For being arguably the most technical skateboarder alive, Daewon Song is as humble and down to earth as it can get. Where other pros might seem contrived, giving polite smiles and halfassed thanks, Daewon listens and comes off as genuinely thankful to be where he is today. We called him up a week after his new part in “5-Incher” came out to talk about skating rocks, drinking a shit ton of beer, and most importantly, his addiction to doughnuts.
Whats with your obsession with doughnuts?
I was obsessed with doughnuts because my mom used to make these doughnuts when I was growing up every great once and a while. My parents were pretty strict, like I had to take weird tests and stuff to even just go play outside.
Yeah, my mom was insane, a nut. Like if she took us us trick or treating, she’d follow us, like a foot behind us, get all the candy and then hide it and we would never see it the whole year. I just didn’t get it. She wanted us to, I guess, live through hell so life in general wouldn’t be bad. I feel as tho she kind of prepped me for how crazy this world could be.
But she used to make these doughnuts every once in a while and when she would make them I was like who possessed her? She’s actually making some sweet treats for us. She would pull them out of the frying pan and then sprinkle a little light sugar over it. I remember biting into it and ever since then I feel like I’ve been looking for that taste. It sounds so silly, but I just craved it all the time.
How many would you eat a day?
Years back I was really hitting the doughnuts hard, hitting a 6 pack for breakfast and a 6 pack for dinner. I was just like holy shit, I looked like Theodore from the chipmunks!
Did you ever get fat?
In this old Matix clothing shoot, I seriously look like im layered with like 6 sweatshirts and a flannel. I fall In the pool and it looks like people were gonna have to help me get up. But I cut back, cause I’ve been trying to eat better and pace myself. You can’t eat 6 or 7 doughnuts in the morning everyday and then have like a T-bone steak at Norms late night. It just caught up to me and the past 2 and a half years I have been able to pace myself and have a doughnut here and there and take it easy. It’s like I had an addiction to alcohol or something.
What is the most amount in one sitting?
Oh dude, I’ve eaten, 12 in one sitting and I’m not talking about the 60 cent ones I’m talking about the upgraded ones too, you know that bear claw that costs you about 80 cents. I used to do a bear claw, a cinnamon roll, two twists, a glaze…. If I had that and the doughnut shop happens to have the right milk. I like the 2 percent, cause it’s more like water but you get that little milky taste. Once I drench that doughnut in there, they dissolve in your mouth. It’s like air laced with sugar and you just deflate them in your mouth.
Like Krispy Kream.
Yeah they are easy, you could seriously take like 7, step on them real quick and just make a flat giant pancake and have that and you’re good to go.
How has the video part feedback been for your new video part in “5 Incher”?
I get a lot of mixed reviews, some people wanted to see super tech skating or a lot more tranny. But this part is just stuff when I’m just driving around and it catches my eye and I just pull over and skate it. I was trying to get across to people like if skateparks never existed and there were no actual spots, or we got kicked out of everywhere, there’s always options. They cannot skate stop everything. I would hope they would skate stop trees and every single light post.. It’s almost to set an example like look, you guys can skate stop things but we skate everything. So maybe they should think twice about even skate stopping anything else, because we figure it out.
How long did it take to film the part?
I basically filmed that part in two months. You can kind a tell, the thing is it’s really basic stuff, but what I got out of it, people don’t know. I can go find a real buttery ledge and I can kickflip front krooks it pretty quickly. But skating things like rocks – the feeling of your truck against the rock, it did not grind. Nobody would know that just to get a grind thru it a decent amount was such a nightmare, I kept sticking. I just knew it was a challenge for me. And I figured one is going to work, so I ended up getting a couple, and that’s what I got out of it.
When I switch tre flipped onto the tree, that’s just a basic trick, but for me the tree kept sinking in. Everytime I landed on the tree, my wheels would sink in and I couldn’t ride off. So what I had to do was when I landed on it, I almost had to jump a millimeter up off my board, so my board has a second to come down, and then I make it. But these are things that nobody will know except yourself. That’s what I mean, for that part I just challenged myself and not worry about what people were gonna think.
Has anyone called you rock man or the rock assassin yet?
Hahah. I mean over Instagram and other people tagging it yeah. People have like even tagged me in a street full of pebbles. It’s pretty rad. I have to embrace it, it’s just what’s gonna happen. Whatever people call me that’s fine, I respect everyone out there that supports.
Your last trick was almost like an anti-banger. Were you trying to convey just have fun with it?
Exactly. That’s what I wanted people to get out of that. I went to that spot initially to film a flip trick into it but I seriously got there, and just did a couple of early grabs instead. It was like who cares just go and enjoy yourself, go and have fun. I brought it back to my roots, that was the first trick I ever learned, I could do a judo off a launch ramp before I could even ollie.
Do you ever get the asian flush?
I get a little red but I’m pretty dark.
Apparently some Asians don’t have some enzymes to break down alcohol so they turn real red.
Really? Nah I’ve never had that problem. If anything I need that, cause there has been points where I overdid it. There’s a lot of stories that people don’t know about me and my drinking habits, it’s stupid. But I’ve toned down my drinking just as much as the doughnuts, they’re in the same category. [laughs]
Yeah you seem in control and about moderation now.
Yeah the drinking was out of control for a while but it was because I was going thru a pretty bad separation. I slept in my car for 2 weeks straight because I was on a bender. It was like Jack In The Box breakfast burritos every morning and 17 beers every night. You should have seen how bloated I was. It’s pretty insane. If you ever get a chance to talk to Reda you should ask him about the time he experienced me in Australia drinking. The first time I met him I ripped the sheets off of him and I wanted to fight him. I have no idea why, he just said I kept saying, “stop shooting photos of me!!” That’s where it goes sometimes.
Your just in your own head.
Yeah and like it was because when I was in Australia, they gave me 10 beers and they tasted like shit. Turns out, there was vodka shots in every single beer, but they didn’t tell me till afterwards. 10 shots and 10 beers, pretty fun haha.
What’s with your trucks? I know they are insanely loose. At what point did you start doing that?
I started doing it alittle bit after I got on Tensor trucks. Because before that, when I rode for Grind King, the trucks actually loosened by themselves as you skate sometimes. My trucks would wobble and I got used to that for year skating for them.
Then Rodney started tensor and I rode for Tensor, because me and Rodney made an agreement, he would ride for my company Matix and I’d ride for his company, Tensor. I got on, we went to a demo in Australia but I couldn’t ride them, they were too tight and weird. I took out all the bushings and rode the whole demo with no bushings in both trucks. I remember thinking to myself I’d rather my board to be unstable than it seems stable and I can’t do shit on it.
I just went from there and then later took my trucks and started shaving down the bushings and it really started working for me. On the front truck I remove one of the bushings and replace it with 2 washers. People trip out but i tell them I’m just used to it, it’s not some sort of shock factor. I do it cause it’s the way I got used to it and it’s the only way I can ride my board. It’s unstable.
Like I used to have nollie backside heels every try. Now because my front truck is so wobbly sometimes my truck just folds because there’s nothing there. You can press down my whole board to the wheel with your finger, you can wheelbite it. Since the washers are there, you get one point of resistance, a millimeter of resistance before it wheelbites. But for me that’s exciting. I like it. Because I thought I had these things wired but apparently I don’t, not with this board.
You have released a ton of parts recently, do you ever worry that your footage could get oversaturated and it might not have the same effect as someone who releases footage more infrequently?
For sure but at the same time, I think times have changed now a lot. Everything is moving so fast that you kinda have to keep putting stuff out, to let people know you are still skating and doing your thing. I feel as tho, at one point you could come out with a part every year maybe 2 years, but now a days two years feels like people don’t even know if your still skating or not.
Was there any point when you were ever over skating?
Yeah. 1996 – 97 I actually considered quitting skateboarding to drop people’s cars for money. (Modifying their suspension and dropping as close to the pavement as possible). I started hanging out in Long Beach with the wrong people. My ex-girlfriend was a blood, she banged. Crazy stuff was happening, like I got an arrow shot thru my fucking car window. There was one point where we didn’t set the jack up right and didn’t put a safety under the car and the car fell and I barely got my leg out before it came down. It would have severed my entire leg.
How did you get back into skating?
While I was doing this, it was at the time when everybody quit World Industries and Plan B and started Girl. I was out of the loop and I didn’t know what was going on but Rodney called me up and I heard it in Rodney’s voice how bummed he was. It was at the breaking point, everybody quit, he thought World industries was gonna go under. I told him, he had my back from the beginning and put me on the team. I felt like I really let this guy down. I just called up a buddy of mine that filmed, shitty camera, and I ended up filming the Trilogy video part. I had to prove to him that all the support he gave me I could give him back. From that point that on I’ve never taken advantage of what was given to me and the opportunities in skateboarding.
If you watch that part, you will notice I was just not all there. I’m doing fakie flip fakie pivot grinds on curbs because I was trying to get back into it. I just got off a year of not even skating and almost quitting and worrying about how much hairspray I had in my hair to make sure it was nice and crispy, just silly stupid shit. It wasn’t the best part but it was me trying to get back. After that it put me back into the public and Marc Mckee developed those Flameboy and Wet Willy characters which saved World Industries. It’s insane what can get you back on your feet, it could be the simplest things.
You are working on another full part for Thrasher already, what should we expect?
I just wanna skate big tranny. It’s gonna be like an upgraded version of Cheese and Crackers but not as many little things happening here and there and a lot of tranny on bigger things and tricks I’ve always wanted to learn on big walls.
Words: Ian Michna
Original Illustration: Lauren Kolesinskas
Photos courtesy of: Eric Barkhurst
Scan courtesy of: Chromeball
Special Thanks: Daewon Song
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