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mikevallely The Poet

LINK TO LISTEN IN PROFILE!

The first time that I saw him
It was as if he had just materialized
An animation moving through the parking lot
Mythological, untouchable
His limbs like paintbrushes
His board a puppet on strings

He invited me to join him in a jam session
He carried me in his rhythm
I felt his radiation

The second time that I saw him
He carved a maze out of the concrete
And dared me to follow him
I took to the path earnestly
And where I lost the trail
He would reemerge and usher me onward

I felt privileged to dance behind him
To study his choreography
To linger in his shadow

The third time that I saw him
The weather had changed
New pedestals were being erected
He mocked the passing storm with indifference
In a sort of spontaneous performance art
He tuned way down, where no one could follow him

Where others became frustrated and confused
I paid close attention
I knew I was in the presence of a genius

The fourth time that I saw him
We became friends
He opened up his world to me
He let me hang out where no one else could belong
And he ran up a several hundred dollar phone bill on my dime
Then pissed himself laughing on my parents couch

He lived on the edge of insanity
Inspiring me daily
And writing the future with each breath

The fifth time that I saw him
We were both survivors of something
He was gracious to my wife and daughter
But his eyes were still wild
And as we stood together in some new arena
I simply thanked him

I thanked him for what was
I thanked him for what is
I thanked him for what will be

He’s the poet that wrote our masterpiece
Listen here:

soundcloud.com/streetplantgarageland

Photos: Mark Gonzales / 1987 by @jgrantbrittain

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#NeverComply
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#OneHundredPercentIndependentSkateboarding
21h

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

In 1987, Westwood Cycles hosted yet another demo, this time bringing together The Gonz, Natas Kaupas, Jesse Martinez and myself. This may be one of the only times Mark, Natas and I have ever been videotaped skating together. What I remember most about this demo was that the locals were no longer content to just sit and watch. The talent in the streets had been evolving rapidly and with it came a more snide and ridiculing audience. Although there was plenty of support for us, there was also a great deal of dissatisfaction and frustration with even the idea of a "demo". Where some locals were cheering for us, others began heckling and at a certain point the crowd began to turn on us. Then a bunch of local skaters started skating, completely taking over the demo and getting increasingly louder and louder cheers from the audience than we had been receiving. Suddenly, (not captured here) Natas began to skate away from the parking lot -- Mark and I followed him. We skated fast and hard away from the scene and we ended up at some lunch-break picnic table, behind some business. It was just the three of us and without a word, we just started skating the picnic table, together. No audience, no heckling, no pressure. What no one understood was -- We had to skate, it was who we were -- It had nothing to do with being pros -- And if we were going to get heckled over there, we would be just fine skating together over here. It was a strange moment in time -- I'd only been skating for three years but here I was, fleeing a demo with my heroes who were now my friends. It was a sort of last stand for what had been. I guess that's just the way it goes.

Edit: @markniznisbet

Watch the full-length edit here:

streetplantbrand.com/video

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#MikeVallelyVideo
#MarkGonzales
#NatasKaupas
2d
  •   eduardosk8r Love these "Yeeaaaahhhh", miss them... @tukaskateboard 2d
  •   markniznisbet @_vincas_ I'd love to see it! 1d
  •   kevintranz I remember we took over a Grosso & Grigley street demo in 86 (in NJ). It wasn't a hostile crowd but vert skaters and street ramps didn't exactly mix back then. I think those guys had more fun when everyone got involved... but who knows. Crazy guys yelled at 3 legends. 1d
  •   jplotz43 @ad_43 amazing! 1d
  •   _gollito_pollito This is totally rad!! 1d
  •   the_cp Great story on a lot of levels: skating with your heroes (those guys were legends to me - hell, you all were);Just "having" to skate; The changing times of what crowds wanted and how they acted (I can't believe any of you would be heckled- I wouldn't have dared as I would have been in awe). Thanks for the story! 1d
  •   _vincas_ @markniznisbet @mikevallely - definitely. I'll send in a week or so. 21h

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

The #StreetPlantBattalion is a source of true joy in our hearts. Skaters who enthusiastically ride our decks and project positivity into the skate scene — It means everything to us. These skaters have developed the more poetic faculty of their being through their very approach to their skating. Not this striving for sponsorship or recognition, but instead, like birds singing while engaged in their labor. It’s a beautiful thing!

Skate.

Create.

Enjoy!

Much love to Battalion Member @_jack_burton for all the support!

#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#EngineeredForTheStreets
#MikeVallely
2d

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

1987: New Jersey (1987)

In the Spring of 1987 my skating began to blossom. I dropped out of school, turned pro and began my further education on the road as a touring professional skateboarder. In-between tours I spent a lot of time in California skating with Natas and Gonz. It was then that I began to close the gap between my potential, my enthusiasm and my passion for skateboarding with my actual abilities. All that time on my board, out on the road and in the streets with the very best of the best was a trial by fire and it began to pay real dividends. I’d learned how to make that skateboard sing and I had the gumption to sing my very own songs. Somewhere in there I found myself on a slab of asphalt, somewhere in Central New Jersey with a few jump ramps, slider rails and a wall. Someone pointed a video camera at me and captured a spirited “demo” for my friends, family and fellow Jerseyan skaters. The business of skating hadn’t begun to dampen my dreams just yet… It was the last summer of innocence.

Edit: @markniznisbet

View Full-Length Edit Here:

streetplantbrand.com/video

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#MikeVallelyVideo
4d

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

Complaining about the weather and the state of things is a common sport.
Skateboarding is NOT a common sport.

@coreyjvollweiler Picks up the shovel and gets on with it.
Respect!

Skate.
Create.
Enjoy.

@homebase610
#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#ShovelAndShred
#MikeVallely
5d

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

@mikereedtattoo had a dream of opening a skate shop since he was a teenager. Last year he decided to start carrying boards in his tattoo shop and sectioned off a part of his lobby at @controltattoo and filled it w/ decks and hardware and @bedlamskateboards was born. With the support of the local skate scene, Bedlam Skateboards has now outgrown the lobby of the tattoo shop and this coming Sunday, Feb 7th, Mike and the crew are hosting the opening party for the new Bedlam Skateboards storefront! Free food, drinks and mini-ramp! If you live in the Titusville, FL area, get over there and support!

Congrats to @mikereedtattoo and @bedlamskateboards

This is what it’s all about!
This is the spirit!

Spirit doesn’t come from hanging skateboards on a wall and calling yourself a skate shop. Spirit is breathed into skateboarding by people who live it. Spirit only blossoms where there is true love and nourishment. Only when and where supply and demand have taken a backseat to engagement and culture does the bouquet of Spirit illuminate our lives. 
Shops like Bedlam Skateboards are the FUTURE of skateboarding. There will be no skateboarding as we know and love it without shops like Bedlam Skateboards opening up, shining a light and leading the way!
#bedlamskateboards
#titusvilleskateboarding
#TheMallIsAGraveyard
#SkateboardingIsNotASport
#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#MIkeVallely
#StreetPlantArmory
5d

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mikevallely The First Push

The first push
Consciousness
The asphalt passing underneath
The infancy of my education
Absorbing all with no attachment
Like the first born man
Conforming to nobody
The meeting of the heavens and concrete
I linger long in this moment
And I will return to loiter here
for the rest of my days
The anti-depressant

Art by: @muellerstudios

#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#MikeVallely
6d

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

Link to Full-Length Edit in Profile.

Chenga World.
Cleveland, Ohio / 1997.

I wrote “The Dream” in 1996.

It was my call to arms, my mission statement for the skateboard industry and the skateboard culture that I hoped to help cultivate and participate in. It was the spelling out of the pro-career that I wanted to have and the things that I hoped to accomplish as an active member of the skateboard community.

I took to the road throughout 1996 and 1997 and shared these words with audiences at skate shops, skate parks as well as in restaurants, coffee shops, music clubs, basements and in parking lots all across the United States. Anywhere skaters were willing to gather and hear me out, I went and I spoke and I shared my thoughts, feelings and dreams.

No doubt the skateboard landscape was changing at that time and I felt it was as important as ever to know what role I wanted to play in that change, to define my vision and participate in the dialogue. My focus was then and always has been about fun, expression and creativity through skating. I have always valued the experience of the individual skater over the mass-identity of skateboarding.

It was my dream back in 1996 that skateboarding would be as meaningful to the next generation of skaters as it was to me when I first started out — And that is still my dream and my focus today.

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#MikeVallelyVideo
#NeverComply
#SkateCreateEnjoy
6d
  •   edmatusita 🏻🏻🏻🏻 6d
  •   monkeymafia4life 🏽🏽6d
  •   david_t_1985 inspirational....wish Chenga was still around 6d
  •   skatenosp @david_t_1985 Chenga does still exist. Not the old one. There's Chenga 2 in Cleveland behind a giant eagle. I go there all the time 6d
  •   david_t_1985 Yeah, went to chenga 2 around Christmas...I was talking about the original one, that was the first skate park I frequented as a kid and I have a lot of great memories from skating there @skatenosp chenga 2 is a lot of fun though also 6d
  •   adam_kure I was there for this by weird coincidence. 5d
  •   krystal_a_fit @mikevallely After watching Drive & Mike V fights lol it motivated me to learn more about Mike V. THANK U for being such great motivation for people in all sports/walks of life :))) 3d
  •   krystal_a_fit @mikevallely u r a great reassurance that it's OK to b original & b myself 3d

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mikevallely Last Stand.
With Natas and Gonz.
Westwood, NJ. 1987.

#MikeVallely
#StreetPlantBrand
7d

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mikevallely The Living Thing

Suburbia, 1984.

Thrasher Magazine — The “Street Sequence Issue” lands like alien slime.
Quickly assimilated and distributed amongst those on the fringes of everything:

Family, school and football.

The initiated (infected) skate over the rainbow —
From black and white to Technicolor and there is no looking back.

Dead end streets become runways.

Small towns become countries.

In the New Oz — Teenage punks breathe life into the inanimate:

Curbs, benches, stairs, walls.

There is no social justification.
No end game. No practice.

There is only the living thing.

Street Skating.

Listen here:

soundcloud.com/streetplantgarageland

Photo: @iriscon

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#NeverComply
#OneHundredPercentIndependentSkateboarding
1w

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

#StreetPlantArmory Outpost @lbskate in Long Beach, CA is fully stocked on #WeaponsOfMassCreation as well as our full-line of accessories — rails, pins, key chains —and soft goods — hats, shirts and jackets. LB Skate is located on 7th and Obispo in LBC.

Thanks to LB Skate for the continued support of @streetplantbrnd

Boards Pictured:

Rugby Popsicle
Never Comply
Family Destroyer
Skateboarding Is Not A Sport

#StreetPlantBrand
#NeverComply
#SkateboardingIsNotASport
#MikeVallely
#EngineeredForTheStreets
#SkateCreateEnjoy
1w

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

@kristiansvitak and I spent the day with Master Craftsman @professorschmitt working on some new @streetplantbrnd Weapons Of Mass Creation. First up (in my right hand) was the Elephant On The Edge Reissue— Working from the original World Board (in Paul’s right hand) —Thanks to @eeriggs222 — Paul Roller Traced the shape to the exact / original dimensions. This board will be released sometime in 2016 — Stay Tuned! Next up (in my left hand) was The Tusker, a 15.5 wheelbase board for all the Big Boys out there who have been requesting such a board from Street Plant. The shape is a larger scaled, modern version of my original Powell Peralta shape: 9 inches wide and 33 5/8 Long. Paul loved the shape so much that when he finished cutting it, he hand cut one for himself on his preferred 16 inch wheelbase, that’s the two tone board that he’s holding in his left hand. Finally, Kristian dialed in a new shape, working from our Never Comply shape, and a ’91 Max Evans Black Label board, Kristian tweaked everything to the dimensions that he prefers under his feet — The result (which Kristian is holding) is one of the best looking modern skateboards I’ve ever seen. It was a magical moment watching Kristian skate the board for the first time… He was so stoked. We’ll have to figure out a graphic ASAP and get this board in production… It’s too good not to share as soon as possible.

Thanks to The Professor for always making time for us and helping us realize our dreams and ideas for these designs and for making skateboards that have soul-power.

Photo @iriscon

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#KristianSvitak
#PSstix
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#WeaponsOfMassCreation
#EngineeredForTheStreets
1w

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mikevallely We are happy to share that @eastriverskateshop in Brooklyn, NY will carry on and will continue to support the community with the same kindness, sincerity and smile that Richard was known for. ERSS is open and ready — Stop by, say hello and honor Richard and everything he stood for: Love for Skateboarding, Family and Community!

#EastRiverSkateshop
1w

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

#StreetPlantBattalion Member @dbartley08 ’s @streetplantbrnd Boards.
Shops: All of these boards from our 1st Line are still available from our US Distributor @easternskateboardsupply
and in Europe from @mdcndist
Thanks for your support!

#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#EngineeredForTheStreets
#WeaponsOfMassCreation
#MikeVallely
#NeverComply
#BigfootOne
1w

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

Television’s Armchair Adventure Tour
Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely Demo.
July 14, 1992
Rotation Station
Rockford, Illinois

Edit by @markniznisbet

View Full-Length Edit w/ @ed.templeton Here:

streetplantbrand.com/rotation-station-1992

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#MikeVallelyVideo
1w

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mikevallely Burn It

Burn it.
The body feeds the mind.
A physical philosophy.
A poetic willpower.
A moving meditation.
Forged through muscle and heart.
Transforming the body.
Transforming the character.
Breathing ecstasy into life.
Spirituality.
The body feeds the soul.
Burn it.

Listen Here:

soundcloud.com/streetplantgarageland

Photo: @sierra_prescott / LA, CA / 2015
#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#NeverComply
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#OneHundredPercentIndependentSkateboarding
2w

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

Family Destroyer: 1st Anniversary @streetplantbrnd Collectors Edition Board.
Featuring The Home Team!
@lucy_vallely @mikevallely @annvallely @emilyvallely

Art by @gtuz

Only 100 Made.

These boards can be signed upon request.
The shape is a modernized Snake Shape.

8 3/4 x 32 3/4
Wheelbase: 14 5/8
Nose: 7
Tail: 6 3/4

Assorted Veneers.

Available Here:

streetplantbrand.com/shop

#StreetPlantBrand
#MikeVallely
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#OneHundredPercentIndependentSkateboarding
2w
  •   stencild @mikevallely thanks so much! So happy for your success. I'll keep an eye out for that shape in your shop 2w
  •   mega_pixels_ Awesome board @mikevallely will @duty_now be getting any? Shipping from States is horrendous. + Are there any new colours of the snake board coming as I couldn't get a yellow one down-under. 2w
  •   mikevallely @mega_pixels_ None of these are heading Down Under... This shape will be available with other graphics soon and those should make it to Australia. Next color Snake is Brown Veneer... It should be available by mid-Feb and some should make it to Australia via @duty_now 2w
  •   mega_pixels_ Thanks @mikevallely keep up the good work. Cheers Ding 2w
  •   chicken__truck Mike -any chance of elephant or barnyard decks coming back to your store? I want to buy direct so I can have one signed so I can hang on my wall - was a big part of my childhood! 2w
  •   mikevallely @chicken__truck We are sold out of those... Still some available elsewhere... You can always ship to me to have me sigh it. 2w
  •   chicken__truck @mikevallely thank you sir!!! I'll def buy from one of your dealers to keep the support. Keep up the great work and keep hittin hard! 2w
  •   jeremybrumley I got this board in the mail today. It's straight up awesome! 1w

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mikevallely STREET PLANT

The ever growing #StreetPlantBattalion brings joy to our hearts.
Thanks to @yusuke_tsuge for posting this picture of his daughter with her first ever skateboard. A @streetplantbrnd Modern Barnyard!

#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#MikeVallely
#EngineeredForTheStreets
#WeaponsOfMassCreation
2w

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mikevallely Life Or Death

I have battled depression my entire life
Skateboarding was the first thing that truly made me happy
Just being on my board, it was everything to me
My Bliss
But the world it seemed didn’t want me to be happy
The world wanted me to answer to convention
To most of my peers, teachers and family members skateboarding was an epic waste of time
Why pursue something that had no end game?
The necessity of a social justification for everything that I did was constantly thrown in my face
My smile wasn’t enough
My satisfied soul had no value
And when I rejected the systems impersonal claims upon me
I got my ass kicked over and over
Who was I to hold onto my own ideals?
At every turn there was someone trying to
frighten me off from My Bliss
To beat it out of me
Wanting me to concede to misery, mediocrity and the mundane
To accept doom and depression into my heart and soul
As a superior authority
I refused
I had to
It was life or death

Art by: @muellerstudios

#StreetPlantBrand
#SkateCreateEnjoy
#NeverComply
#MikeVallely
2w
  •   eric_eats_bacon Skateboarding is my anti-depressant, too. Wish my knee wasn't shredded. It pops out of place, and I can't skate for weeks. And apparently it can't be fixed..haven't even skated my Street Plant board yet. 2w
  •   mikevallely @eric_eats_bacon That sucks Eric. Sorry to hear that my friend! 2w
  •   colum.fagan Thank you for your thoughts. I am so impressed with what you have to say, it's straight from the heart. Skate to live brothers. 2w
  •   dapeps10 @mikevallely that was beautiful brother. 2w
  •   marcosarnhold Always inspiring! And I know forever will be! Much thanks for that! 2w
  •   kurtfrazer 🏽🏿🏾🏻🏼 2w
  •   oldskatedude Great words,so true!"regular" people just don't get it and never will.almost feel sorry for them. almost😎MikeV keep doin it bro 2w
  •   jnlaughton Echoes my entire journey of skateboarding. Got over the beatings 20 years later. Inspiring thank you for posting Mike. 2w

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