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Mike Vallely: Skate Punk Star!

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.

 

Born in June 1970 in Edison NJ, Mike V discovered skateboarding at age fourteen when he borrowed a skateboard from a neighborhood friend and he has not been off ever since. His first-ever owned board was given to him by his parents for Christmas of the same year and it was no other than a signature Jeff Phillips pro model, along with punk rock music, skateboarding was the chosen lifestyle for Vallely.

He got interested in Vert skateboarding and started dropping from the most noticeable ramps in New Jersey and New York and got his first break by getting attention from the Bones Brigade one of the most respected skateboarding crews at the time) at one of his first contests, he stood about because of his sick skill and the SHIT® he was able to do on a board so worn that could have broken at any moment! After seeing him practice at a nearby parking lot, Mr. Lance Mountain (Powell Peralta) hooked him up with a brand new set up AND an amateur sponsorship deal with Powell Peralta Skateboards, talk about the right place and time huh?

By 87’ Vallely became a professional skateboarder after displaying amazing skills in the vert discipline and even making the covers of Trasher and getting a full page in Transworld both in ‘96. One year later he was to release his first signature model skateboard from PPS.

 

Vallely’s Business Ventures

Back in the ’90s Vallely was a part of different companies like World Industries and New Deal Skateboards which were not so successful and ended up rejoining a reformed Powell Skateboards.

By 2002 he decided to start his own company Valelly Skateboards that went out of business a year later, he went on making other businesses like “elephant brand” (2011) up until 2015 when he founded DIY philosophy inspired “Street Plant” Along with other skateboarders and family members. Valelly created the brand in an attempt to achieve full financial and creative independence and leaving sponsorship pressures behind involving himself in the artwork and full set up of skateboards that he was by then, shipping from his own home in California.

 

Music and Animal Activism

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Photo: Hanny Naibaho (Unsplash)

Valley was also a huge part of the Hardcore Punk scene and was always motivated by the music while skating, he was even kicked out of his first musical project called Resistance because the band members said he “spent too much time skateboarding”

He also was a founding member of Mike V and The Rats and eventually in 2013 became the lead singer of California’s signature hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he was always a fan of and still play shows with to this date.

He first got interested in animal rights at age 17 when he saw a TV broadcast about an endangered species of African Elephants which moved him deeply to the point that some of his signature skateboarding models featured this animal and another even featured the quote “Please don’t eat my friends” which have been statements pieces and even the first boards to display this kind of message and artwork in them.

 

 

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By 2015 his wife and daughters joined him in the animal rights cause adopting also a vegan diet and even starting the blog “The Vintage Vegans” which features cruelty-free cooking recipes! As of 2016, Valelly only agreed to give interviews about animal rights and the safety of children athletes.

There you have it my dudes, there’s plenty more on this dude we would love to discuss, but we will leave that SHIT® for some other time. For now, go put on your headphones, blast some Black Flag, jump on your board and eat a salad for a change! You would make Valelly proud!

 

 

Read also: Life On Wheels: How Skateboarding Saves Lives

Read also: Ryusei Ouchi: The Blind Japanese Skateboarder

 

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