Girl arrived in 1993, founded by pro skateboarders Mike Carroll and Rick Howard (who were currently riding for arguably one of the greatest skate teams in the history of skateboarding, Plan B), video director Spike Jonze and Megan Baltimore.
Mike and Rick were unhappy with Steve Rocco, the owner of Plan B’s parent company, which World Industries, and decided it was time to start their own company. To launch the brand, while on a huge Plan B trip, everyone who was about to quit and ride for Girl wore Girl shirts on the tour. It was an extremely powerful and risky marketing move, but it had everyone talking about Girl and set the stage for what Girl were all about.
Steve Rocco, a love/hate figure in skateboarding, was not pleased but the skate shops were happy and even Fausto Vitello, founder of Thrasher Magazine, was extremely supportive, and told Girl he had their back. With that kind of support, it was only a matter of time before Girl blew up and became the behemoth it is today.
The name ‘Girl’ came from Andy Jenkins, the designer of the logo, who said the name Girl came from someone telling Rick Howard that he 'skates like a Girl', they thought it was funny and Girl was born.
Their launch team read like a Hall of Fame list and consisted of Mike Carrol, Rick Howard, Jovontae Turner, Sean Sheffey, Tony Ferguson, Jeron Wilson, Rudy Johnson, Eric Koston, Guy Mariano with Tim Gavin join soon after while Girl were on tour. Girl followed up with the release of the Spike Jonze full-length. Goldfish skate film, which also featured Eric Koston, and still considered one of the best skate films of all time.
It’s important to mention, Eric Koston was a massive part of the brand and it’s heritage You cant talk about Girl skateboards without mentioning Koston. If you’ve not heard of him before, give him a Google search, he was even a playable character in Tony Hawk Pro Skater video games. Eric, along with Guy Marinao were on the team until November 2015. It’s also save to say that nearly all the original team are legends in their own right, so check them all out if you like skateboarding history.
Next year sees Girl celebrate 30 years and they have been helping grow skateboarding and support skateboarders since day one, as Rick Howard said in an interview in 2000: “Part of the reason we started Girl was so pro skateboarders would have a future. Take Royal, for instance. When Guy Mariano and Rudy Johnson’s legs don’t work anymore, at least what they’ve done for skateboarding and their ideas can continue with something they can fall back on. All the Girl Distribution companies are based around people who have helped Girl get to where it is today.”
Alongside consistently having some of the best skateboarders in the world on their team, great products, amazing videos and a focus on fun, their now iconic logo, name and cool graphics have kept them at the forefront of skateboarding and continues into the future. Their impact on skateboarding can not be ignored and everyone would agree they are one of the most influential skate brands out there.
Over the years Girl has released many amazing collaboration boards, including Ian Ried, Sanrio x Hello Kitty, Kodak, Sub Pop Records, RED, Sean Cliver, Drink Water, Thrasher, Marcel Dzam, Stef Mitchel, Spike Jonze photo series, Spitfire, Modern Chairs Series, Beastie Boys, Alife & Budweiser, Anti Hero, Jules De Balincourt, Beats By Dre and many more. Some of these boards are now collectors items and demand high prices on the collector’s market.
If you’re looking for skate videos, we recommend Goldfish (1994), Mouse (1996), Yeah Right! (2003) and Pretty Sweet (2017) with Chocolate Skateboards. You can check them out here.
Some of the best skateboarders have ridden for Girl, such as Jovantae Turner, Tim Gavin, Sean Sheffey, Rudy Johnson, Colin McKay, Paul Rodriguez, Jereme Rogers, Alex Olson, Brian Anderson, Guy Mariano, Eric Koston, Robbie McKinley, Tony Ferguson and Brandon Biebel.
The current team includes Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Sean Malto, Andrew Brophy, Mike Mo Capaldi, Corey Kennedy, Rick McCrank, Jeron Wilson, Tyler Pacheco, Simon Banner, Griffin Gass, Niels Bennett, Brian Geering and Rowan Davis.
Girl is based in Torrance, South California, the Girl group of companies expanded into Girl Distribution family, which also includes Chocolate Skateboards, Lakai Footwear, Royal Trucks, and Four Star Clothing, Crailtap, Ruby Republic and Skate Mental.
Here at Slick’s, we love Girl skateboards and of you’ve not already trued one of their boards, we highly recommend them. You can check out all our Girl range here.