California-based Lakai Limited Footwear was founded in 1999 by pro skaters Mike Carroll and Rick Howard, and, together with Girl, Chocolate, Royal Trucks and Fourstar Clothing, is part of the Girl Skateboard Company. Howard and Carroll, who had previously ridden with DC Shoes before setting up their own company, are still part of Lakai’s line-up of pro riders.
Also in Lakai’s pro team are Brandon Biebel, Marc Johnson, Guy Mariano, Vincent Alvarez, JB Gillet, Jesus Fernandez, Raven Tershy, Stevie Perez, Daniel Espinoza, Riley Hawk and Brits Nick Jensen and Danny Brady. There is also an am squad featuring Sebo Walker, Miles Silvas, Jon Sciano and Nakel Smith.
Lakai’s innovative products have been highly regarded in the skateboarding world since the company’s inception – one of its most famous models is Eric Koston’s Nike-inspired cupsole ‘Kost One’ from 2006, released shortly after the skater’s move from éS. Lakai’s current range is divided into the Pro, Team, Series/Limited Edition, Kids and limited-edition Anchor collections, plus the new-for-2014 Echelon range, modelled on the Lakai website by Marc Johnson, Footwear Design Director and former Chocolate team rider Scott Johnston and legendary skate film director Spike Jonze.
Johnston appeared in Lakai’s first proper film, the Ty Evans-directed Beware of the Flare European tour video from 2002, and his farewell part featured in the highly anticipated follow-up Fully Flared in 2007, put together by Evans and Jonze. The pair (plus Cory Weincheque) were also responsible for The Final Flare! documentary, released in 2008.