No Appologies: Mark Appleyard Txt and photos: Deeli
It’s been five years since Flip’s Really Sorry and since Mark Appleyard was voted skater of the year. Five years since his last major video part. Apples was twenty back then, which makes him a quarter of a century now. Five years is a long time in skateboarding and a lot has happened since Really Sorry. Big name sponsors have lined up behind Appleyard’s door, Flip has gone through a lot of changes and skating itself has seen perhaps the most insane upgrading ever in terms of tricks that have turned from impossible to commonplace. But the one thing that has not happened is any sort of change of pace in Appleyard’s own skating. The past five years may not have seen a video part from him, but there’s been a steady stream of interviews, tour articles and individual photos in virtually every skate mag out there all these years. A nice little fact to keep in mind when we’re waiting for Extremely Sorry to drop sometime early next year. All that footage has to go somewhere, right? Another little bit of info on the dude is that the photos in this interview were shot at a rate of about two a day. There’s been more than fifteen hundred days since the last Flip video. Can’t wait to see what happened during all those days? We can’t either. Here’s a little taster to help pass the time.
You’ve been in Europe for a while now, right?
I’ve been in Europe for like three months. I went home to California for two weeks, came back to Finland and then I’ve been to Barcelona in between. I pretty much spent the best months of the year in Finland, to put it that way, the warm months. I haven’t really been keeping track of time. I rented my flat out to a friend in Cali and just felt like cruising for a while.
No specific reason?
Not really. I chose to come to Finland because I know a girl here and I’ve been coming here for the past four years here and there. This was actually my first summer here, though. Every other time has been over Christmas or in the winter.
You must have thought it was pretty miserable.
It’s totally different in the summer, everyone’s a lot happier. It kind of reminds me of Ontario, where I’m from.
So you grew up with long winters?
Oh yeah, I skated skateparks and underground parking lots through out the winter, did all that. And then when I was 17 I just realized that that’s it, I’m not going to put myself through another winter. I figured there was a better way to live. I’d promised my mom I’d graduate high school and the day after the last class I peaced out to California. I really went for it, I had nothing else in my mind except for being in warm weather all the time. Sleeping on a friend’s couch for six months was like a blessing, I was just stoked to be where the weather was!
And things took off from there?
I just never let anything hold me back because I never wanted to get attached to anything that wasn’t part of my main goal, my dream. And I still find it difficult to get involved in anything else that might sidetrack me from what I’m trying to do. Do you often go back to Canada?
My parents are both from England originally, they moved to Canada, had me and my brother and then my family split up when I was young. Eventually, my mom moved to the Carribean, my brother moved to the west part of Canada and my dad staid back at the town where I grew up. So I don’t really feel like I have a home back there anymore. I still have really good friends there that I grew up with, but I feel like California’s my home now. I’m going to move back to British Columbia at some point, I definitely will never forget my Canadian roots. [British Columbia] is a really visual place, lot of green, lot of mountains, next to the ocean. I’m on a mission to make that my home in the next five years or something.
So the video then. Can’t let you not talk about the video, I’m afraid. I think everybody’s pretty anxious to see it.
Everybody’s really anxious, I’m really anxious, everybody just wants it to come out already. I think it’s a little bit out of my control, though. I think they’re perfectionists when it comes to putting their stuff out, they want it to be quality, they want it to be a timeless, epic film. It’s not so much the skateboard footage they’re waiting on, they’re doing some animation and stuff like that. They’re going to make it like a film with a little story line to it. I know people are sick of waiting and it’s making us all sick. But I think that doing it this way is hyping it up and when it does come out everyone will want to see it. The trailer got really good response, people are like you need to drop this now, I don’t have that much time to be waiting around!
Back when you guys were filming for Sorry, Arto was saying how he’d hear rumours about some stuff that he’s supposedly done when he hadn’t even been to the spot, ever.
Yeah, people just start making up things, but that’s all part of the hype though, it’s how it goes. It just means that they want to see that shit!
It’s almost five years now since Really Sorry. Did you keep on filming right after and saving footage for the new one ever since then?
Nah…those two, Sorry and Really Sorry kind of bought me some time to do what I want to do. They got me hooked up with some good deals and I have been skating ever since, I just haven’t really had anywhere to put the footage. I’ve been filming ever since, but I think it’s better to make quality than quantity. If it takes a long time, it just means it’ll be quality. I’m going to pick and choose and just use the smoothest stuff, cause that’s what I’m all about now. I feel I’ve matured a lot since my last video part.
You’ve been skating a lot of tranny recently. Is your Extremely Sorry part going to have a lot of that in there?
Yeah, it’s more flowy and what I feel is more original. I’ve just concentrated more on the actual cruise and the ride of the skateboard, more so than the trick itself. Just enjoying the cruise, keeping a line going.
What about Globe, they do those United by Faith things, you have one coming up?
Yeah, they do like a quarterly video and they highlight a different rider each time and I’m going to be working on one of those, which will be released in I’d say February or January even. It’s hard to say with these things, but the footage is there. I don’t own my own companies, but if I did, I’d be putting it all out tomorrow! Which is why I’ve been thinking of putting something on Youtube, just a little something you know, cause I do get tired of dealing with companies’ schedules and things like that sometimes.
A Youtube part?
Sure! If I go out skating with friends for three weeks, if there’s good sessions and the motivation’s there, that’s cool, why not? I’m not planning on jumping down 20 stairs for it, I just want to cruise, maybe back smith a quarter pipe, just to show people it’s all about fun!Cayman Island. Or is it Islands?
There’s three. There’s one main one, where the skatepark is.
What’s your connection with the place?
Nothing, we own a house there. I bought my mom a house there. I go there here and there, I’ve been going there since before they had that world’s second largest skate park.
Were you involved in making that thing happen?
Not really. They were going to make it anyway, but I met the guy who was funding it and he showed me the plans and I just gave him a little bit of advice. Like don’t put any stairs in there, it’s a skate park. People just want to roll. It was going to have stuff like double set handrails and stairs and stuff. I just gave him my opinion, which I think ended up changing the whole plan completely. It turned out really good. It’s just too hot to skate there!
It’s too hot?
Yeah, it’s like humid hot, it’s different hot from what people would be used to in Europe or Canada!
What’s a good time of year to go?
Any time that’s not the hurricane season! Do some research on that on the internet.
Does it get pretty gnarly there with the ol’ wind?
Yeah, it can get pretty bad. There was that hurricane Ivan that went there and did some damage. A lot of horses died.
Really? What did they die of?
There was like a lot of water and nothing for them to eat. They were up to like their neck in water. It made it awkward for them. In Blackpool, where Bardy’s from, some old dude got killed when the wind blew him against the wall a couple of years ago. He was just doing his shopping or something. You go to Cayman a lot?
Yeah, my mom lives there, I go like twice a year. It’s nice, I recommend it!
Anything else besides the park there to skate?
No, you just got to bring some swimming shorts.
Not really (haha)! Lobsters, they’ve got lobsters, stuff like that.
You want to say anything about the tattoo you got when we took the portrait for this?
One Love, it’s just something you can say and I think people can dig it. It kind of represents some sort of knowledge, knowing what’s up on a grander scale. It’s easy on the eyes man, straight away you can tell that I’m chill when I meet you. And I’d been listening to Bob Marley for like six months straight, I think that had something to do with it! (haha)You’re going to be in a video game soon right?
Yeah, I’m going to be in Skate 2 for, I don’t know, Playstation. My character looks just like me, it’s got the tattoo and everything.
Is it your first video game?
It’s my first video game. I don’t play too many videogames but this one’s really cool.
Did they make you skate in one of those cyber suits to get your movements?
Nah nothing like that, it was pretty basic. They just took pictures of me, in like 360 angle. I went into this voice recording studio in LA where they recorded like two hours worth of stuff from me.
They’ve got you speaking on it?
Yeah, we just recorded things like, “Congratulations, you’ve made it to the next level!" or “Ride on!" or “Heads up!"
Did you swear for the slams?
I was swearing a bit but they probably take that off…I’m stoked to be in it though, it’s good publicity and it’s good for numerous things. It’s kind of why I’m doing this Kingpin interview as well, you know. The world is bigger than the US and the US magazines, and I just want to be out there on a broad scale for the fans out here in Europe as well. Just a little Jah blessing!