Sven-Anders Alwerud President/Co-founder Jelly Skateboards Inc.
"Jelly Skateboards originated from two Southern California locals with a passion for speed, surfing and skating. At just 15 years old, high school buddies Sven Alwerud and Cody Leuck began to design their ideal carving machine-hacking away at crude prototypes made of bulletproof glass, in a side garage nonetheless.
But the big "AH-HA" moment didn't come until some years later, when Sven was attending college at Cal State San Marcos and had been using the old high school prototype to cruise from class to class. The clear deck was a hit-other students loved the original take on a classic concept. So Alwerud and Leuck were back in the board game once again. They began crafting prototypes in Cal State Chico's machine shop where Cody had been attending school. By combining vintage shapes and modern cutting edge materials Alwerud and Leuck were able to create a bulletproof, clear, flexible skateboard that captured the essence of surfing and snowboarding. In March of 2012, the company was officially incorporated and Jelly Skateboards was born."
Kevin J. Seele Founder & Chief Technical Innovations Officer
BLOCK Risers Innovation
Kevin graduated from Kansas State University in 2009 with his bachelors degree in Construction Science and Business Management. He continued on to Southern California where he accepted a position with Hensel Phelps, one of the largest general contractors and construction managers in the United States. Hensel Phelps is ranked consistently among ENR's (Engineering News-Record) top 20 Contractors with an annual revenue of over $3 billion dollars and has completed such projects as the Pentagon Wedge Renovations post 9-11, and hundreds of other multi-million dollar projects nationally. For over six years, Kevin has played a vital engineering role for Hensel Phelps, managing high profile commercial projects including the Renovation of Los Angeles World Airport Terminal 6 and the Reconfiguration of San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Border Crossing into Mexico--the largest land port entry in the World. Currently, Kevin is working with Hensel Phelps as a Design-Build Contractor for GSA planning, and coordinating the renovation and modernization of the downtown San Diego Federal building.A Kansas native, Kevin’s first college internship brought him to sunny San Diego where he picked up his very first longboard ever. Kevin has lived in California and has been skateboarding every day since. He made it his goal to bring together his love for skateboarding and passion for building so in 2012, he founded B+ Ideas LLC. Since then Kevin has spent his nights and weekends designing, prototyping and testing what we now know as BLOCK Risers Innovation.
Ari Hoffman Owner & Chief Operating Officer
BLOCK Risers Innovation
Mr. Hoffman's companies have secured a deal on the nationally acclaimed, hit television show, 'Shark Tank,' won the Nationally held FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, won the Dream Big America Challenge, the San Diego, "Lean, Mean, Green Start Up," Earthday's Sun Catcher Award, and have been awarded the Cool Company of 2013 by the SDVentureGroup. Mr. Hoffman himself has spoken at Universities, Public Schools, Private Schools, the US Chamber of Commerce, ESPN radio, iHeartRadio, Green Is Good Radio, and 33Voices. His talks range from Patent Performance to Start Up Business Logistics, to Motivating through the Power Of Positivity.
Mr. Hoffman was asked to join the board of advisers for Vet Tech and to become one of the lead organizers for 1 Million Cups, San Diego, furthering his ability to facilitate the Start Up community's growth in the Southern California region, while embedding his philosophy of equilateral collaboration.
Hoffman is also an owner/creator for several other companies in the U.S. including MatGames, DarnGoodWorld, and GOBIE h2o.
Q: What is the board made out of?
A: Bulletproof glass
Q: Is that really glass?
A: No, silly! It’s a thermoplastic polymer (plastic) that was invented in 1898 by a German scientist working at University of Munich. Polycarbonate can be found in the F-22 Raptor cockpit canopy, Humvee windows, bank windows, International Space Station, the list goes on and on!
Q: Is there grip?
A: We currently don’t offer grip, but the way we like to describe the grip is the same grippyness one feels when they are playing basketball on an indoor wood court. The squeaky sensation that you get between your shoes and the gym floor is the same feeling you get when riding a Jelly. Also, the new Man O’ War Longboard has concave that help lock in your feet.
Q: Is it durable or will it break?
A: Polycarbonate is extremely durable and possesses high-impact strength all while being 100% recyclable under classification “7”. We offer a six-month warranty and will send another board if structural damage arises whether by a manufacturer’s defect or by personal use, no questions asked.
Q: Does it scratch easy?
A: Yes, yes it does. Just like any skateboard out there, they will get scratched up. That’s just the nature of the sport.
Q: What is a riser BLOCK?
A: A riser BLOCK is the most convenient way to add some innovation and style to your skateboard while also preventing wheel bite.
Q: What is wheel bite?
A: Wheel bite is when the skateboard wheel makes contact with the bottom of the deck while turning sharply. This contact causes the wheel to stop rolling and likely sends you to make contact with the pavement!
Q: BLOCK risers are angled, what does that do?
A: An angled BLOCK allows you to “wedge” or “de-wedge” your trucks; therefore changing the geometry of your trucks.
Q: Changing the geometry, what does that mean?
A: When the geometry of the truck changes, it changes your turning radius. If you wedge your trucks, you can increase the amount of rotation on the truck. Therefore, you can turn in a smaller circle.
If you dewedge your trucks, it will give the board a less reactive feel. Your turning will be less so it will take a larger area to turn in the same circle, and the skateboard will be more stable at higher speeds.
Q: What is a Standard-Kingpin or Reverse-Kingpin?
A: First off, the Kingpin is the center bolt that allows the axle to pivot side to side.
Standard-Kingpin Trucks are often found on beach cruisers, and street skateboards that have either one or two kick tails. The center bolts on the trucks are on the inside of the skateboard. Reference the Jelly KingSlayer.
Reverse-Kingpin Trucks are often seen on longboards and allow for greater turning ability and a lower profile setup. The center bolt would be on the outside of skateboard. Reference the Jelly Man O’ War.
Q: How is the Jelly Man O’War setup?
A: The Jelly Man O’War will come set-up dewedged to allow for the most stable ride possible. This also provides a true front and rear view with your GoBLOCK.
Q: What is the difference between wedging and dewedging?
A: Wedging and dewedging are the same, no matter whether you have a Standard-Kingpin and Reverse-Kingpin truck(s): the fat side toward the center of the skateboard will “wedge” and make that truck turn more; the fat side toward the ends of the skateboard will “de-wedge” and make that truck turn less.
Q: Can you wedge and dewedge at the same time?
A: Several wedging characteristics can be experimented with. Just steer clear of dewedging the front and wedging the rear: you don't want the back of your board to turn more than the front. We call that “forklift steering” and it never ends well...
Q: Should I wedge or dewedge?
A: That will mostly depend on the style of riding you are doing as well as your personal preference.
Q: Can’t I just tighten the kingpin?
A: Tightening the kingpin only restricts the range of motion by slowing the turning action down and making it harder or easier to lean the board. Wedging (de-wedging) changes how much your board turns when you do lean it. Use your wrench to adjust kingpin tension for fine-tuning after you've decided on wedging (or none) and the proper bushing is chosen.
Q: Proper bushing, is there going to be a test?
A: There will not be a test, but changing the hardness (durometer) of your bushing increases or decreases the turning response. This is based on rider weight and personal preference.
Q: Do I have to wedge or dewedge?
A: The short answer is no, the high tech skateboard trucks available today allow for some great turning abilities but sometimes they still cause wheel bite. In this case BLOCK will soon offer both the BettyBOX and StandardBLOCK as a standard flat risers so you can still take advantage of the most innovative #*?# ever.
Q: Can I eliminate wheel bite without this complicated wedging or riser sizing?
A: Yes, but this involves changing your wheel size or skateboard deck all together. Risers and/or wedging is way less complicated than that! So, add a set of BLOCK risers and eliminate the hassle of buying the more expensive components.
Q: BLOCK doesn’t have the size riser that I think I need, what gives?
A: Soon my friend, soon we will have risers of all sizes for your skateboard needs. Right now, we've got the sizes most skaters are going to use.
Q: I have the BettyBOX but the opening doesn’t face the direction I want my camera pointed?
A: The more money we raise, the more BLOCK riser innovations you will see. Hang tight.
Q: So my current skateboard doesn’t have wheel bite and I love my skateboard the way it is, why do I need BLOCK risers?
A: Because it is the most innovative #*?# ever. Give your skateboard its own set of eyes with a GoBLOCK or store your house key and a few dollars and a stick of gum in the StashBLOCK. Plus, you will want to have a BettyBOX to take advantage of all of the other cool things we have in store for you!
Q: I have a drop through skateboard deck, what about me?
A: Relax compadre, pair the BettyBOX with a TopBLOCK and you will be GoBLOCKing and StashBLOCKing in no time. You’ve also just bought yourself one fancy toe-stop!
With today’s high tech line-up of skateboard trucks and the vast array of wheel sizes, customization is endless. If the set-up you choose allows the wheels to touch the bottom of the skateboard while turning, your wheel will likely stop in its tracks and send you to the pavement. Add in a set of BLOCK risers and you can experience those sharp turns safely without having wheel bite.
BLOCK risers fit all Old School & New School mounting patterns.
BLOCK risers go hand-in-hand with the high tech skateboard trucks on today’s market.
BLOCK risers are a skateboard performance enhancement to keep your wheels from hitting the bottom of your board and locking up while turning from side to side.
Q: What is next for the BettyBOX?
A: While we have several products in the line-up we will do customer polling to see what you want next!