The Highway Stoic, Micky Clarke - Stab Mag
Calm, cool, collected, and probably in pain.

The Highway Stoic, Micky Clarke

The acid-dropping, hill bombing, 12-pack smashing glue of the blue team.

features // Jul 17, 2022
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Micky Clarke got demo-ed on Stab Highway presented by Monster Energy. 

On day one: Micky strapped a helmet to his dome (thank god), took a sip of his Monster Energy, charged the hill, and landed in Patrick Star position at the bottom – the drink never touched asphalt. On day two: he threw himself off the cliff at Steamer Lane for an hour straight in the acid-drop challenge. On day three: he smashed the best part of 12 beers in rapid succession at Emma Wood to spare his (mostly) grog-abstaining peers. And on day four he got the Monster logo inked on the heel of his foot (a notoriously painful area to get tatted).

And why

The 23 year-old from Ventura’s a team player. He also has a wonderful pain tolerance and a seemingly Sisyphean ability to keep on trucking, happily (FYI: he will be making the trek back to Santa Cruz for acid-drop redemption). 

Photo: Mini Blanchard

The blue team may have been bummed by their dismissal in the latest episode of Highway, but their failure to make the mid-trip cut cannot be chalked up to not going hard enough. They simply went hard and then went home.

None more so than Micky.

Stay tuned for more Stab Highway conspiracies.

Stab had a chance to chat the Chapter 11 indoctrinate about acid drops, pain thresholds, and the perils of the highway. 

Stab: Hey Micky, thanks for chatting. 

No problem. Is this my therapy session? Where I talk about all the dos and don’ts of Stab Highway. 

This interview is a safe space; you can talk about whatever you need. Where are you right now? 

I’m in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Before COVID hit, we would all come out in the summer. I have a big East Coast family spread between Connecticut and Maine. Every day out here, you go to the beach from about 10-4, then the bar, then a pond, then home. 

There’s nothing like a family bender. 

Yeah, it’s incredible when you get drunk with your family because that behavior is excusable. You’re like— it’s 10 am, and I’ve had four rum drinks. But that doesn’t matter because this guy raised me—he’s doing it, and I can too— it’s the best bonding time. 

Some visual therapy before we proceed.

For sure. You’re from Ventura, right? 

I am from Ventura, California. My dad moved to Ventura when he was around 27 years-old; he met my mom. I’m the youngest of two older brothers. My dad was into surfing, so he got my two older brothers into it. Naturally, I fell in their footsteps.

Did you play any sports growing up? 

Yes, I decided to play football my sophomore year instead of being homeschooled. I was tight with the middle school coaches, who asked me to play, so I did. The whole experience was awakening—I went to high school with the jocks and didn’t fit in. When I got tackled, everyone would yell “wipeout.” I ended up leaving unannounced to go on a surf trip. 

Did you know what you wanted to do with surfing?

When you’re young, it’s easy to be influenced by your friends and what they’re doing. For me, that was surf contests, and I did a few one year, but I didn’t like them— I had more fun filming and creating content.

There was a time when I didn’t think surfing would work out, so I went to the fire academy. But here I am, still doing it, comfortable and happy with my decision. The main focus as of late has been Chapter 11.

Who do you like creating with the most?

The Chapter 11 crew—Eithan Osborne, Jake Kelley, Matt McCabe, Dane Reynolds, and Hunter Martinez. We’ve been hyper focused on putting surf videos on the internet. The funny, the bloopers, the bad, the good, the ripping. Other than that, I’ll jump on any obscure project Stab concocts. I’ll let Mikey boss me around; he likes to do that. 

Did you and Eithan Osborne have plans to team up before Stab Highway? 

Ethan and Rolo were in cahoots with Holly to try to get on the same team. Ivy threw a quick wrench in the works when she picked Eithan right out of the gates. Our fantasies of being on the same team dissolved—it was free game.

The replacement fam.

Can you break down the team dynamics for me? 

Kai Paula and Mateus were fired up on the surf challenges, and I volunteered myself to do the sketchier, grimier ones— like bombing a hill and acid dropping. Ainara did her fair share of challenges—she’s great to be around. We all gelled together nicely even though we didn’t know each other. 

So was that your first time doing an acid drop? 

It was my first time trying to acid drip off something taller than 10 feet. I’ve never been that guy, I think everyone’s influence inspired that. Now I’m set on trying to land that Santa Cruz Acid drop—it’s a lingering thought.  

All smiles when the board snaps before ankles.

How does one best prepare themselves for an acid drop?

A front traction pad is essential— the extra traction is good for grip and will keep the board together longer. A good meniscus works too. Oddly enough, my knees and ankles were feeling fine after. That challenge and hill bomb on the foamie were my favorites. 

The way you clutched that Monster Energy drink on the hill bomb was heroic. 

That was the first Monster I’ve had in so long. And I had a couple of beers beforehand, with that helmet on—I felt invincible. So I sent it—I didn’t want to hit the parked car, so I flew off my board. I remember smacking the ground, sliding, then a standstill.  

A true love story – were you in pain after that? 

I wasn’t in pain until one and a half hours into Santa Cruz. I hit my head, so I had whiplash, but other than that, I was fine. Just a sore neck and headache— I told myself it was the sugar from the Monster. Glad I’m not roadkill and lived to tell the story. No more hill bombs, that was one and done. Whoever wants to top that can go ahead— it’s your funeral. 

How bad did you want to win? 

Bad—but I knew if I was going to lose, I would lose trying, even if that meant getting a monster tattoo. After hill bombing and acid dropping, I was not concerned about a piercing or tattoo. But to be honest, that piercing hurt bad. More than anything on that trip, it was the most pain I felt. My piercing/tattoo artist’s name was Johnny Tijuana, from Ventura too. 

A Johnny Tijuana speciality.

I guess it was fate. Any regrets your team had after getting eliminated? 

I don’t know what else we could have done. The acid drop sticks with me because I don’t necessarily agree with the judgment call. Zeke won because they tried a twist, but the challenge was to ride out. 

I heard there’s some beef between you two. Is there any truth to that? 

Yeah, before Highway, I had not said a word to or about that guy. My first encounter was with him trying to push me off that rock. At first, I thought he was joking, but then he pushed harder, and I slipped and cut my foot. I said some profane word I didn’t know would make the episode. His actions were childish; I was like— we’re not in the schoolyard here—let me go. 

How NOT to set a good first impression.

And if that were the case, I probably wouldn’t pick the guy who plays football.

Another push, and he would have found out. Hahaha I’m kidding.

What happens on Stab Highway stays on Stab Highway unless you throw it on the podcast or socials, then it’s exploited. 

Damn exploiters. Were there any more promising relationships you made on the road?

Yeah, the guys were great, and Ainara for sure. We all decided to do the kill a 12 pack between your team in 30 minutes at Emma Woods. Mikey said Kai didn’t have to because he’s under 21, so he was out, and Mateus had a surf challenge coming up. Ainara hadn’t had a beer in four years because she’s sober from alcohol, so I thought I was on my own. 

I shotgunned seven or eight beers before making myself throw up. I was struggling to get down the rest of them, and then Ainara cracked a beer, breaking her vow of sobriety. That’s something I’ll hold onto.

Anything else you want to throw out there? 

If you are picked to go on Stab Highway, beware and proceed with caution, but don’t hold anything back. That’s my disclaimer. 

Thanks, Micky. I’ll put it on the form for next year. 

For those of you who need to catch up:

Watch Episode 1 HERE 

Watch Episode 2 HERE 

Watch Episode 3 HERE 

Watch Episode 4 HERE

Itching for a mid-season recap? Click HERE


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