Fully Flared: Where Are They Now?
10 years later, we look back
Believe it or not, today marks 10 years since Lakai premiered their iconic magnum opus, Fully Flared. The most hyped skate video of the mid-2000s somehow lived up to its potential, boasting incredible parts from some of the best skateboarders of all time – Koston, MJ, Mariano, Carroll, Howard, et al – alongside a fresh crop of upcoming rippers like Mike Mo, Alex Olson and Lucas Puig. Put simply, Fully Flared set the tone for the next decade of skateboarding to come.
One thing is particularly notable, though, going back through the list of skaters who appeared in the film 10 years ago: Almost none of them are still involved with Lakai. You can count those remaining from the Flared days on one hand, and that includes Rick Howard and Mike Carroll, who own the company. So what's everyone been up to since Fully Flared dropped on November 16, 2007? Plenty, as this article affirms.
Mike Mo Capaldi
- Starred in the opening section of Fully Flared at the age of 17, having begun filming the video at 15. Described by Rick Howard as a "skate savant", Capaldi was earmarked as a future all-time great. Turned pro for Girl less than a year after Fully Flared was released.
- Departed Lakai for DC Shoes in December 2011, joining alongside Nyjah Huston. "He's probably the best skater I have ever skated with," remarked Mikey Taylor at the time.
- Suffered a series of unfortunate injury setbacks, but still managed a short part in Pretty Sweet, released in late 2012 alongside his first signature DC shoe. Severely injured his leg in a golf cart accident at Woodward shortly afterwards, keeping him out of skateboarding for years.
- Recently dropped from the DC roster, but slowly making his way back into skateboarding. Recently made a cameo in Lakai's new video, The Flare, igniting rumours of a Lakai comeback when, and if, he's fit again. Still professional for Girl.
- After his fan-favourite part in Fully Flared, Pappalardo departed Lakai for Converse in 2008, less than 12 months following the video premiere.
- Released an extremely popular shoe with Converse, the Pappalardo Pro, in late 2009. Cons bizarrely refused to renegotiate his contract, famously slandering him as a "c-grade pro", before later signing him to a much cheaper deal, which Pappalardo described as "barely enough to pay rent".
- Practically disappeared from skateboarding, popping up very rarely at random in videos and magazines.
- Dropped from the Chocolate lineup sometime around 2013, having never released a full part following Fully Flared.
- After delivering an incredibly technical part in Fully Flared, Jesus continued to stack clips and backed it up with another top class full part in Pretty Sweet.
- Despite moving back to Europe, raising a child and entering his mid-30s, he continued to produce top quality footage throughout the decade, culminating in another full part in The Flare.
- The only skater to have a full part in each of Fully Flared, Pretty Sweet and The Flare. Still pro for Chocolate.
- Had arguably the best footage in The French Connection segment of Fully Flared, which he filmed as a teenager.
- Departed Lakai for Adidas at the beginning of 2011, forming a core part of the German brand's first real push into the skate market.
- Gone from strength to strength since Fully Flared, with solid footage in every Cliche video, a favourite part in Away Days by Adidas, and footage in the recent Palasonic video from his new board sponsor, Palace.
- Introduced to the world in Fully Flared, another one of the teenage prodigies to score a full part. Turned pro for Girl in 2008 at the same time as Mike Mo.
- Also quit Lakai shortly after the video was released, firstly joining Vans in 2008 before moving to Nike SB in 2012. Remained pro for Girl and filmed a part for Pretty Sweet, which was ultimately shared with other members of the Girl team.
- Announced his departure from Girl in 2013, around the same time he personally fell out with Eric Koston. Originally going to be a part of Brian Anderson's 3D project before eventually opting to start his own brands – clothing label Bianca Chandon and skateboard company Call Me 917.
- Still churning out quality footage on a regular basis, he featured in 917's debut full-length video earlier this year, which coincided with a 917 x Nike collab shoe.
- Boss guy #1 turned 36 shortly after the release of Fully Flared, which was always likely to be his final full part, although he's released footage sporadically since.
- Didn't feature at all in Pretty Sweet, but managed a decent amount of solid footage for The Flare, even at the ripe old age of 45.
- Continues to operate Girl and Chocolate Skateboards, and still has an influential hand in Lakai, which now operates under HUF at Altamont Capital.
- Still releasing pro boards with Girl.
- Boss guy #2 was already in his 30s during the Fully Flared days, but still delivered arguably one of his finest parts ever.
- Stacked a good amount of quality footage for Pretty Sweet, despite battling injury, age, and having a hand in the day-to-day runnings of four different brands.
- Managed a sprinkling of footage in The Flare while continuing to operate Girl and Chocolate alongside Rick and Megan.
- Still releasing pro boards with Girl.
- Backed up his breakout part in Yeah Right with another incredible section in Fully Flared, arguably the peak of his great career.
- Shared a part with Jeron Wilson in Pretty Sweet, having battled injuries in the years following Flared. Opened his own private skatepark, usually referred to as "Biebel's Park", although it's co-owned with other pros.
- Eventually departed Lakai at the beginning of 2016 to join the first ever Diamond Footwear team alongside Torey Pudwill, Nick Tucker and later Jamie Foy.
- Still pro for Girl Skateboards, despite years of rumours over his future with the brand. Currently working on a PUSH part with Jake Leger, which has continually been pushed back amongst rumoured funding issues.
- After joining Lakai in 2006, Koston pushed himself to back up Yeah Right with another groundbreaking, if slightly less iconic, part in Fully Flared.
- Joined the Lakai exodus in 2009, signing a reportedly massive deal with Nike. One of the biggest 'stars' to join Nike SB up until that point. Has since released three pro shoes under Nike SB, which the self-confessed sneakerhead has described as a "dream come true".
- Launched The Berrics alongside Steve Berra around 2008, playing a major early role in the internet age of skateboarding.
- Remained pro for Girl Skateboards, despite filming next-to-nothing for Pretty Sweet, sparking rumours about the legend's future and commitment to Crailtap.
- Eventually quit Girl in late 2015, along with longtime teammate Guy Mariano. The pair launched the Numbers brand in 2016, helping to put together a team featuring the likes of Miles Silvas, Antonio Durao and Rodrigo Tx. Released a full part for Nike SB around this time, proving he's still got it.
- After 5 years away from skateboarding completely, Mariano made the greatest comeback in skate history when he dropped his iconic Fully Flared part.
- Remained committed to Girl & Chocolate during the mass team exodus, repaying loyalties to Mike & Rick. Released arguably his best ever part in Pretty Sweet, claiming the curtain-closing part in Crailtap's 2012 masterpiece. Narrowly missed SOTY that year to David Gonzalez.
- Finally left Lakai in 2015 to join Nike SB, citing financial security as the main reason for his departure. Quit Girl shortly afterwards alongside Eric Koston, and the two began working on forming their Numbers brand.
- Has remained relatively low-key in the last few years, understandably at the age of 41. Still produces the odd banger on Instagram.
- Unleashed one of the most memorable parts of all time in Fully Flared, clocking in with an unprecedented 14-minute, 3-song section – lengthy enough for some supposedly 'full-length' videos.
- Won Thrasher's Skater of the Year award almost immediately following the part's release, to the surprise of absolutely nobody.
- Remained loyal to Lakai and Chocolate in the years following his mammoth part in Flared, eventually dropping another full part in Pretty Sweet five years later. Though considerably shorter, this is considered by some to be his best ever part.
- Like almost everyone else, MJ finally left Lakai in 2016. Unlike everyone else, though, his departure didn't go down well with Mike Carroll.
- After quitting Lakai for Adidas with minimal notice, Carroll publicly called him out and immediately dropped him from Chocolate, ending a 15-year association.
- Is now working on another board project, Otherness, with his first pro model released earlier this year.
Words: Riely Walker
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