Skate Anatomy: Mike Vallely

Mike Vallely

“For the record, I’ve never been knocked out.”


Broken nose:
“In 1986, I obliterated my entire face by smashing it on a parking block. I was skating this bank to parking block, goofing around, when I jokingly tried to do a rocket blunt by placing both feet on the tail and both hands on the nose. My wheels rolled out from underneath me and my hands went between my legs and my face ate the
concrete hard. I split my chin, both of my lips, flattened my nose and busted my forehead open. It was bad. I ended up getting
reconstructive surgery on my nose but it didn’t help my looks much, sorry. A few weeks after the surgery, I broke my nose again skating Tom Groholski’s ramp. I ate the flat bottom after over-rotating on a fakie ollie. To this day I have a deviated septum, which means I can barely breath through one nostril.”

Broken jaw, six stitches in chin:
“You probably saw this one in 411. I did it in France in January ’99. Right before I dropped in Koston asked me what I was going to do. I told him I was going to get hurt…I was right.”

Kingpin through head:
“I was doing a demo in Springfield, Missouri, in 1990. I tried to do a Christian Hosoi-style slashed-out frontside wall ride. I looped out. My board shot up into the air and I fell to the ground. My board came
crashing down onto my head and my kingpin went through my Boston Bruins hat right into the top of my skull and then dragged down the back of my head. I definitely needed stitches but, as usual, I just bound the wound with butterfly bandages and covered it for a week. It left a nice scar.”

Bleeding ulcer:
“Definitely skate related. This one almost killed me. It was 1992; I was under a lot of stress. Ed Templeton and I had our own struggling small company called TV, Big Brother said I was washed up, my wife was pregnant, skaters were wearing extremely baggy jeans, riding tiny wheels and I was severely in debt to the IRS. Add all of that together and a little bleeding hole formed in my stomach. As usual I ignored it until I couldn’t any longer. I was in the hospital for two weeks and required a blood transfusion.”

Left Side:

Broken left clavicle, torn left shoulder muscle and ligament:
“This is
easily the worst injury I’ve ever suffered. I hung up on a miniramp in October ’95 doing a frontside stalefish. I broke my left collarbone and in the process tore the muscle in my shoulder three-quarters of the way through and a
ligament in my left shoulder halfway through. I was pretty much paralyzed for weeks. I could only sit and sleep in one position and I couldn’t take my shirt off—I had to cut it off and my wife had to help me with even the most basic things, like eating. The worst part is the injury required surgery to repair it, but my insurance company would never approve of the procedure so I just sat at home suffering. Between October ’95 and July ’96 I re-broke my collarbone and
reinjured my shoulder three more times by trying to come back too early. To this day, my shoulder burns and my collarbone aches.”

Ten stitches in thumb:
“It was 1988, I was skating a handrail in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In the process of sacking it, I put my hands down to brace myself and the sharp edge of the handrail opened my thumb up like it was an aluminum can. I could see bone and ligaments, blood was

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