Rick Howard


As a skater he helped put the polish on the technical side of tricks in an era of huck and pray. Consistently putting out parts that pushed what we thought was possible, and doing so with a silky smooth style that is instantly recognizable. While he's never been awarded any official accolades, he's more focused on continuing his contributions to skateboarding than accepting a dust collector for the mantle or frame on the wall anyway. His role behind the scenes at Girl has been equally important as his time on the board. From hiring and overseeing the uber-talented Art Dump to filming on trips and being the guy that handles the nuts and bolts of daily operations, you'd almost never notice it by the quiet and humble way he does business. Not a man of outward flash, his skating does all that for him. Simple shirts, plain pants and a fairly sedate sticker job combine to force your eyes to pay attention to what he's doing. Intentional or not, the regular guy feel that he personifies gives us the impression that he'd not only be fun to skate with, but also be down to get a beer and some potato skins at the bar afterwards.



Last thing you’d want to do for a day job?
A day job.

As a Canadian living in the US full time, does anyone give you a hard time when you go back to visit Canada?
Immigration officers at the border. I’m never in town long enough for the full Vanitude, I miss it.

Keeping your wanderlust alive while clocking in daily must be taxing to an extent. Have you ever had to miss a trip due to desk duties?
Definitely In the early days when me and Spike were packing international orders. Now that our VP Carroll has stepped in I’ve been able to go on most trips.

Alvarez, man or TasMexian Devil?

Is there a spot you would never get tired of skating?
Anywhere you can push from spot to spot is always fun. Downtown Vancouver! A red curb or flat ground with the buds.

Lightheartedness and having fun seems to be ever present in Lakai’s imagery (ads, video, web site). Why that route instead of something more corpo?
Corpo is played out, everyone does it. We’re going alternative with this looser structure.

Iconic is one way people have described the Lakai Flare. Was it something you envisioned before Mueller drew it up?
Well, Mueller drew up 30,000 versions of the Flare and so I figured he was trying to tell me something. I still really like it, it’s still has a lot of appeal to me.

Many shoe designs have come and gone throughout the years. What are your top three?
Lately I can’t get out of the Pico. The Manchester is definitely up there too. Half-Cabs were fun.The 1st Jordan shoe. Airwalk Enigma’s.

Is there ever a time when pressure flips are ok?
Depends on who’s doing one and how it’s done. But there was a point of time when a lot of horseshit wouldn’t fly.

There has always been an aspect of quality that comes with the name Lakai. From the skaters to the videos, ads and shoes it seems like everything is well thought out. Is that the case, or are you guys really good at getting it done at the last minute?
I think both. A lot of planning goes into last minute panic and scrambling.

Elastic waistbands for big dinners or take off your belt?
IBS and a roll of TP.

Do you think commitments to long-term video productions will change due to the internet or will they benefit because of the oversaturation of online videos?
There was this thing called 411 a while back. It’ll work itself out. I’m a fan of less is more.