Mike Vallely is one of skateboarding's hardest, most refined, and most respected innovators.

Mike rides with authority over any terrain, and has mastered all schools of technique. At the Tampa pro contest this year, while the other skaters were having the best trick contest at the bar over the funbox, he had his own on the vert wall by the bowl, doing inverts and bonelesses on it.

On the surface, Mike's shaved head, bad-ass reputation, and ripped upper body stand in surprising contrast to his vegan commitment and many writings, including a collection of poetry. Married, with children, he is the image of integrity in skateboarding.

Mike got started out with Powell-Peralta in the late 80's, and later joined World Industries. He soon left them to form Television with Ed Templeton and now has made himself the chief of the Black Label team. Mike isn't too hampered for cash these days, being sponsored by Black Label, Accel Wheels, Etnies, and Oakley.