‘When I saw them and people from different countries use my boards, it became clear that making surfboards and skateboards for me is more than just business. It’s the connection and friendship that touch me the most.’
Why did you decided to start your own board company?
I started Lucas and Sons surfboards in 2009. There were only very little numbers of Indonesian surfboard brands back then, and most of the shapers were in Bali. I was an odd one out to shape surfboards in Bandung, the capital of West Java. Why did I start making my own board? Why not? I have always been a maker, I studied design and I live in a city that provides a lot of materials to build and create things. Eventhough I produce surfboards, skateboarding has always been an important part of my life, I even have a small ramp at my backyard. My love to board scene can also be seen on the graphics on my surfboards, I create parody of notable skateboards and I get immensive amount of inspiration from pro-skaters and designers.
Which pro-skater and designer inspires you at the moment?
Jamie Thomas, from Zero Skate. He creates a lot inspiring projects.
Tell us something about yourself? I was born and raised in Bandung, Indonesia, and then I studied industrial design in uni. In 1996, with a bunch of friends, we started an independent brand called 347boardriding co. but after 10 years we rebranded it as ‘Unkl347’ where we sell apparels based on the skateboarding and surfing life style. At that time, there were not any local brands that focused in the subculture. We’re now celebrating our 25th year in the business. Apart from that, I do music, designs, painting and sculpturing as well, while running my other company, Lucas and Sons homemade surfboards, where I have a lot of space for some self-exploration.
‘However, the process of making bamboo ply is much more intricate, it needs more hand craftmanship. You need to have the knowledge in treating bamboo as a material.’
Where do you manufacture your boards in Indonesia or do you press them yourself?
Where do you get the material from? Lucas and Sons bamboo skateboards are fully manufactured at my own workshop in Bandung. I live in a suburb where we have a lot of bamboo trees grows wildly so it’s really easy to find the materials here. Bamboo is used so much in our culture, we use them in the kitchens, bathrooms, gardens, so I guess it comes so natural to have it on skateparks.
So do your press your own bamboo skateboards or is there a different process for bamboo?
I do the whole processing for the bamboo decks right from the beginning to the finishing stage at my workshop, and that includes the pressing as well. I design the graphics myself and apply them to the boards.
Do you screen print or by heat transfer?
Mostly screen print and decals. We’re working towards eco-friendly materials for our bamboo boards including the prints. Right now we’re doing some experiments using natural dyes and colorings.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of bamboo skateboards compared to traditional maple skateboards?
As a skateboard, bamboo gives more flexibility than maple boards, and as I live in a tropical country, we don’t find maple trees here. However, the process of making bamboo ply is much more intricate, it needs more hand craftmanship. You need to have the knowledge in treating bamboo as a material.
Any performance advantages over maple?
I think I read somewhere that bamboo boards have more pop. The drier the material (whether it be maple or bamboo), the more it pops. We try our best to be consistent to the quality of our boards. I don’t think it’s particularly different, the pops on bamboo and maple.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in starting up your own board company?
The biggest challange would be setting up the workshop. It’s taking me some time to invest on the space, equipments and machinaries, I’m still working on it step by step. I’m not in a rush though, I’d like to make sure that I know the process well, starting from looking for the right materials, finding efficient equipments, up to the waste management.
What was your biggest success so far?
I was so stoked to see my surfboards being appreciated and used by some of my skateboard heroes like Steve Caballero and Salman Agah. They were using the surfboard version of their notable skateboards. When I saw them and people from different countries use my boards, it became clear that making surfboards and skateboards for me is more than just business. It’s the connection and friendship that touch me the most.
‘Ben Koppl (ig @rollersurfer). I love his style, his tricks are always seems original and creative to me. He reminds me of how skatebording is all about having fun.’
Are you sponsoring any skaters? If so, are they all from Indonesia? I’ve just started making bamboo boards so my mind is occupied with its development. However, I have given out some boards to support the homies in Bandung. It matters much for me to have my boards accepted by the locals, their inputs have always been insightful.
If you could pick one pro-skater to ride for Lucas&Sons, who would it be and why? Ben Koppl (ig @rollersurfer). I love his style, his tricks are always seems original and creative to me. He reminds me of how skatebording is all about having fun.
Which Skateboard brand inspires you most at the moment and why? Powell Peralta has always been my child hood hero. Right now, New Deal Skateboards inspires me a lot because when they introduce a brand they actually produce the boards themselves. I love brands that shows its soul, their hard work and energy actually transpires even through social media screens.
What are your plans with Lucas&Sons Skateboarding?
I guess, I’m focusing on setting up my workshop to be a better place, not only to produce boards but also include the skate scene, especially in Bandung, into the development. I’m hoping one day my workshop can support more skaters to work and develop their ideas. At the end of the day, if we want the scene to grow, it takes everyone to be happy, not only one or two successful people.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
I’d love to chat with Professor Schmitt, the owner of New Deal Skateboards and Psstix.
What would you ask him?
A lot (laughing). I can’t think of any specific questions but I know I’ll start by thanking him for inspiring me a lot. Maybe the main question would be: what keeps him going.
‘At the end of the day, if we want the scene to grow, it takes everyone to be happy, not only one or two successful people.’