Sunday, February 16, 2014
Mike Maldonado Interview 2014
Style, power, and a unique perspective are how I’d pretty much sum up the way Mike skates. He’s a secrete mini-ramp murderer and he doesn’t care about the industry hype; never has and never will. Mike has been skating since before most of you reading this were born, so he’s seen skateboarding change a lot over the years. He’s a true down to earth dude that anyone can kick it with and by far one of the most interesting professional skateboarders you’ll ever talk to, trust me. If you ever meet him you’ll understand why he is the way he is. Go skate with him and ask him about plants, or shoes, or tricks, or the government and you may just find yourself not only having a fun day of skating, but actually having an intelligent conversation about the real world outside of our box of kickflips and crooked grinds. Mike’s just a rad dude all around that’s all I can say.
Mike, to start things off let’s let the world know where you are from and what you’ve been up to in the last year…heard you've been growing your own food?
M- Born and raised in Chester County, Pa. I don't do much; my life is interestingly boring. I take care of the dogs, then I do my morning thing, shower, bust a grub, relax, read a bit, start working on the house or working outside in the yard. Sometimes I'll get stuff together and hit the scrap yard or get my culinary arts up (bread, cheese, dough, clams or what have you). Speaking of all that, yeah I've been trying to grow a bit of food. Health is wealth ya’ know? Most people don’t think like that…especially skateboarders! A lot of folks will eat what's convenient, not what's best. Yet somehow they demand the best...kinda crazy to me.
What’s the best part about living in the West Chester/Philly area?
M- The best thing about living in this area is that there are so many places really close like New York, D.C., Philly and The Burg.
What’s the worst part about living in ht West Chester/ Philly area?
M- The worst thing about living in this area is the winter weather and I'd have to say the hype… if I have to explain that then you wouldn’t get it.
I heard you might build a ramp at your house soon, any truth to this?
M- One of my close homies is getting rid of his outdoor ramp. I just have to get some dough together so I can get it, transport, and rebuild it. The few sponsors I got could send me a triple sized extra FAT box that could speed up the process ya heard! Just kidding, but I’m looking forward to getting that ramp for sure.
What exactly happened with the re-launch and re-demise of AXION?
M- I couldn't tell ya anything about it as far as coming back and then ending. Someone told me a long time ago "talk minus action equals zero.” (That it no way means zero bought Axion kids)
With all the skate media coming out daily or sometimes hourly actually, how do you think skateboarding has been affected by it?
M- All of these technology and media outlets are ridiculous. Don't get me wrong it's a huge help for loads of things, but it's just become a faster race to see who can get more hits and shit. I’d like to think we are cooler and more interesting then just looking at all “my followers.” Fuck that fact in real life...most of that shit don’t matter. The Internet seems to have become like a dog and pony show.
How do you think humans are affected by it in general?
M-Technology is making humans DUMB! People can't spell for shit, they text each other when they are in the same room. For example, ten friends could be sitting at a table together and not say a word to each other for up to fifteen minutes, because they are all logged into their phones. People in relationships hardly call each other. It's texts or snap chat or all kinds of other bullshit. Folks are beginning to become more and more complacent, because everything is at their fingertips. Don't get it twisted I use plenty of it myself, but I limit myself or at least I try. People might say that makes me dumb, but hey I know I'm not perfect. A lot can be said about human contact and interaction. I value that. Hahahaha, shit… listen to me rant when I pretty much live like a hermit...hahaha!
You’ve been skateboarding a long time, and you have seen plenty of trends come and go. From someone who started skating in the 80’s, I want to know what you think about skate shoe evolution. What are your top 5 all time best shoes for skating?
M-Skate shoes have gone thru some serious changes since I started. Back in the 80's shoes had lace protectors. Them things went across the whole top not just slightly on the side. Yeah they were mostly for vert, but your ass would get laughed at for wearing some shit like that nowadays. It's a cold world out there. There was rubber on the side (Ollie pad) and all kinds of things. No real support anywhere, but your ankles. High tops were where it was at. In the 90's protection was everywhere but your ankles. Those shits were so bulky and stiff. Then, let's fast forward to now...damn, you might as well be skating in ankle socks period. Shoes are so low; it's all sole. That vulc shit is good for one company, so let them do it, and get your own shit. Try to be original. If I had to pick five favorites of all time they would be #1 The OG Vision Street Wear with the rubber toe and ollie pad, #2 Air Walk Enigmas #3 The Es SLB 2’s #4 The Emerica Templeton 1 with the rubber toe and gel heel and lastly #5 The Axion Apollo.
Favorite era in skateboarding?
M-The late 80's early 90's were such a fun time in skating. It's was so raw...spray paint everything, mix and match everything with your friends, plus at that time so many tricks were being invented. Not just add–ons to existing tricks, so it was just plain amazing. Really though I love skateboarding in any era! I just love skateboarding plain and simple.
Heard Jimmy Chung is back I town, you ever run into him?
M- I think it was the Philly Am jawn and heads were hitting me up saying Jimmy Chung was in town, I haven't seen him since like 95’ or something like that. We got in contact with each other, but I wasn't able to meet up with him that day. He was one of the illest cats on a board and a good friend. We lost contact for awhile but no love lost...that's my homie for life!
So you recently did a guest pro-model with Hoodlum skateboards. How did that come about?
M- The homie Ki Realer hit me up one day and was saying that he was getting KT Da God a guest board and thought it would be dope if we both had one in the same series. He worked it out with the dude John at Hoodlum and that was that. It got me really hyped to be honest, because its like here's a bul’ that I don’t know too too well, but we are cool and he went out of his way to do something like that to help me out. Plus the Hoodlum dudes were down so it worked out well. They did more for me than a lot of folks to be honest. My name hadn't been on a board in awhile so I appreciate that to the heart. Big ups to HOODLUM SKATEBOARDS! Thanks Ki, thanks John.
What boards have you been skating lately? What's the usual set-up?
M- Besides some Hoodlum jawns I guess whatever boards I can get from the homies. Preferably 8 in. with a 14.25in wheel base. I’m a bit particular on that. Right now I’ve been swapping in between Indy's and Theeve trucks. Got some Junt bearings, Junt bolts, Junt grip and some 52 slim Pusher wheels.
Wawa Park… in West Chester... what is awesome about it and what needs improvement?
M- Wawa park is really dope because of how you can move stuff around like Lego-Land or some shit. Smooth ground, metal ramps, mini ramp, manny pads and ledges. The minuses would have to be the recycled plastic...shits like ice and then it sticks randomly. I would also have to say it needs some concrete stuff.
Should we petition the city to let us pour concrete there, yes or no? Should we not get permission and just fucking do it anyway? Just kidding, but you know my take on that, I like that concrete shit.
M- If we could get the township to let us do some concrete obstacles that would be what's up! But hey make do with what you have and take what you can get ya know? There was nothing like that around when I was coming up and I did alright. All you young-ins got a leg up on the old heads.
State Property, Nas, The Roc, or Wu?
M- I would have to go with WU...The WU, The WU got something everybody wanna hear.
Any last words before we sign off and go skate?M- If you're not willing to walk a mile someone’s shoes then get the fuck out of em’. I'll leave y'all with this...Nobody’s perfect; sometimes it's the little imperfections that make all the difference. There is so much going on around us; people need to wake up. We are all human beings before anything else. Labels belong on food or poison, but not people. Most importantly believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see. Much love to my family and friends; they're one and the same. Nolan I miss you and your mom. Much love to my sponsors and anyone that read through my jibber-jabber. Now go outside and skate.