Interview w/ MIKE VALLELY • Most Metal Athlete



“When I was in sixth grade I fought Cesar Gaona and lost badly. I knew I’d lose, he knew I’d lose, the whole school knew I’d lose, but I fought that motherfucker anyway. That’s about all you really need to know about me.” – Mike Vallely

By Eric Hendrikx

In Nathaniel Hawthorn’s, The Scarlet Letter, a young woman named Hester Pyrnne was adorned with the mark of an outcast among her Puritan village – a letter “A” that was to forever be present on her attire as a symbol of her indiscretion for all to see. It was a mark that identified her place in population for the remainder of her life – and as the story ends; the letter “A” was ultimately inscribed on her tombstone to remain for eternity.

Since the inception of his career in professional skateboarding in 1986, Mike Vallely (“Mike V”) has also worn a letter for his unorthodox style of skating – the letter “V” that not only identifies his uncompromising nature, but also displays his relentless appetite for skateboarding and inner-pressure to evolve as both athlete and man. Mike’s letter is a letter of respect – from his peers, from those who follow his footprints, from his fans. His proven evolution has taken the once prodigy skater who created many of the tricks and fundamentals that have paved the realm of skateboarding into a league of his own. Mike has lived a successful career by remaining true to his spirit as both soulful street skater and competitive athlete. His success has contributed to all facets of today’s sport from competitions, industry, and into the streets. Mike stands alone in his category but represents all of skateboarding. Those who wish to bear a symbol of independence, authenticity and pride can wear the letter “V”.

Most Metal Athlete – The third annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards presented at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles recently awarded Mike as Most Metal Athlete for his epic career in the sport and his undeniably-metal and assertive approach to life. The event included performance including Avenged Sevenfold, Alice Cooper, and DevilDriver with a special vocal appearance by Mike. Highlights from the Revolver Golden Gods Awards will be broadcast on VH1 Classic on Saturday, May 28. Revolver will release a special Golden Gods issue of the magazine on May 24. The Golden Gods issue will include exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and interviews, most notably Mike Vallely’s post-acceptance speech interview where he had a run-in with Star Trek’s William Shatner, also acknowledged for his honorary Metalness.

“I had just won the award, performed with Devil Driver and then walked off the stage and saw William Shatner. I was on Cloud Nine, man. He walked right up to me and said, “You look like you’re in top form!” I really was.”

Fans chose the winner by voting online prior to the event. Nominees for Most Metal Athlete were:Chris Cole (pro skateboarding) Dan Hardy (Mixed Martial Arts) Toni Lydman (NHL hockey) The Miz (WWE wrestling) Jeremy Shockey (NFL football) & Mike Vallely (pro skateboarding).

“I don’t win a lot of shit. So, to be acknowledged and then win at the age of forty was pretty fucking cool, man. It meant a lot to me. I took it as something very significant, an acknowledgement of a lifetime of commitment to a certain vibe and attitude.”

GORUCK Challenge – Winning Most Metal Athlete has inspired Mike to continue pushing himself beyond his limits by training and participating in the GORUCK Challenge – a nationwide Green Beret led challenge that will span 15-20 miles and include a collective of mentally and physically exhausting conditioning routines. Some of the proceeds go the Green Beret Foundation. Mike attributes his readiness for the challenge to the ability of his personal trainer Scot Prohaska to provide the conditioning he will need to complete the event. “By the time he completes the GORUCK Challenge,” said Prohaska, “there won’t be anything that those Green Berets can do to Mike that I haven’t already done to him.” The GORUCK Challenge will take place on May 27, 2011 in Las Vegas, beginning at 6:00pm.

[Publisher’s Note: Revolt In Style feature-writer Eric Hendrikx will be doing the GORUCK Challenge with Mike Vallely as well as writing a feature on the event for an forthcoming lifestyle piece to be featured in Revolt In Style Magazine. Hendrikx has been training with Vallely in preparation for the event.]

By no means does Mike’s Green Beret training indicate a shift in his passion for skateboarding. In fact, at age 41, he will reenter the world of competitive skateboarding this summer with scheduled appearances at contests in Italy, England and Prague. As a street skater, Mike stands alone, as his reentry into the competitive arena at his age is unprecedented.

“Competitive skateboarding, although never my forte or where I chose to put the emphasis in my career, has been something I actually have always valued. I think my stance on contests has been misinterpreted through the years as I’ve purposely moved away from them. But as a skater who still strives to push himself, I see the competitive arena as a place where I would like to return again for myself individually and also where I feel I can once again add something to the story and where I feel I can still contribute. With that being said, I’m really looking forward to getting overseas and making the rounds again, it’s been a long time. I only skate because I love it. I don’t feel any external pressures making me feel like I have to do anything. I don’t allow those kinds of pressures to affect me. But I do have internal pressures to push myself. That’s just me. I always have to put myself in environments and arenas where it’s balls to the wall.”

Mike Vallely Factoids:

  • Mike has appeared as a major skateboard character in the highly successful Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game series, in which the fifth game in the series was based on Mike’s career.
  • Mike appeared in the movie The Hangover as Alan’s friend Neeco, delivering tuxedos from a van on the freeway.
  • Mike has been lead singer in several bands since 1985 including Mike V and the Rats, Revolution Mother as well as three solo albums.
  • Out side of skateboarding, Mike has held professional career in music, film, television, stuntman work, professional wrestling and FHL hockey.
  • Mike is a board member of the Tony Hawk Foundation, which helps fund skateparks nationwide.
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