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Being Mark Appleyard

4/22/2009
Mark Appleyard knows what he wants out of life, and it's surprisingly simple: good weather, good food and good friends. That, and skating — lots and lots of skating. While many pros with less than half Appleyard's talent are out chasing beverage sponsors, jewels, fortune and fame, he's taking it easy — skating for fun with friends. Know why? Because Appleyard knows that skating is its own reward, "It's just the greatest thing ever — what else is there to life?" Well said, Mark.

When you have the skills that Appleyard has, you don't have to live with the distractions that can keep you from that greatest thing ever. So yeah, being Mark Appleyard must be pretty damn sweet. — Adam Salo

Do you think this video is a good interpretation of an average day with you at home in Huntington Beach?
Pretty much. When I'm at home, I ride my bike to get a coffee, go skate — sometimes I go skate different places — but yeah, that's the basis of a day in Huntington Beach for me.

What are your usual skate spots when you're home?
I usually just go to the Volcom park which is only a 20-minute drive from here. There's not really any spots right here. There used to be skatepark, but the city just took it out.

You still got the ashtray!
Oh my God! Worst skatepark in the whole entire world. It's an insult.

What about days on the road? You guys have obviously been traveling to film for Extremely Sorry. Are you away more than you're home right now?
I'd say I'm home more. A lot of the filming happens in L.A. or California, more or less. I used to go on more trips; I would stay in the different countries after tours ended. But I'm more chill now. I like being in California.

When you are away, is it casual?
I have few spots I like to go to: Toronto, Vancouver, The Cayman Islands. I have family in all those places. There's a park in the Cayman Islands that's pretty fun. That island is a trip. There are not many people; it's a tiny island. There's maybe 20 people, tops, who skate on the whole island. It's kind of weird because it's such a huge park and you skate it with one or two other people. It works out. I've gone on trips there with a few people, and it's always fun. They've got one of those mechanical wave surfing machines next to the park. It's kinda dangerous. Out of the posse we took down, more people got hurt on the wave thing than did skating. Alain Goikoetxea had to get stitches.

Is Huntington home now or do you still consider Canada home?
I guess California is home now; I've been living here for almost 10 years. But I still would like to go back to Canada, too. Ultimately, I'd like to have a place in California and a place in British Columbia. Then I'd be ballin.'

Now that you do consider yourself Californian, what's something you miss from Canada that you can't get in the States?
All the beers are different there. Even the food is different. There's a place called Lick's Homeburgers — that's one. And I miss the mountains and the views in B.C. It's just a really nice place. I don't miss the two and one dollar coins, I can tell you that.

You've been filming for Extremely Sorry for a while now. How's it coming along?
I'm satisfied with my part. It's not me they're waiting on. If it came out tomorrow, I'd be satisfied with my part.

No last-minute stress or bangers you really want to get in?
I'm kind of over that, man. It's like, whatever. It's just footage of me skating. Take it or leave it. I'm not gonna try to do crazy last-minute s---. I'm just skating.

Have you seen any of the rough edits of other people's parts yet?
Yeah, I've seen most of the footage. Louie Lopez and David Gonzalez both have good stuff. Shane Cross (RIP) has a really awesome part. Rodrigo TX, Geoff, I mean everybody has good stuff. None of it would be in there if it wasn't top-notch stuff. It's pretty bonkers, basically.

The team has changed a lot since the last video. Is it weird for you, having been with them for so long, or has it been a natural progression?
It's evolving. It's different. It's cool, though. We have a lot of kids on there, but these days, kids are an asset to the company's future.

Of the new kids and guys who came over from The Firm, who are your favorites to watch and to skate with?
Rodrigo. He's one of my good friends so it's cool that he rides for Flip.

If you could cherry pick any one skater from another team to put on Flip or Globe without there being any hard feelings from their previous sponsor, who would you pick and why?
Kalis, Josh Kalis. That's my boy. Skated The Berrics with him yesterday. Gotta give The Berrics some props. That place is keeping skateboarding alive in L.A. So many people roll through there in a day. It's sick. Made me want to move up to LA. There's a big Long Beach-and-L.A.-thing going on lately. Makes sense because Orange County's kinda stoops.

What about skating keeps it interesting for you to keep going and progressing every day?
Just the freedom. I'm only going to put energy into something that makes me happy. I'm not the kind of person who could ever have a J-O-B. No way. I've never had one. And that's just not me anyway. The other reason is that skateboarding is just the greatest thing ever. F---, what the hell else is there to life? I don't know what else there is!

You've taken a real interest in photography over the years. What sparked that and what are your favorite things to shoot?
One of my good friends, Ryan Allan, is a photographer. He grew up where I grew up. Even when I was young, I would pick up on it. I would take photos for Canadian skate magazines. And homies would tell me about how the photo s--- works. I'd mess around with their cameras and shoot a sequence or whatever. Then when I got some money, I bought a Hasselblad. I don't really use flashes or anything like that. I'm more into natural light and panoramic settings, the XPan setting. I had a darkroom in my old apartment but nowadays I just shoot stuff and have someone else print them.

What's your preferred subject matter for photos?
I usually shoot whatever is funny or maybe even some weird nature s---. One of my favorite pictures is one that I have framed. It's just a picture of some land in Iceland. It's a really green, mossy landscape. The camera really picked up the green tones. It's sick.

What are three ingredients for an ideal day?
Good weather, good food and good friends.

What's that perfect meal to top off a perfect day?
It might be a steak, medium-well. With veggies or a baked potato. Steak and baked potatoes are bangin' — a fat bastard meal right there.

In all your travels, have you ever had a truly gnarly experience that made for a story you'll never forget?
I was in South Africa once, skating at this university. I was skating a ledge next to some glass, which I'll never do again. The board shot out and smashed the glass. I kicked through the glass with my foot as I fell. Magically, it didn't cut me; I got out without a scratch. But then after that the security dudes started running after us. So me and Darrell bombed this hill off the campus. We got all lost running from these dudes. That was one. There were lots of crazy times in Barcelona with Ali Boulala, too.

After the Flip video has premiered and is in the bag, do you have any non-skate plans? A vacation or anything like that?
Nah, not really. I'm trying to get more in the mix with skating, try to do an interview for a magazine or something. I got to film my Globe part after that. I don't really like non-skate vacations because after the second day I'm like, f---! I wish I brought my board. It's a part of me, man. I can't not do it.