Mike Carroll


Early in his years as a pro and Am he was part of what shaped a new school of skating. Unknowingly, he and the other Embarcadero locals started what could be called modern street skateboarding. He combined style with a technical prowess that few others possess and put the hurt on every aspect of the natural park. He helped put S.F. in the greater skate media and made wearing your shirt inside-out cool. With deep roots in S.F. and LA, he's made spots in both cities all his own. Our memories of those spots have been made by skaters like him, just as associations with certain eras spark memories of old graphics. As VP of the Girl Companies he has helped create some of the most respected teams in the skate world. Like his other partner and Lakai teammate, his notoriety is for his on board ability and not what goes on in the office, but both are equally important. Each of his video parts has pushed the realm of what we thought was possible on a board and spawned countless admirers and imitators. While he takes some parts of life utterly serious, his fondness for wizard outfits and feathered boas are documented examples of his ability to enjoy life to the fullest on multiple levels.



What is your full name, your age, and where do you come from?
Michael Shawn Carroll.  Age?  Probably a hell of a lot older than you are.  I come from Northern California, Daly City, raised in San Francisco…the streets of San Francisco.

How long have you been skating?
Longer than I have not been.  Three times longer than I have not been.

Which skaters inspired you the most growing up, and which inspire you today?
Growing up Tommy Guerrero, Mark Gonzales, Jason Jessee, there was a Schmidt Stix video I was super stoked on with Allen Midgett, obviously Christian (Hosoi) and Cab (Steve).  But then it became Julien Stranger, Jason Lee, Matt Hensley.  Did I already say Mark Gonzales? Well he kept inspiring me.  Who now?  There’s so many people now, I probably don’t even know their names…I don’t even know my name.  But…Jimmy Wilkins.

What does your perfect day look like?
Wake up, eat some good breakfast, maybe practice having a baby or something…you know, get some swimmers going.  Go skate, no office, no phone, good positive energy and vibes with all the bro’s.  That’s a perfect fuckin’ day!

What are you bumping on the jambox at a good session?
We got a big variety of music here… Return of the Mack-Mark Morrison.  We’re gonna bump Call On Me-Eric Prydz, you know that song, gotta get the blood flowing, get the BPM’s up.  Probably get some Love Step remixes, some old Mid 90’s Frisco/Bay Area: IMP, Cellski, Dre Dog/Nickatina.  Then Motley Crue, Metallica…Want me to keep going? I can go through my playlist right now, the playlist is called “All That”.  It starts off with the Love Step Remix, 2pac is up next, then we got Biggie, then Big L, then XX, Juicy J, Gucci Mane, Sleigh Bells for sure, Skrillex always gotta have that, Real Muthafuckin’ G’s-Eazy E, No Hands-Wacka Flocka Flame Remix it’s a little more upbeat than the original, Metallica the first three albums, Ozzie, some Lil’ Wayne, RBL, Luniz-5 On It the Remix, Santigold, Mac Dre-Feelin’ Myself, Webbie-Give Me That, MIA-20 Dollar, that’s always on.  All my friends probably either love or hate that song because I’ve played it for years.  Eminem, NWA, E-40, Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Brotha Lynch Hung, Van Halen, A Tribe Called Quest all albums, John Legend…wait how did that get on there?  Oh ’cause its got Andre 3000 on it.  Well I do like that song but it’ll probably get skipped on the jam box…but its a good song.  Lil Wyte-Acid that shit is sick!

How do you feel about Instagram/social media and skateboarding?
It is what it is…it’s life and it’s evolution, everyone’s always gonna say back in the day was always better, you know because that’s what they grew up on.  So when I grew up not seeing a trick or a new trick for years or just a photo of a trick, and trying to figure out how that was done just by seeing that still, that’s what we went off of you know.  I had a friend back in the day that did a 540 ollie off the stage at EMB.  If we had Instagram back then it would have been filmed and shown to the rest of the world and it would have progressed.  It would have shown the rest of the world that was possible, but it was a frontside 360 ollie that landed fakie off the stage, and that was ’88, Danny Alvarez, Repo Dan!  So when I think of shit like that, it’s just crazy, you can just see someone who probably isn’t even gonna keep skating do the gnarliest trick in the world and trip off ’em for a second.  I don’t know dude, there’s so many different ways to look at it.  I get on Instagram and I check shit out, I get lost in it, it’s cool… short answer long, it’s cool, it is what it is.  I mean back in the day if we had access to it, we would have been super hyped, just like we were super hyped when it first came out, but now its a little overboard.  But again it is what it is, and I trip on it all day, not in a bad way though.  I just watch it!  And don’t DM me either, I don’t look at that shit!  Like I’ll accidentally look in there sometimes but I don’t look at those.  Also, quality over quantity.  There’s timeless shit that sticks, and then there’s throwaway 540 big-spin flip backside noseblunt nollie heel outs.  But dudes probably thought that shit about us when we started filming video parts all the time, the generation before us, before video parts.

What is a bad habit you need to kick?
Dude that’s a personal question man!  And I’m dealing with it, I’m trying to, but I don’t really know what it is, because I’m in denial.  So I aint gonna kick it.

Favorite place skateboarding has taken you, and place you want to travel to the most?
Favorite place skateboarding has taken me to; there’s been a lot… Russia was pretty sick and trippy.  Perth, Australia I always liked that place, really ‘laxed and a lot of shit to skate.  Everywhere, every single place skateboarding has taken me; everywhere I’ve been from skateboarding is my favorite.  I heard there’s an island off of Bali where all the drugs are legal, I’m not gonna do any Iowaska or anything, but that’d be pretty interesting to see if that’s true or not.

How did you get your spot on Lakai?
I basically begged Rick to put me on…no, Tim Gavin put me on.

Who is your favorite Lakai rider, past or present?
Nico Hiraga and Scott Johnston.  The fuckin’ team!  Currently!

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t skating for a living?
If I didn’t skate?  I don’t know dude, I always try to trip on that. I have no idea.  I would hope I was in music, even though I’m not musical.  Wait I would definitely be DJ’ing in Ibiza, out of my brain.

Favorite thing about riding for Lakai?
It’s Lakai, that’s it.  Straight up it’s just Lakai, the shoes, the vibe, the foundation, everything.

Any last words?
Never wear your sunglasses at night…Lakai Or Die!