1. Crailtap launched in 2001 as an umbrella site for all of the Girl Distribution brands. Rick Howard and Andy Jenkins chose the name because, as Jenkins explains, “It’s our favorite trick.” While the name stuck right away, there was some disagreement on what tapping the crail really meant. “We called Neil Blender and Steve Claar to clarify,” company co-owner Megan Baltimore says. With the experts consulted, Crailtap.com was born. For the record, a crailtap is a tailblock grabbing crail.
2. The original format for the site was going to be a different design for every “issue,” which would be rolled out periodically. Rob Abeyta Jr. was instrumental with the origins of the Crailtap layout and the design of the Crail board graphic. Bob Kronbauer took over the Daily Randoms section in 2002, replacing Andy Jenkins, the original blogger. For a while, the site was known as Bobtap.com because Bob put so much work into and help started its cult following. Bob now does clubmumble.com among other things. Aaron Meza has since taken over for Bob and handles the Daily Randoms and is creator of the Crail Couch interviews.
3. The two-headed goat on Crailtap was put on the page to help change the image of the demonic beast, claims Megan. “Passion for goats came from Tony Larson. He was always pissed that goats were in pentagrams or seen as evil, and we talked a lot about a campaign to get them understood.”
4. The site has been both helpful and dangerous to the personal relationships of the teams and staff. “A lot of girlfriends have clued in to the site as being a good way to keep up with their boyfriends and what they’re doing on tour,” says Aaron Meza. Reda even got into a pickle of sorts with a girlfriend when his quote of “Tell Megan to take a vacation and let my new girlfriend run this place,” was posted on the site. Later that day, Reda got a call from his soon to be ex-girl about the new woman in question. Ouch.
5. Thanks to some of his Greatest Misses appearing on the site, a few of Hershel’s previously unloved deck graphics have actually gone into production. The Koston Powers and Malto Mini Me deck got such good feedback that it actually made it into the Girl production line. Additionally, a Canadian distributor liked some of Hersh’s other “misses” so much they ordered six of the designs: 100% Howard Powered, It’s OK to Say Eh/Howard, Mike Carroll Rambo and Hairwolf, Guy Mariano’s Guy Skateboards, and Where’s Mike Mo?
6. Girl’s Talent Manager, Sam Smyth, was such a fan of MTV’s “The Real World” that he started his own column on Crailtap to review each episode. He even had one of the cast members over to his house at one point. “Right after ‘The Real World, Las Vegas’ season ended, I had Alton in my living room,” says Smyth. Alton had moved in with his girlfriend who lived in the neighborhood, and through friends of friends Smyth heard about it and invited him over. Alton showed up with a half-empty 5th of Jack Daniels. “He was pretty wobbly,” Smyth explains. “He tried to light a cig in my living room. I told him he had to take it outside. He came back in, he and I did a shot of his Jack, then he tried to spark another butt. I asked if he was f**king kidding me. He then spilled his Jack. After he cleaned it up, he bounced.” Smyth continued writing reviews up until 2007, though is love of “The Real World” was never the same.
7. While most of the subjects who offer up their Top 5s for Crailtap are directly involved with skating in some capacity, there have been a couple random stars of the Top 5 column. Comedians David Cross and Dave Chappelle both agreed to do their Top 5s as favors to their friends Spike Jonze and Andy Jenkins. Having friends in high places went even higher when former vice president and “inventor” of the Internet, Al Gore, was also lined up for a Top 5 in conjunction with the Girl camp working with one of his charities similar to Product Red. Questions were conceived and emailed to Gore’s people, but the responses never came. The questions must not have been in a PowerPoint format.
8. The only other person to supposedly never turn in their Top 5 questionnaire was Kenny Anderson. “He never turned in his Top 5 questions, which were given to him over six years ago when Bob Kronbauer still worked here,” states Meza. Kenny tells a different side of the story though. “That’s not true.” Kenny says. “I turned them in and nothing ever came of it. Meza keeps claiming I never turned them in but, let’s see, it’s 2009 now, I probably turned it in about six years ago. So, I’ve been waiting six years for my Top 5 to come out.”
9. Girl staff photog Ben Colen is a true D&D fan, a fact that Meza happily brought to light on multiple occasions on The Tap. “We were playing Taboo one night and somehow the movie The Dark Crystal came up and Ben knew all the creatures and what species they were. That’s where it comes from.” Even though Ben disputes this claim with, “Meza likes to always say, ‘You were totally that dude,’ and that dude could be ‘that stoner dude’ or ‘that backpack rap guy,’ and somehow I became ‘that D&D dude.’ I mean, I have enough D&D knowledge for comedy purposes, but it’s completely fabricated that I’m a wizard or something.” So, there you have it. Ben is “that D&D guy.”
10. The main Crail cloud was once put on auction on eBay for the low asking price of $100,000. It never sold but is still available for anyone with a hundred Gs burning a hole in their pocket.
11. Roger Bagley nearly ruined Fred Gall’s life with a photo for the front page. Bagley submitted a photo of a drunken Freddie standing beside two ladies with his pants lingering around his ankles and his hands covering up his man machine. “You gotta be careful when you pull that shit,” Fred says. “I was just hanging around some fat bitches that night and the next day the photo shows up on Crailtap.” Fred was concerned that the photo might send the wrong message about him.
12. The Ringer’s such a big Lakers fan that the column’s title, Ring Ring Ring, started when the Lakers were on their quest for a third ring with Shaq and Kobe back in 2002. And always the best at busting balls, the Ringer’s favorite person to make fun of is a three-way tie among Mikey (Carroll), Rick (Howard), and Spike Jonze. Jim Thiebaud and The Mez have both asked for mercy at one point or another.
13. Of all the videos on the site, Sean Malto’s Crail Couch interview is the most viewed with 34,200 views so far, narrowly beating out Brad Pitt’s Mini Top 5. Looks like Angelina might have found her next kid to adopt.
14. Jackass director Jeff Tremaine was the instigator who dared Spike Jonze to slap Andy Jenkins on the video posted in the Daily randoms a few months back. “I was on the phone with Spike and told him he should slap the shit out of Andy. I love seeing Andy get slapped. He’s old and fragile and never was into the immature physical behavior that Spike and I brought to him.” Spike decided to fake the incident instead and film it during a fake meeting. The stunt was pulled off so well that many Girl employees thought it was real along with many outsiders who thought Spike was a major dick for supposedly slapping an unsuspecting Andy. “I thought it was real at first too, but then we played it in slow motion and I saw that Spike didn’t really do it. Pussy,” says Tremaine.
15. The reason The Tap started bolding the proper nouns in The Randoms column was just so Tim Gavin could skim the column faster and find his name quicker. It’s known as Gav Bold.