Indo Board Co.
Who founded Puppet Skateboarding and when?
Me. I am the only one. Yoki Alfikar. First products came out in 2009.
Why do you call your board company ‘Puppets’?
I think we in this world are just acting out something. A powerful group can control us. And we are becoming more and more like dolls (laughing). Sorry to be so serious but it is true. Indonesia has a traditional doll called Wayang, and I present its name universally with Puppets.
Why did you decided to start your own board company?
At that time hard to find skatestuffs in Indonesia. We needed to go to Jakarta or Bali or entrust a friend who is studying in the USA or abroad. And skate stuffs are very expensive. Many friends want to skate but they are hindered by expensive skate equipment.
Are your boards manufactured in Indonesia?
We have no manufacturing in Indo. No wood factory understand about skateboard. Mostly they do furniture (laughing). We do manufacture in China. They have skateboard factories.
Do you sell them from you store/online or also through other skate shops?
10 years we have been busy focusing on building Puppets branding. Then Covid19 spread in 2020. I think it’s going to be a tough year, so I decided I should have a retail skate shop and currently we sell our products from our own own store as well as through other skate shops in several cities in Indonesia.
Do you sell them outside of Indonesia as well? If so, what countries?
We are exploring that, we have riders in Spain (e.g. Benjamin Perez). We hope it can open up our opportunities to expand our business overseas. Currently overseas sales are still through direct to customer.
How come you have riders in Spain? How did this happen?
Internet connecting us. I have a friend (@gochiestrella). He is a filmer. We met in Bali and he likes my brand. He is a kind person as he wants to help me promote Puppets in Spain. He knows some skateboarders in Spain. Then he introduced me to them.
‘When we started, people still thought USA- minded. The local skateboard brand is still a strange thing for many people.’
What advise would you give to a skater that is looking for a board sponsorship?
It can be different from one person’s point of view. For me personally, keep focus on your style. I mean continue to explore your potential. Skateboarding is now starting to look easy because of the internet. Without you having to bother, people out there will easily monitor you. So just focus on skills. Attitude is also important to me.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in starting up your own board company?
10 years ago, the toughest challenge was to make sure that this local brand also had good quality. When we started, people still thought USA minded. The local skateboard brand is still a strange thing for many people.
What was your biggest success so far?
Success for me is if I have been useful to many people. I think I’m not at that point yet. I want to help more people.
If you could pick one pro skater to ride for Puppets, who would it be and why?
Torey Pudwill. I like style and his technic. He seems like a good person, not much bad behavior (laughing).
Which Skateboard brand inspires you most at the moment and why?
I have loved skate habitat since the beginning I knew skateboarding. They have a consistent characteristic until now, and that’s hard. They can bring other things outside the skateboard to be interesting on a skateboard. Their campaign about earth and nature was amazing.
What are your plans with Puppets Skateboarding?
I want Puppets to be more useful than just the skateboarding community. I want to be involved a lot in humanity, helping the poor sick people. At least I can ease their burden.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
Johny Schillereff. His wise and his experience in shaping brand personality. Seems like he is also a kind and caring person. I like his personality. I want to meet him.