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Girl Skateboards, was established in 1993 by a few World Industries team riders, most notably Mike Carroll and Rick Howard.
In a 2000 interview, Howard elaborated:
We formed Girl in part to ensure the continued success of professional skateboarders. Consider Royal as an example. What Guy Mariano and Rudy Johnson have done for skateboarding and their ideals will live on even if they lose the use of their legs. All Girl Distribution companies are named after individuals instrumental in the company's development.
As part of the firm's 20th anniversary celebration in 2013, Howard and Carroll acknowledged that most of the skateboard industry was hostile towards the new brand. According to Carroll, one woodshop cut relations with Girl after feeling threatened by another company, but prominent figure in the woodworking sector Fausto Vitello ended up helping Girl in many ways. To paraphrase Carroll, "he always just, kinda let us know that he had our back" is how Vitello made Carroll feel.
The initial Girl squad included Jovontae Turner, Eric Koston, Guy Mariano, Rudy Johnson, Tim Gavin, Tony Ferguson, Sean Sheffey, and Jeron Wilson in addition to Howard and Carroll. The business has developed into a distributor of skateboarding equipment, skateboarding media, and skateboarding apparel. Andy Jenkins, a former in-house artist of Girl who departed in October 2017 to work for Element Skateboards, created the Girl emblem, which resembles the symbol on women's lavatory cubicle doors. Girl's design team, affectionately dubbed the "Art Dump," was led by Jenkins and featured work from artists like Geoff McFetridge, Kevin Lyons, and Hershel Baltrotsky.
Before the year 2000, Carroll and Howard were joined on their skateboarding and shooting sessions by a young, relatively unknown skateboarder named Brandon Biebel, who had been requested to join them by their filmer, Ty Evans, for the TransWorld SKATEboarding video Modus Operandi. Biebel had previously met Evans in Southern California, after relocating from Chicago to California. A few months after the video's premiere in 2000, Carroll invited Biebel to join the Lakai skate shoe squad. In an interview from 2012, Biebel, who was promoted to professional level in 200, said, "Girl, Lakai — that's a dream come true." I'm not getting out of there, ever.
In the mid-2000s, Girl signed in fresh amateur riders like Mike Mo Capaldi, Sean Malto, and Alex Olson, and in 2005, they promoted long-time amateur Jereme Rogers to the professional ranks. Rogers departed the company in 2007 because he wasn't happy with his royalties, and the following year, Capaldi, Malto, and Olson were promoted to professional levels.
In an interview conducted that following October, Rogers detailed his problems with Girl as follows:
In spite of receiving my cheque, no actual royalties were being paid to me. A monthly minimum of $3,000 was guaranteed to me, but any sales in excess of that triggered additional payments to me in the form of royalties. So, they were reinvesting my royalties into the business to fund their costs, which was keeping a sinking ship afloat. It seems that I was unable to earn more than $3,000 for a full two years... Remember, we're talking about the Girl who broke records in every country in the world. So when Rick Howard asked me what I wanted in Tampa 2007 and I came in second to Koston despite having a faultless run, I improperly blurted out that all I wanted was my royalties. The following month, I received a cheque for $6,000. The first time I "apparently" spent more than $3000 was in April, just around tax time. A coincidental meeting? Sure.
Girl did not issue a statement refuting Rogers' allegations.
After Cory Kennedy won the "Bang Yo' Self 2" contest on the Berrics website in April 2009, Girl hired him and promoted him to full-time status by the middle of 2011. The Berrics commented on Kennedy's triumph by saying, "Today, April 2nd, 2009, is the beginning of Cory Kennedy's tyranny over skateboarding. Heaven help us, we need it. Although Kennedy was made aware that a filming session would be taking place at the North Hollywood skatepark, 20 copies of Kennedy's first signature skateboard deck were distributed to skaters at the park and members of the Girl team, all without Kennedy's knowledge. Twenty minutes later, Kennedy saw that the decks had been marked with his name.
Longtime members of the Girl team Brian Anderson and Olson announced their departure from the firm as a board sponsor in May 2013. Anderson indicated that he will be pursuing his own artistic venture, while Olson did not reveal a subsequent sponsor and claimed, "I wouldn't be where I am today without the help and motivation of Girl." A former member of the Girl team has stated that his departure was not due to unhappiness, following the introduction of Anderson's own skateboard deck company "3D Skateboards" and the hire of Olson (who left to create his own brand shortly afterwards).
Nothing about the way things were going with Girl was wrong. Because of our deep friendship and my deep affection for them, going through all of this was quite challenging. For some reason, I felt the urge to get my own business going before I hit 45 and realise I can no longer do things like jump down flights of stairs. I'm glad I have a few Girl tattoos because they remind me of wonderful times and adventures.
Carroll said, "When people quit for other companies for just more money, or something, that's stupid," when asked about the team's loss of members in August 2013. But it's understandable if an employee leaves because they don't fit in with the team dynamic.
Howard, in an interview with Route One magazine, reflected on Girl's 20 years in business, which included the following:
We've all pretty much spent our entire adult lives working in this industry, so it's kind of cool that we get to do it with our pals. And we're all doing the same kind of things here, so... That's how we got our start, and it's how we continue to operate now. You can have fun with this as much as you like.
Koston and Mariano's departure from Girl was confirmed in 2015.
A total of four new amateurs, Simon Bannerot, Tyler "Manchild" Pacheco, Gryphon Gass, and Niels Bennett, joined the Girl squad between 2016 and 2018. After the demise of Cliché Skateboards, they also recruited Andrew Brophy. In October of 2018, Girl premiered their first extended play since Pretty Sweet; the track is titled "Doll," and it formally introduces Gryphon and Niels to the group.
Breana Geering, a Canadian girl originally from Vancouver, became Girl's first female employee in 2019.
When Girl drops "Nervous Circus" in 2020, Gryphon Gass and Niels Bennett will be full-time musicians.
Competent Riders on the Team
Mike Capaldi, Mo
A. Brophy, T. Pacheco, and A. Brophy
Simon Bannerot Griffin Gass
B. Geering, Breana
Rowan Davis Amateur
Skateboarder Paul Rodriguez
1999: Girl in South Africa
2000: Euro Blitz
2003: Harsh Euro Barge
2003: Yeah Right!
2004: High Fives Up The i-5
2005: Oi! Meets Girl!
2006: Yes We CANada
2007: Badass Meets Dumbass (with Chocolate skateboards)
2007: We're OK EurOK (with Chocolate Skateboards)
2008: Beauty and the Beast (with Anti-Hero Skateboards)
"Yanks On Planks" (2008)
2009: Beauty and the Beast 2 (with Anti-Hero Skateboards)
2010: Beauty and the Beast 3 (with Anti-Hero Skateboards)
2010: Der Bratwurst Tour Ever (with Chocolate skateboards)
2011: Unbeleafable (3D film)
2012: Pretty Sweet (with Chocolate skateboards)
2013: Pretty Sweet US Tour (with Chocolate Skateboards)
2014: Wet Dream: A Skateboard Tale
2015: Going Dumb Up The 101 (with Chocolate Skateboards)
2016: Girl & Chocolate in Mexico (with Chocolate Skateboards)
2016: Girl Skates Washington State
2017: When Nature Calls
2018: Chickity China (with Chocolate Skateboards)
2018: Don't Mess With Girl
2018: Out For A Rip
2019: Bangers & Mash
2019: Melbourne Identity
2020: Nervous Circus
Pretty Stoned (with Volcom) - 2020.
2022: In Real Life