New Orleans native Terrill Jefferson is a passionate skateboarder and clothing designer who's soon to become a household name. Covering the best parts of street skating, adaptive skating and tearing up his fair share of pools, Jefferson has amassed several notable sponsors at the age of 25. His sponsors range from Nike and Dickies to the iconic skate companies Independent Truck and Bones Bearings, with more collaborations to come.

Read more: Meet Christopher Hiett, the eccentric skateboarder blurring the lines between different generations

Beyond skateboarding, Jefferson is dedicated to his other passion for tailoring and customizing his own clothing, which has spawned his signature brand Eighthward Designs. While the operation is still in its infancy, his designs have caught the attention of everyone he comes across, leading to an impressive word-of-mouth clientele. Jefferson, who has since relocated to Southern California, has certainly come a long way since his days in New Orleans and is looking forward to a flourishing skateboarding career and reaching the many goals he has set for the future.

Growing up in New Orleans, what was the skateboarding scene like? 

It was rough. You have to work your way around gritty obstacles; it’s not easy. Even with the skateparks, they were not super clean or smooth. It’s more DIY compared to these California parks. It’s a really different place. 

When did you discover skateboarding? 

I started skateboarding at 10 years old, so it’s been about 15 years. I started with street skating since there were no skateparks in New Orleans. We ended up moving somewhere else in Louisiana, and there was a skatepark there, thankfully. We moved away originally because of Hurricane Katrina, but then I moved back.

Wow, that must have been really tough moving away from New Orleans due to Katrina. 

It’s all right. When I look back on it, I am here today because of Katrina, and it’s all good. I’d probably still be stuck in New Orleans if it wasn’t for Katrina.

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

How would you describe your skating style now? 

I came a long way. I’m skating in more of an adaptive style to a course because I can dabble with transitions and stuff too. 

What inspired the move to Southern California? 

I was working at Subway in New Orleans, and the minimum wage was $7.25. I was making 300 bucks every two weeks, and I didn’t know how long I could do that but knew I needed to change my life. [Skate company owner and footwear designer] Sal Barbier called me one day and encouraged me to make the move, so I packed up my car, and that was a wrap. 

How often are you skating every day?

I usually skate five days a week. I take two days off a week because everybody needs a mental break from something. I do clothes too with an industrial sewing machine and make my own clothes, so I’m on that every day that I’m not skating. I feel like you need a few hobbies to even everything out.

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

I saw that you do tailor work — that’s dope. 

Yeah, it’s called Eighthward Designs. I tailor all my clothes myself and want to make this a local brand. I am posting every day, and when people holler at events or bars asking me where I got my pants, it’s a good way for me to bring attention to the brand. 

Have you become friends with some of your skateboarding heroes? 

Yeah, it’s crazy. I’ve been skating with people I’ve watched on YouTube for years. I’ve skated with Nyjah Huston, Peter Hewitt and so many other people. I’m just so grateful to be here. 

What music are you listening to, and what do you like to skate to? 

I’ve been listening to a lot of indie rock and some local bands that are all super good. That shit's nice, and it gets me hyped up to skate.

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

What sponsors are you currently hooked up with at the moment? 

Nike, Dickies, Independent Truck, Spitfire, Bones Bearings and this one company called Fucking Awesome

Can we expect a signature board or shoe collaboration at some point? 

I’m still putting the pieces together. I was about to sign something earlier this year, and it’s a long story, but I ended up not signing. I have to take care of a couple of things first, but [I'm] looking forward to something next year. 

What kind of goals do you have for the future of your skating career? 

To be honest, I’m not money hungry, but I’m looking to have a future in skating next year where I can pay my own bills through it. If you can do it, then why not? You have to always have a goal.

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]

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[Photo by Jerry Buttles]