I’m back in California and today I’m down at pro skateboarder Mike Vallely‘s house. That’s Jason on the right. Mike’s breaking down his best fight story from memory. And if you are remotely familiar with Mike’s work, you know it’s one helluva story.
But if you’re familiar with Mike’s real work, then you’re like me, and you’re in reverence. Because this man right here invented, and reinvented, skateboarding 10 times over. The amazing thing about Mike V is that he is still unbridled, unadulterated 100% skateboarder. He was obviously built on 4 polyurethane wheels and on his dying day, his tombstone will be griptaped.
Mike V breaks it all down. His history with Element, the controversial contest circuit, the art and athleticism that is true skate, back when skateboarding still had soul, Do-It-Yourself or Die, having integrity, having fun, and so on, and so forth. Truth.
I also want to remind the world that Mike Vallely’s influence goes far beyond skateboarding. Take, for example, fashion. It can be argued that Mike V had a hand in popularizing cargo pants and military apparel amongst the skate/street demographic. 10 years ago we asked him about that for a former magazine I used to work with, and he remarked on how he gravitated towards military clothes in the ’80s for their serious, functional purposes. And, in my opinion, ’90s skate fashion exploded upon his lead. At the time of the interview, he said that he was then moving onto more grown-men’s workwear. And once again, over the past decade, see how youth fashion has tagged along?
And the cherry on top. I sneak into Mike’s studio, to find this:
and above that? These:
3 of the most iconic skateboards ever to grace the earth.
And this one, the exact deck that Mike rode in Public Domain:
Look out for that future Chronicle on By the Sword. In the meantime, have you read the latest The Hundreds Chronicles?