Mike Carroll

2023 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Inductee - Mike Carrol
2023 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Inductee – Mike Carroll

Few have furthered the culture of skateboarding, on and off the board, more than Mike Carroll. During his humble beginnings in Daly California, Carroll gravitated toward the board due to his cousin and brother’s influence, though he frequently was sent barreling down the hill, crashing into trashcans. But this newfound obsession would take him to hone his skating in the San Francisco scene, becoming a regular at Embarcadero, amongst other legendary locations.

Though his early sponsors were Concrete Jungle and Naked Boards, he soon was brought into the H-Street Boards fold, where his skills were first briefly displayed in their video, Shackle Me Not. Carroll would go on to skate for Plan B Skateboards, being featured in the Questionable and always mentioned, Virtual Reality. That was until Rick Howard and he would go on to form the epically influential Girl Skateboards, whose name was first seen as something hilarious for announcers during contests to say (“Now riding for Girls, Mike Carroll!”). However, a known secret in the industry is that Carroll and Howard had discussions about creating the company even before the editing of Virtual Reality took place.

But the duo didn’t stop there. Carroll soon found himself a co-owner of Lakai Limited Footwear (a name he thought wouldn’t catch on). Between both companies, Carroll was a part of a string of highly regarded skate videos like Girl’s Goldfish and Yeah Right! (which had its 20th anniversary in 2023), and Lakai’s Fully Flared. All of which were directed by longtime collaborator Spike Jonze, known for Blind’s Video Days as well as major Hollywood films like Her.

Mike Carroll’s “Yeah Right” Part

Mike Carroll and Rick Howard Bobshirt interview

Rightfully hailed for his street style, Carroll frequently presented long lines filled with flip tricks practically leashed to his feet and grinds that almost looked too relaxed. His aggressive smoothness didn’t taunt imitators, but ignored them as he skated beyond his part’s first song. As the late great Jake Phelps once said when describing Carroll’s part in Yeah Right!, “It’s not about the tricks, it’s the way you f*** do ‘em.”

Mike graced the cover of the very first issue of Slap Magazine back in 1992, photographed doing a backside 50-50. In 1994 he was given the highly coveted award of Skater of the Year by Thrasher Magazine. And then in 2011 TransWorld Skateboarding honored Carroll with a place on their 30 Most Influential Skaters list, coming in at number 16.

And now we are honored to induct Carroll into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, Class of 2023.

– Chuck Harp 2024

Mike Carroll – The Nine Club Interview
Mike Carroll Thrasher Magazine Cover  – Gap To Frontside Tailslide. Photo: Kanights
Mike Carroll Thrasher Magazine Cover March 1995 – Gap To Frontside Tailslide. Photo: Kanights