It's the end of an era.
As announced by Girl Skateboards on their Instagram page earlier today, Eric Koston and Guy Mariano have both left the brand. Rumours had been floating around for the past couple of months regarding the future of Guy and Eric, but this still comes as a shock to anyone in the skateboarding world. Both Guy and Eric featured in the first ever Girl video, Goldfish, way back in 1993. They've remained figureheads of the brand ever since, and they embody the company and everything it stands for. In that regard, it's a sad day. But on the other hand, an exciting future awaits the two of them. Are they starting their own brand? Who are they bringing with them? We're looking forward to what the future holds, and we'll keep you updated with any news.
We figured this would be the perfect time to go back over a few of Eric and Guy's most monumental parts for Girl (and Lakai) over the years. Let's face it, pretty much everything they've ever released has been groundbreaking in some way, so we've hand-picked two of our personal favourites from each of them over last 22 years.
Let's rewind back to 1993. Eric Koston was a fresh-faced 18-year-old who had already set the world alight in the H-Street Next Generation video a year earlier. Expectations were high when it was announced that he'd joined Mike Carroll and Rick Howard on a new company, which they titled Girl Skateboards. Guy ended up joining slightly later than Eric, which meant he only had time to film a few tricks for their first video, Goldfish, which was released that same year. Eric, on the other hand, delivered the first of many groundbreaking parts under the Girl umbrella. The consistency of his technical lines were the major talking point -- switch flipping into ledges in the middle of a line was practically unheard of in '93 -- while the lines at the end of the part, where he skates up and then down a four-stair, quickly became the stuff of legend. Koston outshone the likes of Rudy Johnson, Sean Sheffey and Rick Howard in this part, which was definitely nothing to be scoffed at.
By the time 1996 had rolled around, Girl was enjoying a wave of massive success. The first video had been extremely popular, tours were going well, and they boasted arguably the best team in street skateboarding history. So popular, in fact, that they'd started up a sister company called Chocolate in order to fit their ever-expanding team under one umbrella. As you'd expect, Girl's second film, Mouse, had massive expectations surrounding it. In stepped Guy Mariano -- who hadn't released a full part since Blind's Video Days in 1991 -- and he dropped a part that will forever remain an all-time classic. From the opening trick, a switch bigspin flip over a bump-to-gap, everyone knew this would be something special. It was probably the first part in skate history that featured more switch tricks than regular tricks, and half the people who watched it at the time just assumed Guy was goofy footed. This part truly encapsulated 90s skateboarding, from Venice Beach sessions to classic schoolyard benches, and helped shape skate culture for years to come. And I'll be damned if that switch shove-it crooked grind isn't one of the best looking tricks ever landed.
It was a long time before Girl released a new video of their own, but that finally came in 2003 when, a full 7 years after Mouse, they gave us Yeah Right. Eric Koston had certainly been busy during that time, dropping full parts in The Chocolate Tour (1999) and Menikmati (2000), both of which confirmed his status as one of the all-time greats. Mariano had been less frequently spotted, and a run of personal and addiction issues led to him having just one single trick in the montage section of Yeah Right. Koston, on the other hand, delivered what most would consider to be his greatest ever part (and in the eyes of many, the greatest part ever, period). He switch noseblunted handrails, nollie backside noseblunted even larger handrails, took his manual game up a notch, shut down every known hubba in the skate universe, introduced us to the trend of skating in basketball shoes, beat up some guy who stole his wallet, brought spots like Hollywood High and the Barca Wave to mass attention, did the best noseslide of all time, and to cap it all off, became the first person to 360 flip into a handrail (which, as legend has it, he landed on the night of the premiere before it was quickly tacked onto the end of his part). There's not much else to say -- this is the classic street skateboarding part of the last 15 years.
When Girl added Lakai Footwear to their belt in the mid-2000s, it spawned one of the most groundbreaking skate videos of all time. Fully Flared might not have technically been a Girl or Chocolate movie, but the lineup was the very same, the filmers were the same, the style was the same -- it was basically a Girl movie without technically being a Girl movie. Arguably the biggest talking point in the years leading up to the film was the whereabouts of Guy Mariano. He hadn't released a proper full part in 10 years, and was only briefly seen in a Fourstar video in 2005. All of that was about to change. While Marc Johnson's stupidly amazing 13-minute part and subsequent SOTY award probably stole the show, a shock 7-minute banger from Guy stole the biggest reaction at premieres across the globe. Guy, who had kicked his addictions and come completely clean, delivered hammer after hammer in a display that would have earned him the final part in any other video in skate history. It was also one of the first parts that explored the amazing spots in China that we all know and love today. And when Guy, who was seldom known for skating handrails, began hucking mind-blowing NBDs like switch 360 shove lipslide and backside 270 tailslide down a handrail, everyone lost the plot. He said he was making up for lost time with this one, and boy did he accomplish that.
If you feel like grabbing yourself a soon-to-be collectors item, why not browse our range of Girl Skateboards in the Boardworld Store. We've got limited quantites of Eric Koston and Guy Mariano pro models, so you'll have to get in quick before they're gone forever.
Words: Riely Walker
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