Voted Street Skater Of The Year by his professional colleagues in this year’s TWS Riders’ Poll, the Appleyard Pro Spotlight has been a long time comin’. Geoff Rowley dug a few layers under Mark’s epidermis to see what exactly makes this Canadian-born victim of madness tick.

Appleyard Interrogation 06/09/03 12:30 p.m.

By Von Rowley

State your complete name and birth date.

Mark Ian Appleyard—November 11, 1982.

At what age did you find your path on a skateboard?

It must’ve been when I was around ten. I’m twenty now, so I guess that was in ’93. My brother got me into it. He’d been skating for like two years before me, and I was playing baseball or whatever. Then I got into skating and just f—ked everything else off—it was skating from then on.

Did being from another planet (Toronto, Canada)help keep you amped on skating? I found being so far from So Cal always left me wanting more—the California dream—in all its glory. It held huge dreams for me, and I couldn’t contain myself from thinking about what my favorite skaters were going to do in the next magazine or video. Did you have those same kinds of dreams?

(Laughs) Is this interview for you or for me?

It’s not about me, just answer the question.

Okay. Did I have the same kind of dreams? Oh, for sure, man. Once I started reading the mags and knew what was out there. It’s cold half the year, so it sucked. But I guess being from somewhere that’s not California, I had more drive to get out there. If you were already here, you wouldn’t have to work as hard to make it.

Some things haven’t changed much then, have they?

What do you mean?

Well, things are pretty much still the same. You know, in all the pisspedalling speed of the modern day …

(Huge laugh.)

… the California skate dream still lives on. Do you agree?

Uh, the way my mentality is toward it?

Well, I think a lot of people think like that. They don’t live here.

Oh yeah, for sure. It’s motivation—you want to make it, you come out here.

What’s the capital of California?

Sacramento.

Oh, good one. What’s the capital of the Cayman Islands?

There isn’t a capital to the Cayman Islands.

There must be a capital town.

Georgetown, it’s Georgetown.

It’s easy to find out the things that make you tick—give you a burrito, an Asian woman, a perfect concrete park, and I do believe you’d be the happiest man alive.

Oh, yes. When this whole pro thing is over, I plan on finding somewhere to live that’s close to either a good skatepark or some kind of relaxing scene. I don’t know, I’ll move away to Thailand or something.

You skate more than anyone I know, and you’re always up for a session. What would you do if skateboarding were taken away from you? No more nollie heel noseslides. What now?

I’d probably contemplate suicide. I don’t know what I’d do. I have nothing else I feel this way about.

You’d have no future, no goals?

No, I’m a simple man. I don’t want much out of life except for simple pleasures.

Who has the most pop on the Flip team?

I don’t know, man. Arto’s got some pop.

Who has the worst pop on the team?

Oh, (Ian) Deacon or someone ?(laughs).

What’s the secret to being a professional skateboarder? What does it really take?

I don’t know. I can’t even believe people still pay me to do this. I mean, I don’t really do anything except skate when people call me to go skating. Maybe I wouldn’t be jumping off as many stairs if I weren’t pro.

That’s the secret? You do nothing. You do whatever you want.

Well, yeah. Sometimes when people need an ad, you can’t just pass off something—that’s the profession in the world, if you ask me.

The next queion’s rad, check this one: You travel more than Tony Hawk, so you’ve probably skated marble curbs in more countries than anyone I know. If you could transplant “skateboarding from California, where would you take it?

As a whole, I’d take to somewhere sunny all year round. Maybe Australia—it’s pretty fun to skate, and it has a good scene. Or maybe somewhere that I haven’t been to yet.

If I were a trillionaire, I’d fence off California. I’d knock down 90 percent of the houses, clear the cops out, and handpick my skate residents, starting with Jake Phelps

(Laughs) Jake Phelps is one of my favorite humans alive.

… I’ll allow you to bring four skaters with you—pick them out.

Oh, four skaters. I think it’d have to be my friend Sean Moe, my brother …

Your brother and three Asian girl skaters.

… Jake Phelps, and Neil Young.

What’s the difference between a Grosman grab (front hand between the legs) and a roast beef?

I’ve never heard of a Grosman. Jeff Grosman—is that a person (laughs)?

The Appleyard family is a skate family, right?

Yeah, man. My brother skates, and my mom helped get a park built. I guess they’re pretty active. My dad doesn’t have anything to do with it. I don’t even think he knows I skate out here in California (laughs).

Does your family buy the mags and look for you in them?

Oh yeah, for sure. My mom lives alone in the Cayman Islands, and that’s the only way she sees me, through the mags.

My mum sees absolutely nothing, and she’s never seen me skate. I shudder at the thought of them watching me in such a ridiculous way.

Don’t they ever see your ads or see your TV commercials or anything like that?

They see nothing.

Well, that’s crazy. What, you don’t want them to see it?

Next question. I know you agree with the “no girlfriend on tour or at a skate spot rule. The thought of a bickering woman whilst I’m falling in the dirt makes me cringe. What do you think about that?

(Laughs) I can’t even skate if there’s a pretty girl in the vicinity, man. I’ll feel like a fool and definitely fall a lot more trying to impress her.

See, I think that’s one of the reasons why you don’t have a lady—because you won’t compromise how you want to live your life …

So you knew what my answer was gonna be (laughs)?

… and that’s why you skate more and better than us all. Skateboarding is your priority, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Well, at this point in my life I don’t have many cares in the world except that I gotta skate. I’ve never had a girlfriend, and I don’t think I’d want one. I never want to call and check in with anybody.

You’re a lucky man.

What, you can’t do that?

Well, not everyone gets to live their dreams.

I know I’m very lucky. I think about it all the time.

Well, don’t blow it!

(Laughs) I’ll try not to.

The law of skateboarding is a messed-up place. Me, you, kids everywhere get arrested, harassed, fined, and victimized almost every day. Make your statement to the real world be known. It’s time we had a say, instead of just being told to shut up and sit down.

Definitely. But you gotta think about it, we’re wrecking property. I guess I see it from both ways. We should just get kicked out. That thing we had to go through with the f—kin’ court was bullshit. I guess technically we could sue, even though no one ever does that. We’re wrecking nice, expensive marble ledges.

That’s a bloody good time doin’ it.

Oh yeah, for sure—it’s fun as f—k. People just don’t see it—they just want you to skate a skatepark. You can’t have a pro career in a skatepark.

Mark Appleyard Interrogation Part Two 06/10/03 10:30 p.m.

Okay, Mark. Time for round two, so sit down and shut up.
What have you been doing with your days? Where in god’s name have they been going?

(Laughs) I know. They go quick. Sometimes they just go, man—like you don’t even realize it and a month’s passed. I don’t know what I’ve been doin’.

Have you been living “the video days?

Pretty much, man. I’ve just been living on my own schedule. Staying up real late and watching movies.

Making five videos at once.

F—k, I know. People are hounding me right now for all these videos, so I’ve been skating my ass off. But I do sleep in to like 12:00 p.m. and you can’t do much on the weekdays ’cause everything’s at a school in California. Basically, I just waste time and wait for the weekend—that’s when I try to get shit done. But we’ve been lightin’ shit up every once in a while.

Did you finish high school?

Oh, most definitely. Yeah, I was going to not finish, but I guess I decided to finish. I went to two different high schools. I was going to an academic high school, like the regular one for normal kids, and then I couldn’t hang with that shit, so I had to go to trade school where all the classes are like woodworking, plumbing, or some kind of labor-nonthinking thing. I went there, and a year later I went back and graduated from the normal academic school. So, half and half.

Good boy. Were you popular in those days, or were you a rejected skateboarder who no one gave a shit about?

Nah, I wasn’t really popular and I wasn’t really rejected—I was kind of just there. I was there to get it over with, man.

So you were barely accepted?

Yeah, kind of. I was a loner. I had a couple friends who skated. I left as soon as the bell rang when everyone else was hangin’ out and smoking. I was over it. I went home or to the skatepark.

Long and skinny, or fat and wide, your board that is?

(Laughs) Oh, in that case, fat and long.

A couple of years ago you would’ve been clinically diagnosed as having A.D.D.—attention deficit disorder—psychopathically paying attention only to what pleased you. Some call it “madness. You’ve definitely eased off on this problem. Is it the old age or the purple haze?

Have I eased off? In my own little world I’m getting crazier and crazier. It’s getting better in front of people, but when I come home alone it just gets deeper. I’m still crazy. In school, the teachers told my parents to get me on some kind of crazy drug. It might’ve been Ritalin, but my mom didn’t want me taking any kind of drugs like that. (Laughs) I don’t know if that was for better or for worse, but f—k that Ritalin shit.

So you’re off the purple haze?

Yeah, man. I’m livin’ easy.

What music gets you amped in the morning? What makes it all worthwhile? And don’t say the Hives.

I definitely won’t. I listen to a whole bunch of different shit—I just got one of those iPods. I try to fill it up with random and really embarrassing things to whatever I hear when I’m in someone’s car. If I like it, I’ll go get it. Johnny Cash gets me going usually. Anything deep and emotional is usually pretty good (laughs).

I hate house cats. How’s Cinnamon Sugar?

(Laughs) You just hate them ’cause you’re allergic to them. She’s good, I haven’t talked to her … (laughs) I mean, I haven’t seen her in a while. My dad sent a photo of her—she’s a lot bigger and she’s all brown now. She seems to be healthy. She doesn’t get to go outside, though, so she’s bummed on that.

Why not?

‘Cause one time she got out and was gone for a little while—we’d thought we’d lost her. We have a leash for her—my dad used to walk her on a leash. I’m from a dysfunctional family, that’s for sure.

It’s nice to end on a pleasant note, wouldn’t you agree?

Oh, most definitely.

You’ve had plenty of help from friends and sponsors on your path. I think it’s time to just thank youyou been doing with your days? Where in god’s name have they been going?

(Laughs) I know. They go quick. Sometimes they just go, man—like you don’t even realize it and a month’s passed. I don’t know what I’ve been doin’.

Have you been living “the video days?

Pretty much, man. I’ve just been living on my own schedule. Staying up real late and watching movies.

Making five videos at once.

F—k, I know. People are hounding me right now for all these videos, so I’ve been skating my ass off. But I do sleep in to like 12:00 p.m. and you can’t do much on the weekdays ’cause everything’s at a school in California. Basically, I just waste time and wait for the weekend—that’s when I try to get shit done. But we’ve been lightin’ shit up every once in a while.

Did you finish high school?

Oh, most definitely. Yeah, I was going to not finish, but I guess I decided to finish. I went to two different high schools. I was going to an academic high school, like the regular one for normal kids, and then I couldn’t hang with that shit, so I had to go to trade school where all the classes are like woodworking, plumbing, or some kind of labor-nonthinking thing. I went there, and a year later I went back and graduated from the normal academic school. So, half and half.

Good boy. Were you popular in those days, or were you a rejected skateboarder who no one gave a shit about?

Nah, I wasn’t really popular and I wasn’t really rejected—I was kind of just there. I was there to get it over with, man.

So you were barely accepted?

Yeah, kind of. I was a loner. I had a couple friends who skated. I left as soon as the bell rang when everyone else was hangin’ out and smoking. I was over it. I went home or to the skatepark.

Long and skinny, or fat and wide, your board that is?

(Laughs) Oh, in that case, fat and long.

A couple of years ago you would’ve been clinically diagnosed as having A.D.D.—attention deficit disorder—psychopathically paying attention only to what pleased you. Some call it “madness. You’ve definitely eased off on this problem. Is it the old age or the purple haze?

Have I eased off? In my own little world I’m getting crazier and crazier. It’s getting better in front of people, but when I come home alone it just gets deeper. I’m still crazy. In school, the teachers told my parents to get me on some kind of crazy drug. It might’ve been Ritalin, but my mom didn’t want me taking any kind of drugs like that. (Laughs) I don’t know if that was for better or for worse, but f—k that Ritalin shit.

So you’re off the purple haze?

Yeah, man. I’m livin’ easy.

What music gets you amped in the morning? What makes it all worthwhile? And don’t say the Hives.

I definitely won’t. I listen to a whole bunch of different shit—I just got one of those iPods. I try to fill it up with random and really embarrassing things to whatever I hear when I’m in someone’s car. If I like it, I’ll go get it. Johnny Cash gets me going usually. Anything deep and emotional is usually pretty good (laughs).

I hate house cats. How’s Cinnamon Sugar?

(Laughs) You just hate them ’cause you’re allergic to them. She’s good, I haven’t talked to her … (laughs) I mean, I haven’t seen her in a while. My dad sent a photo of her—she’s a lot bigger and she’s all brown now. She seems to be healthy. She doesn’t get to go outside, though, so she’s bummed on that.

Why not?

‘Cause one time she got out and was gone for a little while—we’d thought we’d lost her. We have a leash for her—my dad used to walk her on a leash. I’m from a dysfunctional family, that’s for sure.

It’s nice to end on a pleasant note, wouldn’t you agree?

Oh, most definitely.

You’ve had plenty of help from friends and sponsors on your path. I think it’s time to just thank yourself, so thank yourself.

(Laughing)Thank myself? What the hell would I want to thank myself for?

Just say “thank you to me.

Thanks, Mark.

yourself, so thank yourself.

(Laughing)Thank myself? What the hell would I want to thank myself for?

Just say “thank you to me.

Thanks, Mark.