We met up with Trevor Dericks, founder of Alum Boards to find out more about his unique decks.
What is it about aluminium? What draws you to it?
AlumBoards started as a hobby around 10 years ago. My father and family run a sheet metal fabrication business and always practice high standards for their customers who are mostly pharmaceuticals and large production factories, with the occasional projects in custom home design. Metal was a resource I always had at my disposal to be creative for my personal projects. The first longboard that I built for myself was an Aluminum pintail based shaped similar to a Sector 9 cosmic 2. It weighed over 10lbs and was half an inch thick and all hand cut with a band saw. It was great for sliding in parking garages and one to run away from when torpedoing downhill. Since then my personal goal was to make a metal deck that I would legitimately pick over my favorite wooden boards when going out to board on a daily basis. Aluminum became the material of choice after trying a variety of metals because it is lighter, doesn’t rust, naturally grips to the foot, and actually has smooth dampening effect like softer woods to make for a comfortable ride.
Your boards are visually impressive – how are they created?AlumBoards before it went public had a few years of serious research and design testing with 3 very important personal goals; Needed to have various flex levels, have concave, and be “Functionally Artistic”. I have taught myself AutoCad, other design and drafting programs and also how to operate a water jet cutting machine. The water jet is essentially a water gun that works along an x and y axis and uses water mixed with garnet a sand like abrasive to cut with 60,000psi through any material besides tempered glass. All boards are drawn and machined by me. I have become so in-tuned with the water jet that I can hand draw to scale with machine accuracy tolerances in mind. After a board is cut out, it is then given shape with a rounded concave and bends for kicktails and other shapes. The last step is finish, by using grinders to polish the board with different textures and custom paint designs. AlumBoards is a designer board company that makes the building of the board a personal journey for each customer. No two AlumBoards leave the shop identical. Tell us a little bit about your skate background?Skating is life! Since I was 8 and given my first Element fire ant deck I was hooked. Bike racing was a big part of my life and would go out for hours all over on them. The problem with a bike was that it wasn’t as easily transportable when used for commuting. You had to lock it up places and always worry about if it was going to be stolen. Skateboards were much better since you could take them with you everywhere. I saw my first longboard sophomore year of high school and I was instantly sold. I loved longboards because the bigger platform and wheels allowed you to travel over different terrain much easier and make for a smoother faster ride. Throughout college I hung out at a very cool skate shop called Rid’n High in Burlington Vermont that had a weekly late night longboard outings called Thrashing Thursdays. This continued till after I graduated and was a teacher at different schools. Students always had fun guessing which board I would arrive on each day. What prompted you to team up with the Cruise for Boobs and Breast Cancer Awareness month?When I moved back to New Jersey to start my career in metal fabrication I didn’t know anyone so I started focusing on building AlumBoards. I ran into Brett Erb who worked at a local longboard shop and seemed to know every brand and event happening throughout the tri-state area. One being the “Staten Island 40” hosted by Joey Curry. I loved the idea of meeting up with a whole group of riders to tour a new place that we all were not familiar with and getting lost bringing a true sense of adventure. During the trip Joey mentioned that in a couple months he was doing a 150 mile event from Boston to Portland Maine. I thought he was bluffing and wasn’t serious and I said skeptically “If you are really going to do this trip I will not back out from doing it”. He totally one-upped me and not only was it a skate trip from Boston to Portland but it was “Cruise for Boobs” an interactive skate fundraiser for B4BC. This was around the time I was starting to make boards for customers. As promotion for the event I cut out all the donors names on the board I traveled on and on the bus ride back from Maine the crew drew names and played rock papers scissors to see which donor would receive the board. The other board I designed looked like a female wearing a corset. This board was silently auctioned at the Benefit bash concert and won by Alex who also did the Cruise for Boobs. I have to thank Joey and all the longboarders I have met these past few years for pushing me to be an active contributor to the skating community. AlumBoards team will continue to support any future Cruise for Boobs events and are very excited for this years push from Philly to Manhattan! What are some of your future plans?AlumBoards future is really starting to take off! Once was just an ongoing shop experiment to build a board that I would choose to ride to now a whole line of custom boards and products. We have an incredible team that are equally as motivated to promote an active and fun skating community. Chiaka, Alex, Tyson, Peri, and Carlo I have to thank for all their support in making AlumBoards what it is today. The team lives by the motto P.A.C.T. which stands for Performance, Art, Community, and Travel. We plan to start skate groups and clinics in NJ and NY area, while continuing to support other events all over the country. We will continue to make designer boards, while also starting to branch out and collaborate with other skate companies and artists to make some really cool projects. Stay Tuned!