I first met Mike Mo during a limo ride to the CCS Garden State signing a few months back. After P. Rod had to cancel, Mike stepped into the line-up, no questions asked. A professional move? Perhaps. But it’s more like Mike Mo is down for anything that might be a good time. Mike’s pretty much psyched on life and everything it has to offer. And if he’s bummed on anything all, he’s managing to laugh about it all. Another professional move, you might say.
I recently got Mike on the phone a week after he wrapped his King Of The Road stint with Lakai, which they happen to win. We talked about the upcoming Chocolate/Girl video, his ongoing ankle hot pocket battle, his new sponsor Hex, Lil Wayne and more.
You just got back from King of the Road. How was that? Dude, it was actually really fun. It was tight. Guy Mariano is the sickest person ever. He was giving us like speeches and stuff. He was so motivated. It was tight.
Is it as grimy as everyone says? It is kind of like that. We’d wake up at 10 in the morning and we’d skate to like 4 or 5 in the morning and it reminded me exactly of a Fully Flared trip. Or filming for this new Girl and Chocolate video, it reminds me of the same thing. It’s like no brakes at all, you just go. It’s actually pretty sick though. You also do a lot of things that you would never do. We were in Reno and we had to cut all of our shorts off. You know Reno 911, that dude?
Terry, the guy Nick Swardson plays. Yeah, yeah. The whole time we were in Reno we all wore short cut off shorts. And if you do that you get 100 points for it. And 100 points for King of The Road is huge. We’re like we got to do it. Like, I was wearing a Snuggie in San Francisco for the whole entire time I was there. I would be in Starbucks ordering drinks. And I’m in a f***ing zebra Snuggie. When do you ever get to do stupid sh*t like that? It’s so funny.
Do you still have that haircut from the trip? Dude, no. I just had that for two days. I had like the Lakai logo my head. It was bald up top with like a little dread tied into my hair. It was such a terrible haircut. It was great.
So you just shaved it all off? You know the balding area, the cul-de-sac area? Well actually Reynolds is the guy that made it bald for me. He took a razor and just shaved it down with shaving cream so it was all nice and smooth up there. And when I got home I shaved it but I still have a bald spot. It looks like I’m balding.
Are you living with your folks still in Simi? No I’ve got my own place now with my brother. I was even thinking about moving. I don’t know. Me and my brother have been talking about moving just closer out there. Maybe Studio City or something like that. My brother works at The Berrics now and I honestly don’t have anyone to skate with at all. All my friends have girlfriends or jobs or school. You know, it’s cool, that’s fine. I just don’t have anyone to hang out with anymore. So my whole crew just faded off. I can honestly be here for a whole week and just not skate with one of my friends. So it’s like what’s the point of being out here?
What’s been going on with the Girl/Chocolate video? Yeah, we’re just filming for that video. Dude, that was just so stressful because I was hurt for over a year. My ankle was just sh*tty for like a full year, so I just skipped out on a full year of filming. And when I watch my footage I’m just like, ‘F**k! I need more!’ They’re trying to get it out by the end of this year, which I don’t believe is going to happen. But they say that. I think they just use that for us as motivation to really get on it. Which works, but I don’t believe it. When they tell me a premiere date, then I’ll believe it. But I feel like it’ll be end of next summer or something. So, I got to start going to work.
Is it going to be even split between everyone on the Girl/Chocolate squads? It’s going to be more like, let’s say I have a part, Malto has a part, Corey has a part, Guy has part, then Vince, Marc, Kenny….it’s up to everybody if they want their own part or not. It’s not really directed towards Girl or Chocolate, it’s just whoever has enough footage for a part will have a part.
So are you all healed up now? Honestly, I would say I’m probably at 95%. I’m good. I can’t jump down stairs again and it doesn’t hurt. I can skate ledges fine. Everything finally feels back to normal. Everything feels good; it’s just like a time warp a year later. It’s part of skateboarding though. It happens. I couldn’t skate at all for like 4 or 5 months, and then I started getting back on my board and it felt really sh*tty. Like if I did a kickflip and landed just a tiny bit weird, I would be out for two weeks. It was like 4 or 5 months of nothing at all, and like 6 months of just hurting it over and over again. I would get this gnarly hot pocket. Like I would do a Back Tail on a ledge and come out Fakie and just land heavy on my back foot, and I would be out for another two weeks. I would just feel good one day and then BAM! hot pocket, out for another two weeks. It kept doing that for like 6 or 7 months, and just recently it started not doing that. I don’t know what happened. I was trying a Nollie Backside Heel down some steps, landed weird and that same hot pocket thing happened again, but it just went away. It was the weirdest thing. It happened, and the next day my ankle felt so good. I don’t know what the hell happened, but it was just like magic, it went away. I must have just jammed it back into place. I’m not gonna ask why or complain. I’ll take it.
You’re last full video part was Fully Flared. How do you go about putting together another video part that stands out amongst today’s insanity level of skateboarding? I’ve been dealing with this in my head. This is a good question. I’ve been mentally trying to figure this one out as well. I always think about it like this….I gave Fully Flared my all, so it’s like how do you outdo your all? Like right now if I were to try some tricks that I did in Fully Flared, it would take me just as long as it did when I did them four years ago when I was 17. It would still be as hard. So how do you outdo that trick that still takes you so f***ing long to do? How do you outdo that? It’s hard. You almost got to understand that people like what you do and you just got to basically do what you do. I remember Daewon saying, “I always do 180 Fakie Manuals and Fakie Ollie Fakie Manuals…I’m always on my back truck…but…f**k it, I like being on my back truck.”
People want to see you skate. It’s the same as when people want more from Pappalardo or Gino. It’s no different. I think people tend to get board with seeing Nollie Crooked Grinds down 12 stairs. Yeah, but imagine if Gino Nollie Crooked grinded a 12 stair! You’d be like, F**k Yeah! You’d be psyched! You basically have to do you, even if sometimes you have a hard time accepting that.
So you just got on Hex? Actually, the dude that works at Hex hit up Todd from Skatelab because a couple of the guys who run it live in Simi. My dad actually sold one of the main dudes over there a house. It’s pretty weird. So they hit me up through Skatelab. They emailed me and asked me if I was interested. I looked at their website and everything looked tight. All their stuff is really nice and it’s sick that they make accessories for iphones and ipods and all that. That’s my sh*t right there!
What if somebody wanted to pay you a sh*tload of money to ride for Blackberry? You taking offers? Oh yeah, I’d be like f**k iPhones (laughs)!
You’re all over the Twitter and Instagram. Are you hyped on these things? It’s not that I’m hyped on it, it’s just that I’m so bored all the time. It’s like what else am I gonna look at. It’s also good for you too, to keep in contact with people and kids and to see what your friends are up to. I’ll be like, Oh Atiba is at the bar right now, getting drunk with Ako. Cool.
You recently kicked it with Lil Wayne at The Berrics, right? I wouldn’t say I kicked it (laughs). We skated together a little bit. It’s rad cause he is hyped on skateboarding, I’ll tell you that. He loves skateboarding. He’ll do a Rock To Fakie and just come down psyched. Biggest smile on his face. It’s almost refreshing to watch. Cause it’s like if a do a rock to fakie I’m like, ‘Oh God!’
Ha! Like pissed about it! Yeah, and it’s just sick to see him do a Rock to Fakie and just because of the feeling of it. And it’s almost like you’ve been skating for so long, you almost forget that feeling a little bit. To see him try to kickflip and he flips his board over half way and he’s psyched that he flipped it, that’s just so rad to watch. He’s just so dedicated. He skated for like 3 hours straight.
What’s next for you Mike? I don’t know. That’s a good question. I’m actually going to China, October 25th and I’m pretty hyped. I haven’t been there since I was like 17. China is the sh*t. We’re going to skate the Chinese X Games out there. That’s how we got all our tickets. The X Games out there hit up Girl and were like, ‘Hey we’ll give all your riders tickets if they all skate the X Games.’ It’s like Mariano will be skating the X Games in China. All of us skating the X Games in China. That sounds so fun! We’re starting the trip at the X Games and then we’re going filming for like 2 straight weeks after. It’s so tight. The Chinese X Games! I’m so psyched on that! I’m gonna do like a Nollie Flip over the hip and be like, ‘YEAAAH!’ It’s gonna be so fun to skate a contest with all the Girl dudes because I never skated a contest with any of those guys.
Skate photos by Ben Colen, Courtesy of Girl.
Portraits Courtesy of Hex.
Get Mike’s signature goods and more from Girl, Lakai and HEX here.