Category : The Man I Am

Hippie Mike Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind Motivational and Inspirational Blogs Motivational Mondays The Man I Am

You Can Get It if You Really Want

Mike's Wood pile

Don’t ever let anyone tell you what You are capable of, only You can determine what you Can and Can’t do in life. And one thing to also remember is that if your body was used to doing something before it got injured, then it will still be used to doing it afterwards, you just might have to adjust how you do it or do it at a different level.
I have heated my homes with nothing but Firewood for 15 years and it takes a lot of effort, all year long. As soon as winter ends it’s time to go out and start collecting new wood, bucking it down to size, and splitting it so it can dry over summer. The goal is always to have lots of extra wood, and to have it all split and piled by the end of June, but that hardly ever happens. Last year I was about 1/3 done by the end of June and then broke my ankle July 3rd. That didn’t stop me either. After resting for a few weeks I was out there standing on 1 foot chainsawing and splitting in order to get it all ready in time for winter. It’s not just what you want that creates motivation, but also what you don’t want, and I never want to pay to heat my house. Especially when you get used to wood fire heat, furnaces and electric heaters cannot produce that same type of heat and the heat they do produce doesn’t last as long. I built the house we live in so that the woodstove heats the entire house from the centre of the main floor and it works great. This year with school being closed during this Covid-19 issue I had a special helper available, my 10 year old son Kaelen. Kaelen is a very determined and self motivated person, he knew the goal and pushed hard to help me accomplish it. We’ve been out collecting firewood 2 days a week since the beginning of May and tomorrow will be our last day. The pile you are looking at behind me is only about 1/3 of the wood we got so far this year, and it’s more than enough for next winter, therefore we actually have enough wood for 3 years, that’s amazing.
I’ve been told by lots of people over my lifetime to quit doing a lot of things because of injuries I’ve been through, but what those people don’t get is that Not doing the physical things my body is used to is what actually hurts the most. Sitting in a chair not being physical is what hurts the most. I like to skateboard, snowboard, swim, play basketball and baseball, and go on walks and bike rides with my kids. No one is going to stop me from doing that stuff, and it’s what will keep me the healthiest even if it hurts. Get out there and do what makes You feel good inside, if it hurts a bit that’s life, you’ll get over it. But if you really want it, you Can get it.

Never Give Up

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Hippie Mike Road to Recovery – The Bowl Series

After going through multiple surgeries on my left leg and knee in a short period of time, I needed something to inspire me to get better at skateboarding again, and Bowl Series was the key. Check out my recovery story and learn why this amazing series of skateboard contests held each summer at Canada’s oldest skate parks was the one push I needed to get my gears going again. Thanks to all my friends and family at these events for just being there and making them what they are
Produced in 2018

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Extreme Sports Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind Skateboarding The Man I Am

For the Love of Skateboarding

Some people avoid everything in life to go skate, they put off their family, they put off their careers, they put off their education, they will even put off eating to fulfil their addiction. And then there are people like me who love skateboarding so much that they put off skateboarding to utilize their time to make more possibilities and opportunities for all the other people that will put off the rest of life to skate. It’s a messed up world but it’s just the way it is. I’ve watched many people over the years become so amazing at skateboarding and completely seem like they are one with there board, or more comfortable on their skateboard than when they are not. Sometimes skateboarding makes a person who they are and that lasts forever. It’s great when you are part of a team and participating in sports or activities with others, but nothing can teach you more about yourself than independent extreme activities where it literally is just you, your mind and your body out there as one and risking everything. I love skateboarding and everything about it. I love how I can hop and my board and cruise through the streets, I love how I can roll into a ramp and just starting poppin’ and grindin’, I love skating any obstacle I see possible, and I love how I can see others get inspired in their lives by doing the same. The coolest thing about skateboarding to me is how we as true skateboarders live in a separate society where we learn together, build together and battle together, and this society is really open to anyone of any age, of any colour, any race and any ability level to join. And once you are part of this world it feels good…

Evan Riemer - Invert extension - One Six2

You can always pick out a true skateboarder. They just have this energy about them; This determination; This strength; This want for more. My favourites are the ones who just look like they are having the time of there life when they skateboard. It’s a great reminder of who we are and why we skate – because it’s fun. So many kids out there try so hard to get super good super quick in hopes that they might be the next Ryan Sheckler or Nyjah Huston and they can easily lose touch with reality resulting in them actually quitting at some point because they “didn’t make it”. But that’s not what skateboarding is about. A true skateboarder skates for the love of it, because it makes them feel good, because it allows them to express themself, and because it makes them free.

Grab your deck, throw it on the ground and go skate, don’t look at where you’re going, just go, and enjoy every second of it – that’s skateboarding

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Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind The Man I Am

Inspired to Make a Change

changeRecently there has been a lot of emotion in my life and it’s well overdue to come to this. As you grow older lots of things tend to happen, you learn who your true friends are, you start to lose a lot of people close to you and you begin to really learn who you are and who you have become. Although some people might have guessed me to be older, I’m only 35 years old, but I have done a lot in those 35 years. Being a skateboarder for 28 of those years has helped me become the person I am by giving me the senses of commitment of creativity and dedication of following through and getting things done.

I love when people judge skateboarders as children and look at guys my age and say things like, “When are you going to grow up?” The funny part is there’s a reason that people think that I’m older than I am and the reason comes down to me being a skateboarder for my whole life. Skateboarders tend to mature faster than other people, we have more danger in our lives and have to premeditate a lot of what we do, and we all go through lots of injuries which makes us learn how to overcome difficult times and push ourselves to succeed, but most of all we are one of the only “societies” where everyone hangs out together no matter what their age, which benefits the young kids to have more mentorship in their lives and help them grow up faster with extra guidance. And this is where my frame of mind has been going lately, continuing to provide that leadership and mentorship to all those around, but more in the sense of creating more leaders and mentors. In skateboarding we were always pushed away, and opportunities were taken from us.

The skaters of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were not spoiled with skate parks and in honesty were not as tight knit with each others groups. But times have changed a lot and we have all learned acceptance. We now know that if your a skateboarder than we’re on the same team, and this team will fight the battle to the finish line to win our rights to be skateboarders for life and not have ignorant people ask us when we are going to grow up. If you’re with me on this say your opinion and let me know how it makes you feel to be part of this revolution. We are here to make a change, to help better the world, and to provide straight pathways to success for our next generation.

Are you with me?

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Extreme Sports Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind Skateboarding The Man I Am

True Loc’s of ND

I remember when North Delta Skate Park was first built in the early 2000’s, it was the new revolution of style that New Line was putting out at the time with that back and forth style where you just straight up practice your tricks instead of flowing so much throughout the whole park in lines. They had just built Port Moody before that and it had that sick bump to ledge/bump to rail that everyone was stoked on, but it was a big bump to a long small ledge and rail. So when they built ND they changed it up to have a higher ledge and rail that were shorter in length which made it easier to try more technical tricks. I swear this park revolutionized the street skating that we now live to believe is regular everyday life. When the Decenzo brothers, John Hanlon, Magnus and Lil’ Devin started hitting this park every day things changed fast and these young bucks started progressing to a crazy level of talent that hadn’t been seen from kids their age in a while.

Scotty Tyson was on that boat and a guy that most of you might not know was Craig Stewart. These two were all about trick in trick out shit and stepped the game up hard. When the park was fresh it was back when Substance Skate Shop was around in Newton, Surrey and I was the Team Manager. Coastal Riders had also just opened and both shop teams were stacked with raw young talent. We all hung out together and pumped each other up to skate harder and better. These were the sickest times for the Surrey and Delta collab, and we all localized ND Park every day.

There was a dude that was there what seemed like 24/7 named Orion Vincent and he just loved to film. Orion had a sick camera with a death lens and was not afraid to get in there with it. He filmed day and night and looked up to all us rippers big time, but it was Orion that was pushing all of us to push our own limits. One thing that makes a skater better at skating is having someone around that dedicates their life to filming them. It helps to learn how to work under pressure and you get to see yourself on video all the time which creates a better sense of style in skateboarders. Orion filmed hard every day and created a sick video that showcased the true raw talents of all the guys that were considered the true ND Loc’s at the time and he simply named it Loc’t.

This video was awesome, and there were so many people in it – myself Hippie Mike, Drew Boyle, Jay Mykyte, Surrey Stu, Scotty Tyson, John Hanlon, Magnus Hanson, Lil’ Devin, Craig Stewart, Adam Field, Dustin Montie, Scott Decenzo, Ryan Decenzo and tons more. The best part of the vid might be the day in the life with Ryan Decenzo when he just got his driver’s license and could barely see over the steering wheel, but he still goes out and annihilates everything in site. Orion pushed us all to be great skaters, but he also brought us all together as even closer friends.

This video showcases the serious old school talent of ND, Surrey & Langley locals and proves that it doesn’t matter where you live, what park you skate at or what shop you ride for, we can all get along together, support each other and unite as one – Skateboard for life!

Check it out


Lokt – Part 1 of 2

Lokt – Part 2 of 2

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Extreme Sports Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind Skateboarding The Man I Am

Always Ever Changing

If I could take you on a journey through time and show you how many times my life has changed I would, and I kind of already do through the website, but it would take a long long time to express it all. There are many things about me that will always stay the same but in order to grow you must always be ever changing. If you won’t make changes you cannot accept certain opportunities and then you end up stuck in one place. But also, never be to quick to change without being sure it’s worth it. Take this photo for instance, for the past 4-5 years my garage/shop at home has been set up as a Cabinet Shop for a business that I used to run, but now I have decided not to do that business anymore and I’m about to clear it out and build another mini ramp. It took me a year and a half to commit to this decision, but now it’s time for a change…

New Protest Ramp Location

I grew up in Ontario, and moved across the country at 19 with my girlfriend at the time, now wife, Carrie. It was probably the best change I ever made, for myself and for all the people here in BC that needed someone to help change their lives. I never would have guessed that it would have been me that would make such a positive difference in the world around us but sometimes strange things happen for a reason. I changed some things about myself when I decided to work for the City of Surrey back in 2003 and as I continued to work with children and youth more and more things about me changed. I became more caring towards individual people but still kept my hatred for the world as a whole. Because without that, I wouldn’t have the same initiative to help it change and benefit those individuals. After 10 years of working for the government, I changed a lot but I always kept my mind focused on the outcomes that I was looking for, and one thing that never changed was my determination to make those outcomes real – I will still fight any battle for as long as it takes to win it if I truly believe in it.

Working around kids really made me change as a person and I became so much more positive, I stopped caring about always winning and being the best at things, and I just finally got to utilize my teaching skills and have lots of opportunities to share all the knowledge I had gained through so many crazy life experiences. But nothing changed me more than having a kid of my own. When Carrie got pregnant in 2009 we were planning for it because we were ready for that change, and it was the best change ever. A child who loves you owns your heart, they are your soul and you will do anything for them. It changes the way you look at life, it makes you rethink risky and dangerous things a lot before doing them, and it gives you something to live for. Every minute I get to spend with Kaelen is worth the equivalent of a million dollars to me and even after everything I have been through in my life I couldn’t imagine not having him in it now. Every night I look at him sleep and know how lucky I am.

The world changes around us every day, but we get to choose which path to follow, which people to listen to, and what we want to do each day of our lives. Take advantage of that. Today I turn 35 years old, and I have changed a lot over those years but there are some things about me that will never change

  • I will always be a mentor, a teacher, a positive role model
  • I will always fight for what I believe is right and not give up
  • I will always be a shoulder to cry on for whoever needs one
  • I will always be a family man
  • and I will always be a skateboarder for life

Thank You

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Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind The Man I Am

Life is a Wild Ride – Jump On

It’s funny how when you’re growing up as a kid and everyone always asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most kids answer with the usual response of a Fireman, a Policeman, a Chef, a Teacher, or some other profession that they read about as toddlers. No one ever says “I wanna be a crazy skateboarder with a head overflowing with amazing memories from all the ridiculous things I’ve done in my life…” But that’s totally where we all end up!


When you choose the roads to travel you always try to plan ahead, but no matter what plan you make there will come times where many paths will be visible and you have to just choose one. These could be long paths that never end or short detours which come back to the original but either way, think hard before you make that choice. In my life I always try to choose 2 or 3 paths at once and try and get them to combine into one big wide one.

In my 28th year of skateboarding I have definitely made some history, and helped to change the world in many ways, positive and negative. Think about this – if you were a skateboarder in the 1980’s and 1990’s, then you helped to create skate stoppers just by street skating before there was an abundance of skate parks. And now because of us, architectural designers and engineers have to consider new formations of ledges, benches, designs of stairways and so on. It’s hilarious to drive down the street and see every building that has been built “Unskateable”. Why, because all of us kids that wanted to be Doctors and Lawyers grew up skateboarding and had fun. And then there are positive changes that we have made like creating acceptance for any person, not just the ones that are good enough to make “The Team”. Team sports are tough on kids, they are high demand, filled with lots of rules, and the coaches try and run your life sometimes. When a kid finds skateboarding, they find their Freedom, and learn that there are no limits. You can just be who you are and go skate. That’s a positive change in the world.

I look back at my childhood and I was always a really happy kid, even if I was getting bullied for being myself and dressing different than anyone else. I went through crazy times as a teenager, but that’s where most of my favourite memories exist, and as an adult it has just been one big whirlwind of meeting new people and creating new ventures.

So when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I was just a little kid, I answered a teacher. And I think that without going to University, and without following the system to a tee, and without bowing down to the man, I have been one of the best teachers this world has ever seen. And when I turn 35 years old this November, and someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m gonna tell them the truth –

I preach for Freedom

I teach Reality

I push for Unity

and I skateboard…

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Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind The Man I Am

Been Old for a Long Time – but that don’t stop us


Entering into the One Love Kickoff Contest in a special 30 & Over Category last weekend brought back some funny memories of back in the old days when by age I was still pretty young, but even then felt way too old. My favourite series of contests is the Bowl Series specifically for the reason that I’m not even close to the oldest competitor, but they are great because it shows a fact of how the older guys still rule the bowls, and even these young rippers have trouble placing against dudes in their 40’s.

I want to go back in time and tell you about a story from a contest held at the Skate Park in New West, and I’m not talking about Queensborough. I’m talking about the real New West Park on 8th St, old style bowl with coping in strange places, and tons of speed lines as long as you’re prepared to push 15 times as hard as you can before going into the bowl. It was a great park in it’s hayday, produced some solid skaters like Damon Kerr and Lil’ G, David Helmer, Ross Mcleister, and Dennis – you know Dennis. Between Lil’ G and Alex Chalmers, I think every gap remotely possible in this park has been done. I used to always say I hate New West Skate Park, but then I would always place Top 3 in every contest there, it was strange, there was something about that place that just fit my style back then I guess. So 1 day in about 2005 or 2006, Ross and Dennis decided to hold a competition there. The Bowl Series had removed New West off there map for contest locations so nothing else was ever happening there. These guys decided to throw a “Low Budget” contest and tons of people showed up. It was back when I was Team Manager for Substance Skate Shop and I showed up with a good chunk of the Crew – Jon Irvine, Cisco Gooding, Stu Benoit, Jay Mykyte, Drew Boyle, and of course Homer came for moral support. So they had a category called the Washed Up Category and you either needed to be Too Old, Too Injured, or Too Drunk to skate in the normal Advanced Category. Some of us fit all 3 of those assets. So there was only 3 of us in this category and really only 2 of us  had the ability to win – me and Barry. I can’t remember Barry’s last name but I would recognize his face in a second after this day.

So our turn happened later in the day and we were all feeling extra comfortable on our boards. The run began and off we went, I was killin’ it inside the bowl and on the outer obstacles. Ross and Dennis had no sound equipment for this event so there was just music blasting really loudly from a big ghettoblaster and then they would yell their instructions across the park. So of course it was really difficult to know what the hell was going on most of the time. So I thought that I heard them yell out “Last Tricks” and so I shot this  crazy line through both bowls carving and wrapping in figure 8 loops as fast as I could and then finishing it off with a wild wallride across the ledge on top of the bank, and I fell riding away. So I went over and sat around in our Surrey Corner, had a few sips and hung out for about 5-10 minutes. Then I got up and went back to land the line. This dude Rob filmed it and afterward he gave me a big hi five and said how awesome that line was. I just returned with, “Yeah, too bad I couldn’t land it in my run though.” That’s when Rob looked at me funny and said, “Dude, it is your run…”

So I went over and asked Ross and he was like, yeah you’re run’s still going. And I’m thinking what the hell has been happening during this 10 minute minute pitstop I just took, so I just ran back onto my board and started tearing it up again. So we’re going for like another 5 minutes or so and then I hear Ross yell out “Last Tricks”. This time, I know I heard it, so I drop a clean nose manual 360 shovit right in front of them and the crowd went crazy, then Barry busts a solid bigspin flip on the bank and the crowd went crazy; so I do a kickflip manual kickflip, Barry ollies some crazy gap, so I do a hands in the pockets kickflip on the bank, Barry tosses something on the quarter pipe, and it just kept going and going and going until finally Ross just told us to stop, and said it was a Tie!! I think we must have skated for like 25 minutes just the 2 of us, and we probably landed way more tricks then all the other guys that weren’t in the “Washed Up” Category. And after all that we each won $10 and a Tshirt. The shirt I won was an AXS Gear shirt, which I was already and still am sponsored by, and I paid for 4 people to enter at $5 each, so I was still out $10.

But it was a great battle that I’ll never forget about, and the crowd got a major Demo out of us that day.

Whether you like New West Skate Park or not, it’s always a good time…

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Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind The Man I Am

For the Love of the Game

The NBA All-Star Weekend starts today and it reminds me of why we all do what we do each and every day. You grow up trying new activities all the time as a kid and certain ones become your passions. These are the things that make you the most happy in life and are usually what you spend the majority of your free time doing. It could be Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Biking, Cooking, Reading, Writing, Knitting, whatever. But when you find that hobby that keeps you alive you work at it, and strive to learn as much as possible to be better at it than everyone else.

This happens constantly in the skateboard industry. As a young kid, you get your first skateboard and you start riding it around, then you meet some other dudes that like to ride their skateboards around and you start to learn tricks, now it becomes something that you really love to do and you drop a couple of your other hobbies to make more time for it as this is your passion, then the word passion becomes the word addiction. Now you’ve decided somewhere along the line that you are going to dedicate as much time as possible to skateboarding and go out there and learn and learn and learn. This is now your love.

Any professional sports player works very hard, and has to be fully dedicated to the game they play. All we see is what they show on TV which is just the exciting part, but we don’t see the hours of practise and training that happens behind the scenes. We don’t see the arguments and frustrations that happen constantly from being overworked and always travelling. All we see is the highlights, the end result of what all that hard work has produced.

No matter what your passion is, if you are trying to turn it into a career, at some point you will start to hate it. You will overdo it and begin to wonder if all this was just a waste of your time. And when you realize that you will never be able to make it a full time career, if you allow the frustration to take over, you will eventually quit altogether…

I never understood how people dedicate years of their life to something that they cared so much about and then just completely walk away from it and never do it again, ever.

Where’s the love?

What happened to the passion?

What happened to you?

It’s always the people who actually fell in love with their hobby that stick with it for life. As you get older, your body changes and you can’t always continue to work as hard as you used to, and for all the sports guys, you can’t take the hits anymore. But you can still play, you can still go out and be active and have fun with your friends. Maybe you can’t handle doing it for hours every day anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should quit. That means you should go back to your roots of when you first discovered this passion that was so great it took over whole your life, and just do it for the love again. Quit striving to be the best, and just be a survivor.

For the Love of the Game…

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Hippie Mike's Messed Up Mind The Man I Am

Who Are You? Really?

Being into extreme sports you meet a lot of different people over your lifetime, but do you really know them? People judge each other on what they know and see, and maybe don’t realize that it could be the past of a person that is what really makes them who they are. You only know someone from the time you first meet them, your grandparents are wrinkled and grey, you mom or dad are already grown ups and it’s hard to picture them any other way, or believe that they used be crazy teenagers like yourself at one time. Even when you see pictures of people you know that existed before you knew them, you don’t fully believe it.

What do you know about me? Who am I anyway?

Maybe you were there when I was helping the sport of snowboarding progress to the point it’s at now. And maybe you’ve never seen me on a snowboard so you just figure I don’t ride….

Maybe you were there when I was flying off rooftops, inventing new tricks and destroying the streets on my skateboard. And maybe you just see me as some fat lazy tranny rider that just likes cruisin’ around…

Maybe you were there when I was pushed down by society for what I looked like and believed in and spent every day hating the government and fighting for change. And maybe you think I just work for the City in my cushy office job and have an easy life…

Maybe you were there when I moved across the country away from everyone we knew with everything we owned and completely started over at age 19 to get rid of my depression and try to find happiness. And maybe you just thought I grew up in Surrey, was always happy and have lots of friends here…

Maybe you were there when we lived on Hastings Street, partied every day and survived off all the used skateboards and shoes that people would give us. And maybe you just think we always owned the house we live in and I always had all brand new equipment and owned a skateboard company…

Maybe you were there, maybe you weren’t.

My point is you only know someone from the time you know them, and not everyone has a biography written about them that explains everything that they’ve done to help change the world, or tell you about all the struggles they’ve faced and battles they’ve fought. And sometimes you might want to take the time to learn about people and what made them who they are today, and how they helped make you who you are too.

Don’t just know people from today, know them from yesterday.

Think about it, what do you really know about your friends, about your neighbours, about your own family members and what they did in this world in the past to make a difference?

Maybe it’s time to learn

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