14 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT CHOCOLATE SKATEBOARDS
Click the video below to find out why Chocolate started, What it was originally going to be named, Who was on the Original Team, Who designed the logo, and much much more!
Before talking about Chocolate we first have to talk about Girl Skateboards. If you read this you'll get a better overview of the industry at the time. Girl skateboards was started by Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Spike Jonze & Megan Baltimore.
Soon after starting Girl, the team left on their first tour. When everyone met in a parking lot and packed into the tour van, they realized they didn't have enough room for everyone. They literally drove off while Chico Brenes sat there in the parking lot with his bags packed.
They decided to start Chocolate Skateboards in April of 1994. They added all their friends that didn’t fit on the crowded Girl Skateboards team.
Chocolate was originally supposed to be called ‘Sister’, but apparently Steve Rocco got wind of this name and trademarked it before they could. So last minute they had to change the name of the brand, Megan came up with the name Chocolate off the top of her head, with no reasoning or story behind it, she just liked the name.
Hecox was originally designing snowboard graphics for a brand called twist in San Francisco. Andy Jenkins (art director at Girl) reached out and asked him to do some graphics for Chocolate. Evan Hecox started working with Chocolate in 1997 (a few years after it started) and has since gone on to become a huge part of the visual identity of Chocolate.
The early Chocolate logo was drawn by Andy Jenkins, who wrote out Chocolate in a script font. Later when Evan Hecox joins the brand, he creates the famous Chocolate Chunk font that we know and love today.
Hecox said he had a collection of rare and early Chocolate skateboards he’d done over the years in a storage locker, someone broke into his storage unit and stole a ton of early chocolate boards and very rare collectible skateboards.
ART DUMP: The Art Dump is the name for the art office that Andy Jenkins has set up in the girl skateboards headquarters. Geoff McFetridge did a series of the early Chocolate deck graphics in chocolate syrup on Jenkins’ floor, drawing different people in syrup using primary colors as backgrounds. Keenan Milton stepped in and changed his yellow from primary to nautical yellow at the last minute, Geoff says Keenan’s was his favorite board in the series. He tells this story in a BobShirt interview (Click Here).
The original team consisted of everyone they couldn't originally fit on Girl at the time; Keenan Milton, Chico Brenes, Daniel Castillo, Paulo Diaz, Richard Mulder, Shamil Randle, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Ben Sanchez.
Not long after adding names like Scott Johnson, Gino Ianucci, and Stevie Williams.
FUN FACT: Kareem Cambell and Shiloh Greathouse were supposed to be on the original team, but everyone wasn’t seeing eye to eye so it didn't work out.
LAS NUEVE VIDAS DE PACO:
In 1995 Chocolate skateboards releases their first video. The vid features Chico Brenes, Daniel Castillo, Paulo Diaz, Keenan Milton, Richard Mulder, Shamil Randle, Gabriel Rodriguez, Ben Sanchez, Mike York.
With features from many of the Girl riders throughout like Eric Koston, Tim Gavin, Rick Howard and Mike Carroll.
In classic Girl films style, it was loaded with skits that were put together by Spike Jonze, filmed using Spike's Hollywood connections. Fun fact, they filmed the whole thing in one weekend. Spike would go on to produce loads of amazing films and even win an academy award.
Keenan Milton was the very first person added to the Chocolate team after deciding to start another brand. He quits Blind skateboards to join the team, and would forever go on to represent the DNA of what the Chocolate skateboards brand stood for. Keenan was known to be one of the nicest human beings ever and stood out because he has one of the smoothest styles on a skateboard.
He is famous for being the first person to switch flip a picnic table and for always being the life of the party. Tragically Keenan Milton passed away July 5th, 2001.
Not longer than a year after Keenan joins Chocolate, his childhood friend Gino Iannucci is added to the squad. Gino leaves Black Label to ride for Chocolate and was instantly a huge part of the brand with his signature style and trick selection. His full name is Luigi Giovanni Iannucci. In 2014, Gino announces he's leaving Chocolate to join Fucking Awesome skateboards.
THE CHOCOLATE TOUR:
In the summer of 1999, the Chocolate team leaves on tour across the country. They make a tour video in the style that Girl and Chocolate are famous for. The video becomes The Chocolate Tour video featuring; Chico Brenes, Daniel Castillo, Eric Koston, Gino Iannucci, Keenan Milton, Mike Carroll, Mike York, Paulo Diaz, Richard Mulder, Robbie McKinley, Scott Johnston, Stevie Williams, Tim Gavin, Tony Ferguson.
The video is again loaded with great skits and does a great job of showing the personality of the pros on the team.
Josh Kalis becomes good friends with Stevie skating in Philly at love park, he tries to get him on Alien Workshop a few different times but it doesn't work out. Stevie says in a Vice interview that he was known to be a little "rough around the edges". He hitchhikes to California and ends up homeless in San Francisco. At this time one of his friends shows his tape to Rick Howard and the Girl skateboards family. They take a chance on Stevie and he becomes the newest Chocolate rider. He bursts onto the scene in the Hot Chocolate video, saying that Keenan Milton really took him under his wing at this time, and showed him how to act and be a professional skateboarder.
Stevie Williams gets a Chocolate logo tattoed on his arm because he said they are family and they took a chance on him at a time when no one else would. In 2002, Stevie leaves Chocolate to start DGK skateboards
After running Enjoi skateboards for years and getting burnt out, Chocolate skateboards surprises the world by announcing him on the team in the Yeah Right video. He goes on to have stand-out parts in the Hot Chocolate Tour, Fully Flared, Pretty Sweet, and many more. In November of 2013, they announce Marc's close friend Jerry Jsu is being added to the team.
HOT CHOCOLATE TOUR:
In 2004, Chocolate goes on tour across the states once again, this time featuring the modern Chocolate team. The video features Kenny Anderson, Chico Brenes, Daniel Castillo, Justin Eldridge, Gino Iannucci, Marc Johnson, Scott Johnston, Richard Mulder, Chris Roberts, Mike York.
Chocolate would go on to let out many other amazing tour videos including; Se Habla Canuck (2004), Badass Meets Dumbass (2007), TONY Tour (2020).
In 2012, Girl and Chocolate release their video Pretty Sweet. It gets the name because girls are pretty and chocolate is sweet. The video is filmed by Ty Evans and produced by Spike Jonze, it instantly breaks all sales records for a skateboard video, becoming the highest-selling skateboard video of all time. This record probably still stands today because videos aren't really sold much anymore.
Pretty Sweet features part from Alex Olson, Brandon Biebel, Brian Anderson, Chico Brenes, Chris Roberts, Cory Kennedy, Daniel Castillo, Elijah Berle, Eric Koston, Gino Iannucci, Guy Mariano, Jeron Wilson, Jesus Fernandez, Justin Eldridge, Kenny Anderson, Marc Johnson, Mike Carroll, Mike Mo Capaldi, Raven Tershy, Rick Howard, Rick McCrank, Sean Malto, Stevie Perez, and Vincent Alvarez.
Chris Roberts burst onto the skateboard scene with his stand-out trick in Toy Machine's Welcome To Hell. Soon after he was added to the Chocolate skateboards squad. He went on to film a Switch Flip Manual on the LA Courthouse stage, also known as "the trick heard round the world”, a trick many pros compare to the skateboarding equivalent to the Mona Lisa.
He is currently still pro for Chocolate Skateboards and running the world's biggest skateboarding podcast The Nine Club.
Over the years Chocolate has done some truly stand out collaborations with loads of different companies including:
-Fairdale bike co
The modern Chocolate skateboards team is still stacked and consists of Kenny Anderson, Justin Eldridge, Jesus Fernandez, Stevie Perez, Chris Roberts, Raven Tershy, James Capps, Carl Aikens, and Erik Herrera.
We have even been hearing rumors that there is a new Chocolate video in the works!