#064: Mike Vallely - Founder of Street Plant Skateboards & Lead Singer of Black Flag

Some icons dominate multiple industries, leaving their mark not on just one part of society, but on all of society. Mike Vallely is the Founder of Street Plant Skateboards and the lead singer of rock band Black Flag.

Mike revolutionized the way society embraces skateboarding and skateboarding culture while he built a side career as a singer, playing with some of punk’s greatest artists.  

Mike joined Fran Racioppi on the last day of the GORUCK Games to share his personal story, how he had to borrow skateboards to teach himself to ride, why going as hard as you can whenever you have a chance is a recipe for success, and what he has learned leading generations of punk rockers and skateboarders to skate, create and enjoy.

Read the full episode transcription here and learn more on The Jedburgh Podcast Website. Check out our video versions on YouTube.


-Mike shares his decision to become “punk” (5:58)

-Mike describes his entry into skateboarding after viewing a Thrasher magazine and accepting a challenge to jump off a car. (9:35) 

-Street skating was pioneered as Mike went pro with Powell-Peralta and has evolved across culture, proficiency and skateboard design. (28:24)

-Fran asks Mike to describe the creativity and expression behind skateboard artwork, including his first design, the African Elephant. (38:50)

-Mike discusses his entrepreneurial journey, finding support from his daughter to start Street Plant Skateboards.” (49:02)

-Mike’s music career spans Mike V and The Rats, his love for Black Flag and a childhood run in with Henry Rollins. (55:00) 

-Greg Ginn, the founding member of Blag Flag, showed him the importance of partnership. (1:07:57)

-Mike shares his upcoming schedules with Black Flag, The Complete Disaster, Revolution Mother & The Morning Trail, as well as a collaboration with GORUCK. (1:26:35) 


-”It was when I started skating that I felt that I actually took my first real breaths.” 

-”That’s cool, come with us. The coolest words ever f***ing spoken to me.” 

-”My life before that moment was in black and white, or sepia tone. And then I saw these pictures of guys skating in the streets.” 

-”I would crunch down into the 30 seconds what they had spent all day doing…I would just go animalistic on the thing.” 

-”I wasn’t going to take what I was being handed. I had to have it my way.” 

-”But when I started my company it was a purposeful return to being very sincere and earnest in creating boards that had a heart and soul.”

-“All I really needed was a little help and a little encouragement…and someone to believe in me.” 

-”Rise Above became the mantra of my life.” 

-”You can do anything you want in this life. They just proved it right in front of me.” 

-“If the well of inspiration is there, you tap into it.” 


Mike’s Three Daily Foundations to Success:

-Skate: take action and do something

-Create: bring artistic expression and be free 

-Enjoy: love what you are doing

This episode is brought to you by Jersey Mike’s, 18A Fitness, Analytix Solutions, Jaguar Land Rover of Fairfield and The Readiness Collective.