my hero. No one could kick his ass. He worked for Burger King and I thought that that was the greatest thing in the world. Free burgers and fries for us… We were one lucky family. As I got older that wasn’t something to brag about so much. And then he got in my way. He had a lot to say about things he didn’t know shit about — Skateboarding and punk rock music. All that he became was a barricade in my road. I skated right around him. But… He wasn’t wrong. He was just being my dad. He made me fight for and earn every inch of concrete that passed under my feet. When I split town, he was planted firmly in my rearview mirror. I saw him there watching me go. It meant everything. So… I set off to make the old man proud. But… California can be a forked up place. And… When the sun finally set over the Pacific and I was washed up on the rocks — Broken but still breathing. My dad wrote me a poem. I don’t know if he’s ever written a poem before — I highly doubt he has. But he wrote one for me now. When it mattered. And with it he wrote me a note… Saying that he was proud of me. Life’s funny. When I was a kid — I took on my father and I won. Now he’s in my corner — And I can’t lose. http://mikevallely.com/my-pal/ #mikevallely

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