Saturday, February 22, 2014

Talking Popsicles And Pachyderms With Mike Vallely

In 27 years as a working pro, Mike Vallely’s impact on skateboarding has been nothing less than comprehensive. In pursuing his craft, Vallely has not only helped shape what people can do on their skateboards, but also the shape of the skateboards they do it on. Through his relentless touring, vocal advocacy, and plain old trucks-to-the-grindstone ethos, Vallely’s influence goes well beyond the tricks and video parts and deep into the mind state of skateboarding. As famous for speaking his mind, burning bridges, and busting security guards as he is for busting bonelesses, Vallely has always seemed fearless, militant even, in his passion for and pursuit of skateboarding.

But standing on the decks at the Skatepark of Tampa during the Tampa pro contest in 2012, He’s nervous.