Girl Skateboards was started in 1993 by professional skateboarders Mike Carroll and Rick Howard. The skaters started the brand so they could control their future and the future of the team members they had recruited. The company today is now a wing of Crailtap, which is a skateboarding distribution company based in Torrance, Ca. The company’s brands include Girl Skateboards, Chocolate Skateboards, Royal Skateboard Trucks, Ruby Republic and Fourstar Clothing. Co-founders include Spike Jonze and Megan Baltimore.
In 1993 Carroll and Howard were prominent skateboarders who had been on several teams. Both were with Plan B Skateboards when they decided to start Girl Skateboards. Carroll, at the time, became increasingly concerned watching fellow team members being “retired.” Howard has indicated that starting the brand was just a natural progression and a way to work with good friends. Girl Skateboards was, and still is, a collaborative effort between friends.
This all-inclusive, team mentality led to the formation of Chocolate Skateboards a year later. The Girl Skateboard Team was about to embark on a trip when they had to leave friend and professional skateboarder, Chico Brenes behind because there was no room in the van. Starting the Chocolate brand was a way to keep Brenes in the fold and add new team members. The Chocolate team also performed in many of the Girl videos.
From the start, videos were a big part of Girl and had a major impact on the collective consciousness of skateboarders. Some of the influential Girl videos include “Mouse,” “Goldfish” and “Yeah Right!” The skateboarding in these videos was extremely progressive and pushed the limits of possibilities. Co-owner of Girl and renowned filmmaker, Jonze directed a number of the videos.
Girl Skateboards current and former team members have included: Brandon Biebel, Cory Kennedy, Eric Koston and Alex Olson.
In 2012 Altamont Capital Partners invested in Crailtap and all it’s brands. The goal was to add support and infrastructure guidance to the company. “Today there’s a lot of interest in skateboarding— which is a great thing. But it’s also really competitive with big companies in the mix. This partnership allows us to be more focused on bringing creativity and new ideas to skateboarding,” said Rick Howard, Girl Co-founder in a Transworld Business article. The partnership, according to Co-founder, Baltimore, will allow team members to tour more often and focus attention on new video and content.