Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mike Vallely @ Reciprocal Skate Shop

Mike Vallely has been referred to as skateboarding’s everyman. He helped launch an entire style of skating, impacted design and manufacturing of skateboards, and has travelled the world over. He has broadened his reach into the global conscience through musical ventures, television, film, writing, and charitable work. While those facts are truly remarkable and historical on their own, they are merely details on the surface of the story. The true heart of the matter, deep inside the soul of the Mike Vallely legacy is much more enriching than accolades. The crux of the Mike V. narrative is how a man can be driven early in his teen years and beyond with an intrinsic dutiful purpose for life. Mike set out to and continues to live a life of freedom and creative expression outside the doldrums and pitfalls of conforming to outside influences. It is the ultimate irony then, that his pursuit of liberty and spirit in life has at times drawn ire and resentfulness from peers and critics alike. He has lived under the spotlight of an entire culture which at times magnified moments of disquiet throughout his career. Every step taken has been dissected and at times dismissed, but never to the derailment of Mike’s visceral mission: To live an authentic life of original experience and pay back on a daily basis every ounce of guts he has to skateboarding and his ever expanding fanbase.
Mike grew up in Edison, NJ. It was a far cry from your typical white picket fence environment. While his involvement in extra curricular activities like music and sports gave the outward appearance of a fulfilling childhood, Mike felt socially and emotionally disconnected from mainstream suburban teenage life. Rather than taking the reclusive and somber path that many an unsettled teen languishes down, Mike used his angst as a fuel to propel himself towards a more righteous and fulfilling journey. He sought refuge in two different worlds that shared a similar uncompromising attitude, skateboarding and punk rock music. Every single bump, bruise, and crash, provided Mike a literal and figurative opportunity to overcome adversity and strengthen his resolve. Whether it was cops, jocks, or his own family that looked down upon his lifestyle with disdain, Mike defiantly forged ahead. With a raucous and relentless soundtrack of hardcore punk anthems setting the tone for his warlike approach to street skating, Mike would quickly jettison himself above convention within the world of skating. He rode up walls, slid across park benches, and grinded down railings. His dire quest to break from the stagnant oblivion of Edison, NJ translated directly to the approach on his board. It was as direct and overt as a metaphor can be. Skateboarding was his means to thrash through the life. By the age of 16, a buzz that had been swirling and building around Mike earned him his first sponsorship with Powell Peralta. Less than a year later at 17, Mike turned pro joining the ranks of the world renowned Bones Brigade.

March 12/13th Mike Vallely will be hanging out at Reciprocal Skate Shop Stop in and say Hello