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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Updated: November 28, 12:57 PM ET
Introducing new World rider Derek Fukuhara

Derek Fukuhara has been around for a minute in the skate game but his talents have been underappreciated ... until now. Today it has been announced that Fukuhara is the latest amateur addition to the World Industries team. I caught up with Fukuhara to talk about the new sponsorship and to welcome him as a teammate.

Utilizing a heaping curb cut, Derek Fukuhara pops up into a tall 5-0 grind.

How did you get on World Industries?
Pretty much through [World IndustriesTeam Manager] Charlie Thomas. My friend [Mike Stanfield] Mikendo has had a good relationship with Charlie for a while now and we just started skating together.

Why do they call him Mikendo?
I think he calls himself Mikendo [laughs]. I think it was self-proclaimed. But it probably goes back to his nerd days of Star Wars and Nintendo.

You had an awesome part in Mikendo's video "Filmbot Files," but then you kind of laid low for a while. What were you doing in the meantime?
I was still skating the whole time. I was working a lot at the shop, being involved in that.

Derek Fukuhara is the latest addition to the World Industries team.

But you had a Digital part and a "Mag Minute" that came out a few months ago, was that it?
I shared a 411 part with Jason Wakuzawa and, after "Filmbot Files," we did a Project Hardware video that I had a part in as well. But I was just skating and keeping it low key. I didn't have anybody backing me to put footage out and this was during the transition to the Internet, so you had to have someone backing you to get footage out.

You were on Shut skateboards for a while, what happened with them?
That was rad! I was on Shut for about two years and I got to go out there a couple times and kick it with those dudes. There is no better way to see New York than to go out there and hang with those dudes who were born and raised there. They are an East Coast company and I live out here on the west side. So they have a different outlook on skating and I felt it was just time to move on.

You can skate pretty much anything. Who inspired you growing up?
My first three favorite skateboarders were Daewon Song, Pat Channita, and Ronnie Creager. It's awesome you think I skate everything because I usually like to just stay low to the ground [laughs]. I'm a big sissy, I can't just jump down big sets of stairs; I need to stand there at the top stressing forever before I do my trick.

How are things going with Ezekiel clothing?
They are good. Things over there are rad. We've gone through a lot of employees over the years and right now we have a sick crew. The team is great and the people working there are awesome. We all get to hang out and its rad. We did this "life rolls on" demo at the Venice skatepark recently with like 50 or 60 people in wheelchairs and helped them cruise around the park. It was awesome.

Derek Fukuhara hoists a sizable ollie over a Southern California bump-to-bar.
Who is taking care of you now?
World Industries, Ezekiel, the dudes at Bones hook me up with wheels, George at Adidas flows me shoes, Filmbot Grip, and Markisa.

What's next for you?
I am sitting at my computer rendering out this Welcome to World Industries video right now. That should be up within the next week.. Just staying on the grind: work, skate and travel. Experience good times with friends.