This episode is dedicated to:
Raymond James Faux
September 18, 1947 – April 29, 2012
Love you Dad
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Eve Feaver dressed as Hippie Mike to interview the man himself for this special edition episode of Glory Daze:
Welcome to Episode 10 of Glory Daze with Hippie Mike. Today we’re hooking up where that name began at Confederation Park in Burnaby with the man himself – a legend of so many facets in today’s skateboard industry. Originally from Ontario, and now residing in Surrey, BC, he has definitely helped to change the world. He’s a creator on his board, on the mic, and behind the computer. Sponsored by Ollie North Skate Shop, AXS Gear, Vans, and owner of Protest Skateboards, the man who’s hair hangs longer than anyone I know – Hippie Mike!!
Hippie Mike: ‘Sup Buddy?!
Eve Feaver: Good, usually I only get to see you in the mirror so this is nice
EF: So, first question as always, How old are you and how long have you been skateboarding?
Hippie: I’m turning 35 this year and I’ve been skateboarding for 27 years
EF: Wow, that’s a long time. Doesn’t feel like it though eh?
Hippie: Yeah, No it feels like it (laughs)
EF: Whereabouts in Ontario did you come from?
Hippie: I grew up in Barrie, Ontario, about an hour north of Toronto
EF: Okay, were there any skate parks near you, or was it like skating is for you now riding rocks, and fridges and logs?
Hippie: (Laughs) No, we skated a lot of schools back then, it was all street skating. We were lucky to have a school where every summer we could put ramps in the basketball court and have our own kind of wooden park, but we had absolutely no skate parks near us. Funny part was, we worked for about 5-7 years to get a skate park in Barrie and they built it the year after I left, but it wasn’t that good anyway
EF: The moral is you came West. What made you decide to do that?
Hippie: Growing up as a snowboarder… Just always knew the scene was out here for snowboarding and skateboarding and I just always thought I was gonna move here, I don’t know why
EF: Just kind of seemed to be the right spot?
Hippie: Yeah, “the west is the best” – that’s what they say
EF: And as you got here, you landed in Burnaby
Hippie: Yup, well me and my wife Carrie Williams drove here from Ontario, had to replace the engine in Hope, but we drove here. We came to Hastings Street and found a place that helps you find an apartment and of course the first place we went and looked at was right down the street from where we were at Hastings and Ingleton, and that was the only one we looked at. It was a beautiful spot, nice run down apartment with fresh hardwood floors and an awesome view. You could see Metrotown, and you could see the Dome (BC Place). So it was perfect, and we could just skate down to Confed here which was just coincidence
EF: Coincidence that you just found it all of a sudden?
Hippie: Coincidence that where we moved was right by a skate park
EF: And so this became your home park
Hippie: It sure did
EF: Tell me how you became “Hippie Mike”
Hippie: Well, I liked to drink a lot, and I mean, I would always just come down here and I guess it was the clothes I wore and the way I talked and the tricks I was doin’, I used to show a lot of Old School style and used to do a lot of Powerslides and Boneless tricks in the old bowl when the park was different. And I guess just from hanging out with the guys here – Scottie MacDonald, Josh, John and Ty, they were like the Top Dog Crew what I considered here, and I heard that they were calling me Hippie Mike. So I was like, Oh really? Then I’ll just be called Hippie Mike then. And that was it…
EF: And when was the last time you cut your hair?
EF: So when did Surrey become home for you?
Hippie: Surrey – it was about 2001. Went into this Condo and basically just took the mortgage over, no down payment – 57,000 bucks. So that was how we got started. It was in Newton, Surrey, right close to Bear Creek Park. So lived there for a couple years, lived in another Town House for a couple years and then the market went up and we made a bunch of money on that place and bought the house we live in now. I love Surrey. Surrey is my favourite place to be
EF: Speaking of which… Besides living in Surrey, you also work for the City. What is it that you do for them?
Hippie: Well, I program for Youth and Children Activities and I work at a couple different Rec Centres. And I’m also the main person for everything that happens skateboarding and BMX wise
EF: Okay, skateboarding as a business – Your first Sponsor…
Hippie: My first real sponsor was Substance Skate Shop and I was about 23 or 24 years old. I never really thought about being sponsored until I lived out here
EF: What’s it like having your own skateboard company?
Hippie: Um, I started the company Protest Skateboards around 2002, it was 2001 or 2002. I had a good tax return that year so I figured I’ll make decks, sell ’em to the guys I know and you know, we’ll ride ’em and promote it and have a good time. So yeah, that was over 10 years ago and I never really thought about making money with it until about 2 years ago and then last year was when we started the website that was part of making Protest grow a little more. You know people know about it but they don’t really know what it’s about right. And Protest is about doing what you believe in, doin’ what makes you happy. So the word Protest is a very strong word and some people take it as you’re always in a riot or you’re always fighting or whatever but you can Protest in Peace, you can speak your beliefs and find the right ways to make them happen, which is basically my entire job with the City. But www.protestskateboards.com is just a place for people to connect, and I like my website in the sense that it’s not just feeding off what’s happening in the skateboard world and you know, most websites that are about skateboarding are just about, you know, Oh all the local skaters need to know what’s happening in California and what’s happening in Brazil, but mine is more letting all the people in Brazil and California know what’s happening here. And that’s the difference, I wanna promote the locals, I wanna promote the guys that helped make skateboarding what it is today, and the guys that are gonna make skateboarding what t will be in the next 15 years
EF: Alright Mike, you live with such an uplifted spirit, who has influenced you to be so positive?
Hippie: A lot of people, I mean it’s really hard to specify, but I’ll tell you one line that somebody said to me one time, and this was the person that actually hired me to the City of Surrey and it goes like this – “The best way to make a change is from the inside out”. Because even when I started working for the City I was like, Uhhh, do I really wanna work for this Government Corporation? That’s not my style. But she had the same mentality as me and what she said made so much sense and it always stuck in my brain. That’s true though right, because you can bitch and complain, and you can make amazing points that make perfect sense, but are they gonna listen? Usually not. So in the end, if you’re on the inside and you know all those people’s names and you’re telling them that this is what will make your business better, now it changes…
EF: Now, your favourite places to skate – nice and quick
Hippie: Uhhh, The Lip Bank, Bear Creek Skate Park, and…. Rocks (laughs) any rocks!
EF: Okay between skating and snowboarding, what are your worst injuries?
Hippie: Well I have a Herniated Disc and kind of broken back that happened, Um, my tailbone is kind of gone – like when I was somewhere between the age of 13 and 15 I landed so hard so many times that it just kinda kinked my spine and when you go to feel for it, it doesn’t stick out anymore. And I blew my MCL, basically don’t really have an MCL in my left knee
EF: So how do you do all the tricks you do?
Hippie: Um….. Magic (laughs)
EF: What does Canada Day and the Bowl Series mean to you?
Hippie: Everything, that’s like the family reunion to me right? That’s the day I know that I get to see everybody and we get to hang out and we have a good time together and skate one of the best bowls around that happened to be built the same year I was born
EF: A couple of words about the Tour de Surrey
Hippie: Hippie Mike’s Tour de Surrey, this is the 10th year. It’s all for the kids, it’s sponsored by many, many, many different skateboard companies, and other corporations like the Surrey Fire Fighters, and we give away lots of helmets and shirts and stickers, and lots of other product to the people that actually win. It’s for all ages, it’s a great place to learn how to go in contests and it’s a great place to go to a contest where you just wanna have a good time and not worry about being the Champ. And I’m there – since it’s called Hippie Mike’s Tour de Surrey
EF: Okay, your best accomplishments?
Hippie: Best accomplishment is still being alive after living a crazy life. Other than that, just all things that I’ve created in the skateboard world, and the acceptance that I have worked hard to help create in the world for many people to look however they feel like looking and do what you like to do and not worry about being judged and not having people saying that you’re not allowed to be there…
EF: Well Mike, that is great. Thanks for being a guest on GLORY DAZE with Hippie Mike (laughs). You’re the creator of so many things, you’re a teacher of so many people, your smile always shines bright and your skating always kicks a little ass, you’re a true friend and an inspiration… Okay let’s skate.
Hippie Mike everybody…