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Mike Vallely performing a head-high frontside air at a demo at Doc*36 Skatepark in Jackson, Mississippi.
June 29, 1970 |
Edison, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ann (m. 1992)|
Mike Vallely (pron.: // VAL-ə-yee; June 29, 1970), also known as Mike V, is a professional skateboarder. Vallely is also a musician, actor, television personality, stuntman, professional wrestler, and FHL hockey player.
Early life 
Mike Vallely was born in Edison, New Jersey, United States (US) to Art and Mary Vallely. Vallely is the younger brother of Joe, and an older brother to sister, Amy. Growing up, Vallely played little league baseball, but, in 1984, at age fourteen, Vallely discovered skateboarding and punk music.
Following his interest in punk music, Vallely borrowed a skateboard from a friend and proceeded to dedicate his life to skateboarding. At Christmas in 1984, Vallely's parents purchased a Sims-brand Jeff Phillips professional signature model skateboard for Vallely. Besides street skating, Vallely also began "vert" skating and often skated at Tom Groholski's ramp, as well as The Barn Ramp, both of which are located in New Jersey. Vallely also skated the Brooklyn Banks, a well-known skateboarding location under New York's Brooklyn Bridge.
In 1986, Vallely moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia, US for a brief period and, while living there, befriended some local skaters. Skating with a local team called "Subculture", in the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach, Vallely tested his street skills in local contests, as well as on neighborhood quarter-pipe ramps and launch ramps. In the spring of 1986, the Virginia Beach Skate park, Mount Trashmore, hosted a professional vert skateboard contest. Vallely and his friend began skating in the car park, adjacent to the vert ramp, during practice, and drew the attention of professional skateboarder, Neil Blender, from atop the ramp. Lance Mountain and Stacy Peralta, both of Powell Peralta and the Bones Brigade, were also impressed with Vallely. Seeing Vallely skate on a worn board, Mountain provided him with a brand new skateboard. Following the impromptu demo, Peralta offered Vallely an amateur sponsorship deal with Powell-Peralta Skateboards.
Professional skateboarding 
Thrasher Magazine photographed Vallely performing his tricks in the "handplant circle", and one of the photographs eventually made its way onto the cover of Thrasher's August 1986 issue. It was also at this time that Vallely's new sponsor flew him to California to compete at the Oceanside "Street Attack" contest, in Oceanside, California, in July 1986. Vallely won the amateur division that led to a full-page spread in Transworld Skateboarding's September issue.
In 1986, Vallely was filmed for a part in the third Powell-Peralta video, "The Search For Animal Chin".
In 1987, The Search for Animal Chin was released and Vallely became a professional skateboarder at a vert contest in Toronto, Canada on May 31, 1987.
In 1988, Powell-Peralta released his first professional signature model skateboard. After an attempt to release Vallely's model with graphics of a large bug, it was later changed to a graphic that featured an elephant. Vallely stated that the idea for the graphic came to him after watching a National Geographic television special about elephants.
World Industries 
In 1989, Vallely quit Powell-Peralta at a time when the company was the biggest skateboarding brand in the world.
Following his departure from Powell-Peralta, Vallely became involved with World Industries, a skater-run brand that was conceived of and launched with peers, Steve Rocco, Jesse Martinez, and Rodney Mullen. World Industries created the first ever "double-kick" skateboard design (a skateboard deck with a "kicktail" at both ends of the board, rather than merely a rounded nose)—the model eventually became the industry standard, with a Vallely signature board used for the shape's introduction into the retail market.
Vallely was a part of World Industries until early 1991, when differences with Rocco over his use of company advertising for political purposes became irreconcilable.
New Deal 
TV Skateboards 
In late 1992, Vallely suffered a health scare, and TV Skateboards was financially suffering; however, Vallely credited the birth of his daughter with the creation of a new perspective in his life and an ability to move forward. Vallely returned to the newly developed Powell Skateboards in 1993, and this period would last until 1997.
Transit and Black Label 
Vallely founded Vallely Skateboards in 2002, after leaving Black Label. Vallely Skateboards was distributed through Giant Distribution and eventually folded in 2003, due to poor growth.
From 2003 until 2010, Vallely rode for Element Skateboards, before quitting to start his own company, By The Sword, with fellow skateboarder, Jason Filipow. However, the company was short-lived, as in late 2010, Vallely joined the roster of a rejuvenated Powell Peralta Skateboards—his third time with Skate One Distribution—along with Airwalk Footwear and Bones Bearings.
Iron Fist and Tork 
In mid-2011, Vallely joined Iron Fist Clothing, as well as Tork Trux, after noticing the company's innovative assembly method; however, Vallely quickly left Tork after joining the company as their first team rider.
Elephant Brand 
In late 2011, Vallely again resigned from Powell-Peralta and launched the Elephant Brand Skateboards company in December 2011. In April 2012, Jason Adams—formerly of Black Label and Enjoi—was added to the team roster.
Servant Footwear 
A press release from Swedish skate shoe company, Servant Footwear, was published in February 2013, announcing that Vallely is the first American ambassador and team rider for the brand. The company stated: "We are proud to announce that Mike Vallely has joined SERVANT Footwear as US ambassador and team rider. We are honored to get support from and work with such a legendary and truly inspirational player within our culture."
Vallely first joined a band called Resistance in 1985. He only played one live show with the group, together with 7 Seconds and Aggression. Vallely was eventually asked to leave the band for spending too much time on skateboarding. In 2003, Greg Ginn invited Vallely to sing for Black Flag at its 2003 reunion shows in Los Angeles, US—Vallely performed the entire My War album. Vallely was the lead singer for Mike V and the Rats and the band's song, "The Days", appeared in the video game, Tony Hawk's Underground, and the song, "Never Give Up", appeared in THUG's successor, Tony Hawk's Underground 2. In 2013, Vallely formed a band called Good For You with Greg Ginn. Their debut album was released on SST Records in February 2013. 
Good For You:
- Life is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge (2013)
Mike V & The Rats:
- Fist 3 Songs (2002)
- Mike V & The Rats (2002)
- The Days (2003)
- Glory Bound (2007)
- Rollin' With Tha Mutha (2009)
- Weekend In Pittsburgh (2002) with Joe Grushecky
- California Angel (2006)
- Alone (2006)
Video games 
Vallely has appeared in the highly successful Tony Hawk Pro Skater skateboarding video game series, since the fourth release of the game, in which he appeared as a secret character. From the fifth release of the game he has been a major character in each game.
The storyline to the fifth game in the series, Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG), is based on Vallely's skateboard career. Vallely also teaches the player the "Flamingo trick" early in the same game.
Personal life 
Vallely also played professional hockey for the Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League—he signed a contract with the club on June 23, 2010. In his first career game (October 23, 2010), Vallely fought Joe Pelle of the Brooklyn Aviators, a career minor-league enforcer. Several seconds into the fight, Vallely lost his footing and landed awkwardly, breaking his right arm.
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop – Plays "Rudolph"
- xXx – Plays Vin Diesel's friend
- Grind – Vallely appears in a small cameo as himself
- Jonah Hex – Stunt work in this Warner Bros./DC Comics film
- Red Dawn – Plays a weapons dealer and completed stunt work as a Russian Special Forces soldier
- Mulberry Park – Plays Danny, the leader of an Irish gang
- 7-Teen Sips – Plays the reclusive rock star, "Charlie Monroe"
- The Hangover – Plays "Neeco"
- Viva La Bam – Appears in two episodes, in which he helps Bam's uncle seek revenge on Bam in one episode, and skateboards at a demo with Bam and other Element skateboarders.
- Drive (2004) – Vallely's own show with Fuel TV (2004–2008)
- The Truth with Evan Jealous (2011) – Plays a security guard for the evangelist, "Evan Jealous", in this mockumentary
Music videos 
- "Gold Cobra" – A music video by Limp Bizkit, in which Vallely executes a "caveman" skateboard trick from the top of a Lamborghini car.
- Chris Nieratko (21). "Marc McKee: the art of graphics". ESPN Action Sports. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Conceptskatemedia (20). "MIKE VALLELY - Black Label - Label Kills - 2001 | Full length video in descr ..." (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "POSTS TAGGED ‘MIKE VALLEY'". Iron Fist Clothing. Iron Fist Clothing. February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Tork Trux Mike Vallely Solid Kingpin 5.0" Mid Raw Skateboard Trucks Includes Hardware - 7.75" Axle (Set of 2) Item # 1TTRKVALS077500". Warehouse Skateboards. Warehouse Skateboards, Inc. 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Templeton Elliot (22). "Elephant Brand Skateboards From Mike V". The Skateboard Mag. Strictly Skateboarding. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- "Jason Adams - bag of suck" (Video upload). Enjoi on Vimeo. Vimeo LLc. February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Good News: Jason Adams Joins Elephant Brand Skateboards". Elephant Brand Skateboards. Elephant Brand Skateboards. 1. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Mike Vallely X SERVANT Footwear". Servant Footwear. Servant Footwear. 4. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Thorson, Tor (2003-10-24). "The Sounds of Tony Hawk's Underground". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Altizer, Roger. "Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Aims to Rock Action Sport Gamers". About.com. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "punknews.org". Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Wyshynski, Greg (November 3, 2010). "Video: Pro skater Vallely loses fight, breaks arm in hockey debut". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- fightbizkittv (20). "The Truth With Evan Jealous Part 3 (produced by Fred Durst)" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 6 February 2013.