Mike Vallely

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Mike Vallely
Mike stiffed out fs air.jpg
Mike Vallely performing a head-high frontside air at a demo at Doc*36 Skatepark in Jackson, Mississippi.
Personal information
Nickname(s) Mike V.
Born (1970-06-29) June 29, 1970 (age 43)
Edison, New Jersey, United States
Occupation Skateboarder
Spouse(s) Ann (m. 1992)
Website www.mikevallely.com
Sport Skateboarding

Mike Vallely (/ˈvæləj/ VAL-ə-yee; born 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. As of January 2014 he is the lead singer of the punk band Black Flag

Early life[edit]

Vallely was born in Edison, New Jersey, United States[1] to Art and Mary Vallely.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Following his interest in punk music, Vallely borrowed a skateboard from a friend and proceeded to dedicate his life to skateboarding.[1] 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.[citation needed]

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[edit]

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.[citation needed]

In 1986, Vallely was filmed for a part in the third Powell-Peralta video, "The Search For Animal Chin". The Search for Animal Chin was released in 1987 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.[citation needed]

In 1989, Vallely quit Powell-Peralta at a time when the company was the biggest skateboarding brand in the world.[citation needed] 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.[2]

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.[citation needed]

Vallely then rode for New Deal Skateboards until January 1992, before starting the short-lived TV Skateboards with friend and professional skateboarder Ed Templeton. 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.[citation needed]

Vallely then briefly rode for Transit Skateboards, before joining Black Label Skateboards in 1998, a company that he rode for until 2002. Vallely appeared in the Black Label video Label Kills.[3]

Vallely founded Vallely Skateboards in 2002 after he left Black Label. Vallely Skateboards was distributed through Giant Distribution and eventually folded in 2003 due to poor growth.[citation needed]

From 2003 until 2010, Vallely rode for Element Skateboards, before quitting to start his own company By The Sword with fellow skateboarder Jason Filipow.[citation needed] However, the company was short-lived as Vallely joined the roster of a rejuvenated Powell Peralta Skateboards in late 2010—his third time with Skate One Distribution—along with Airwalk Footwear and Bones Bearings.[citation needed]

In mid-2011, Vallely joined Iron Fist Clothing,[4] as well as Tork Trux,[5] after noticing the company's innovative assembly method; however, Vallely quickly left Tork after joining the company as their first team rider.

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."[6]

Elephant Brand[edit]

In late 2011, Vallely again resigned from Powell-Peralta and founded the Elephant Skateboards company in December 2011.[7] In April 2012, Jason Adams—formerly of Black Label and Enjoi[8]—was added to the team roster.[9] On a late June episode of the Ride Channel's "Weekend Buzz" program, the addition of Kyle Berard to the Elephant Brand team roster was revealed.[10]

The Elephant Skateboards company celebrated two years of existence in December 2013. A video compilation of the team was published on the Internet and features Mike V., Jason Adams, Neal Hendrix, Kyle Berard, Kris Markovich, and Jake Wooten.[11]


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.[citation needed] 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,[12] and the song, "Never Give Up", appeared in THUG's successor, Tony Hawk's Underground 2.[13] In 2013, Vallely formed a band called Good For You with Greg Ginn. Their debut album was released on SST Records in February 2013.[14] In January of 2014, founding member Gregg Ginn announced Mike Vallely would be the new lead singer of Black Flag.[15]

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)

Revolution Mother:

  • Glory Bound (2007)
  • Rollin' With Tha Mutha (2009)

Solo Career:

  • Weekend In Pittsburgh (2002) with Joe Grushecky
  • California Angel (2006)
  • Alone (2006)

Guest appearances:

Video game appearances[edit]

Vallely appears in the highly successful Tony Hawk Pro Skater skateboarding video game series, from the fourth release onwards. He appears as a secret character in the fourth release, but has been a major character since the fifth release. The storyline to the fifth game in the series Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG) is based on Vallely's skateboard career and the Vallely character teaches the "Flamingo trick" in the game.[citation needed]

Vallely has launched his own skateboarding video game for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, entitled Mike V: Do or Die – Skateboarding.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Vallely played professional hockey for the Danbury Whalers in 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.[16]



  • 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[17]

Music videos[edit]



  1. ^ a b http://mikevallely.com/about/[dead link]
  2. ^ Chris Nieratko (21 March 2011). "Marc McKee: the art of graphics". ESPN Action Sports. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Conceptskatemedia (20). "MIKE VALLELY - Black Label - Label Kills - 2001 | Full length video in descr ..." (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "POSTS TAGGED ‘MIKE VALLEY'". Iron Fist Clothing. Iron Fist Clothing. February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Mike Vallely X SERVANT Footwear". Servant Footwear. Servant Footwear. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Templeton Elliot (22 December 2011). "Elephant Brand Skateboards From Mike V". The Skateboard Mag. Strictly Skateboarding. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jason Adams - bag of suck" (Video upload). Enjoi on Vimeo. Vimeo LLc. February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Good News: Jason Adams Joins Elephant Brand Skateboards". Elephant Brand Skateboards. Elephant Brand Skateboards. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Ride Channel (28 June 2013). "Jordan Hoffart & Kyle Berard: Zolar, Jessica Biel & Going Blind! Weekend Buzz ep. 68 pt. 1" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "ELEPHANT SKATEBOARDS CELEBRATES 2 YEARS" (Video upload). The Berrics. The Berrics. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Thorson, Tor (2003-10-24). "The Sounds of Tony Hawk's Underground". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  13. ^ Altizer, Roger. "Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Aims to Rock Action Sport Gamers". About.com. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  14. ^ "punknews.org". Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  15. ^ http://pitchfork.com/news/53776-black-flag-appoints-new-vocalist-mike-vallely-apologizes-for-shitty-2013/
  16. ^ Wyshynski, Greg (November 3, 2010). "Video: Pro skater Vallely loses fight, breaks arm in hockey debut". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ fightbizkittv (20 April 2011). "The Truth With Evan Jealous Part 3 (produced by Fred Durst)" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 

External links[edit]