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By 2001, I had begun to feel that Pro Skateboarding was being reduced to a game of inches. Fed by a parasitic commercial culture that placed image and technical prowess over Fun and Community, the industry, and thus the Skating they were selling, became standardized and lacking Imagination and Creativity. The premise of why we do what we do had changed. Money became king. This is the corporate way. The skate industry started feverishly climbing that ladder, but it was a ladder leaning against the wrong wall.

I set out with Mark Jeremias to tell a different story. One of Community, Kindness, Compassion and Respect for others. To Shine a Light on People all around the world who were Doing Good on behalf of Skateboarding with nothing expected in return, other than the Joy of Making a Difference in Their Communities and in the Lives of other Skaters. To me, these were and are the New Heroes in Skateboarding. This was the premise of the Original DRIVE Film and the Television Series that followed.

Although we had tremendously Positive feedback from our viewing audience, and Skaters all over the world, we never (very much like the people we featured) received any acknowledgement from the skate industry or media. Even my own sponsors ignored what I was doing with DRIVE and constantly pressured me to conform to the standards of the day. But I was and Always will be opposed to elitist “core” culture. My number one goal was and is to Welcome Everyone to Skateboarding, and to make Skateboarding Something Meaningful at Any and All Levels of Skill and Engagement. 

The Values of Drive, my Values, have now been Manifested in Street Plant. I might not have cameras following me around every day anymore, but the Love, the Passion, the Dream, the Work and the Commitment to the Goal of Social Transformation through Skateboarding continues. 

If you are a Skater, are you causing the world to not like Skaters? Or are you doing your part to cause the world to like Skaters?

Mike Vallely

The Original DRIVE Film, and All 3 Seasons of the Series, are Available for Streaming or Download Here!