Mike Maldonado Pusher Wheels Part and Interview

Mike dropped a really sick part in the Pusher Wheels video a few months back. We figured it was high time to catch up with Mike on his five-acre property out in the woods. Read on to see what Mike’s up to these days, how it feels to drop a sick video part at age 41, and catch the part back online for the first time since the premiere!

Mike Maldonado, 2017. Photo / Kevin McGovern

So how long was the filming process for the Pusher video?
It was like two years to film specifically that part. I really only had about one day every other week to try and film; sometimes not even that if I had to work. Not to mention the brutal Pennsylvania winters we have here. It’s not really how cold it gets that’s the hard part, but the wind, freezing rain, and snow are a serious bitch to deal with.

What have you been up to the last few years? Take us through your normal routine.
Man that could take forever to answer…but, in short, I get up and take care of the dogs first. Then either get ready for work or handle things around my spot. I have five acres in the woods, so there’s plenty of mowing, cutting up fallen trees, and cutting back a lot of natural growth to deal with on the regs. I’m also trying to repair or replace things at the house. Later, I take care of the dogs again; then back to work or back to doing things around the spot. After all that’s done and if it ain’t too late, I’ll try to go skating at the Wawa park in West Chester. Then back home, back to the dogs again, and maybe read a little or watch some YouTube. Then I’m off to bed.
There’re loads of wild animals out here, so keeping them from eating everything in my gardens is a job in itself. My friend Kev Lowe and I started a landscape design and designer home-garden jawn that’s a big part of my work routine. But, in reality if people need anything done on their property we can pretty much do it. So, my hours are “flexible,” but still real busy at the same time. It’s seasonal work so there’s lots to handle, and people can be real funny about certain days they want things done. But hey…they’re paying for it, so it is what it is.

Do you prefer filming with a VX or HD? Who do you normally film or shoot photos with?
Filming is filming, but if i had to choose it’d be VX. Lately, I really only film with Rob Williams (Pusher-Rob). I don’t shoot too many flicks these days, but if I do its just with Kevin McGovern. He’s an old Fairman’s fam local, and he also helped edit the Pusher video with Rob. Even when I shoot stuff lately it’s just at the session with friends, not like a specific trick to be shot that I’ve planned for awhile.

So you just put this part out at 41 years old; how’s it feel? Did you plan on having a full part in the vid since the start?
It’s still just skating to me; still as fun as ever. The only thing that’s different now is all the responsibilities I have and trying to juggle it all. Ya know, grown folk shit. I would still do all the jumping down and over shit, but not having health insurance and not making money from skating keeps you limited. Getting hurt isn’t an option when you have to work or take care of things around here. It’s just me taking care of this stuff, so sometimes I have to really think about how and when I can skate. It’s not that I’m older, it’s that I can’t afford bad injuries these days. I ain’t young and carefree anymore, nor do I have the money I used to have coming in. I honestly didn’t really expect to have a full part with everything I have to do on the daily, it just kinda happened.

Was it hard to find time to film? When and where did you usually get it in?
A lot of times I take on more than I should. So yeah, it would definitely be hard to find time to film, especially since skating isn’t my “day-job” anymore, and ya know back to that grown folk shit. Also, Rob and my schedules wouldn’t always coincide. He lives and works in Philly, which is another obstacle, so about once every other week would be all I could get. The majority of my part was filmed in and around my home town of West Chester, Pennsylvania. I would have liked to have had more Philly stuff, or other spots, but my responsibilities around here keep me local. It’s all love though, we took it to some back-in-the-day shit…way back in the day!

How’d you come up with the song choices for your part?
Rob and i would send each other songs and YouTube links all the time for like two years trying to figure something out that would work. Some were pretty ridiculous, like comedy jawns or theme songs or just some other way out-there music shit. All kinds of genres. In the end we used some songs he found. I trust his judgement, so I was cool with what he picked; they seemed to go well I think. I didn’t even know what the final pick was until I saw the first rough edit that he and Kevin made.

What’s next on Mike’s plate?
I’m gonna continue being a stubborn bastard and doing things my way. I have a few things cooking up, but who knows—only time will tell. I think TPX (Terror of Planet-X Skateboards) is puttin’ out a VX dip later this year, also there’s Pusher web clips and whatnot. Sometimes, out here, I get so detached from current skateboarding I don’t know whats going on half the time.

Any shout-outs to close this thing out?
Anybody that got love for me, I love you back. Peace.

Frontside wallride. Photo / Kevin McGovern

Thanks to Rob and Pusher Wheels! As well as Fairman’s, TPX, and Hard Luck