Student builds skateboards by hand
Some students are notorious for skating through school.
But for Dante Vicino, a junior at The Bishop’s School who lives in Del Mar, skateboarding may just be the application-boost needed for admission to a top-tier university. Vicino manufactures boards by hand, taking orders by phone and through his online store. While his work is done out of love for skating, entrepreneurship is always a plus on a college application.
“I found I had a knack for it, and it just evolved,” he said.
Under the brand name Inferno Skateboards, Vicino offers various products ranging from a 5-foot-long woody to boards as short as 3 feet. The customer has the freedom to alter many things, including the art on the bottom and even the dimensions.
“They tell me their riding style, height, weight — all that stuff plays a factor into it,” he said. “Usually in about a day or so I’ll have a good first draft. I can turn that back to them and say, ‘Hey, do you guys like this?’ ”
Vicino’s least-expensive board is $180, whereas the woody costs $300. His only requirement is that there is some place for his company’s logo to be visible.
“If you really want a custom, hand-built board that took time to make, the extra 30 bucks are worth it,” Vicino said, referring to prestigious Sector 9 boards that usually cost $150. “I’ve had people tell me my boards ride like a Ferrari would if they made Ferrari into a skateboard.”
Vicino, who learned woodworking from his father, became interested in skating after sixth grade. He said he has sold a few dozen boards through his business, which comes second to his ultimate pursuit of a medical degree.
“It’s kind of an off-season for me because of school,” Vicino said. “This is the year that counts when you want to get into college.”
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