Stereo, based in southern California, was founded as a retro skateboard brand in 1992 by friends Jason Lee (star of My Name is Earl) and Chris Pastras. The company was revived in 2003 after it had been defunct for several years, and now, with over two decades of heritage behind it, Stereo continues to be influential, offering decks and soft goods. As of 2014, its new distribution home is Syndrome.
The original Team Stereo included Ethan Fowler, Matt Rodriguez, Carl Shipman and Mike Daher in addition to Lee and Pastras. Its roster of team riders is now divided into three sections – Pro, Classic and Am. Stereo’s two pros are Clint Peterson and Kyle Leeper, while its ‘classics’ are Lee, Shipman, Rodriguez and Pastras, plus Chris Miller. Am riders are Tony Karr, Tommy Fynn, Ben Fisher, Nate Greenwood and Nick Zizzo.
The company’s first video, the full-length A Visual Sound in 1994, had many non-skateboarding influences, and adopted the aesthetic of retro companies such as the Blue Note jazz record label. It was followed in 1996 by the full-length Tincan Folklore, and Way Out East! in 2004, featuring Pastras, Lee and Peterson, plus Keegan Sauder, Olly Todd and Benny Fairfax. More recent releases have included the Agency Field Report promo in 2008.
Each month, Stereo also releases a new must-see volume in the Stereophonic Sound series – recent episodes have included full video parts from up-and-comers like Yoshi Tanenbaum, plus montages of pros Peterson and Leeper, and cameos from Jason and Pilot Lee.