Photo : Marty Murawski via instagram
Daewon Song absolutely needs no introduction, he's been skateboarding for longer than I've been alive, as you no doubt know. So, as I've actually never met Daewon in person, I'm going to get all nostalgic for a minute and tell you about my first memories of seeing his footage. Before I even procured my first board, I was playing a LOT of Tony Hawk 2, and eventually ended up on Kazaa, searching "skateboarding." The first video I ended up seeing was Rodney VS Daewon Round 2, and I was blown away by everything I saw. My pre-teen brain was blown away by literally EVERYTHING everyone did, and then Daewon's part started. Whereas Mullen blew my mind, simply because I had absolutely no idea what was going on, from being a video game skate nerd, I knew what Daewon was doing, and he was doing it on those things me and my friends ate lunch on. A week later I got my first board. So, everyone, here it is : Number ten.
- Allen Dillard
Pivot Fakie - Photo : Shier
Have you ever been to Detroit before the DVS trip, and, if so, could you detail some of those experiences?
I think once back in 1994 for a demo. I always remember the people! There's a lot of heart and soul out in D town. I was only there for a day, but the second time around was amazing and I was able to skate some of the amazing spots! I gotta give it up to all the positivity out there and inspiration to keep pushing forward regardless of how hard things can get.
How did the DVS trip come up? Was there any specific moment that convinced you, as well as everyone else, to come out this way?
I think that Shier and DVS were planning it for a while, and we knew we could go somewhere that doesn't get as much hype or as many teams going out there... it was really worth it!
Was there anyone who was asked to go on the trip that didn't, possibly because of the sort of reputation Detroit has?
No , everyone was down! When you've grew up around that stuff it just sounds like a steroid version of where I grew up already so Me and everyone were in from the start!
Blunt kickflip to fakie. TSM Cover. Photo : Matt Price
Although you're from California, you've never really screamed the "west coast" stereotype to me, however, Detroit seemed like a strange trip for you to hop on, in a good way. What were you expecting from the city, be it the spots, locals, crime, etcetera? What had you heard about the city prior to you coming here?
Well, I hate traveling but Detroit sounded fun! Rough spots and I had heard a lot about areas that were ghost towns, and a lot of crime here and there. For me, all of this sounded normal to where I grew up... but when I got to certain parts it was insane! I love all the skaters out there that stay positive and keep doing what they love, despite the drama that they may be facing! It was really a pleasure meeting all the locals.
As Koston put it in your epicly later'd, it's pretty well known that the majority of your video parts have been filmed in the surrounding areas. Considering that Barcelona and China, as well as other locales are so in vogue right now, what made you decide to come out to Detroit during the latter part of the warmer season?
First off it's no where near as far as china, hahaha! I was curious to see the spots, and I just wanted to just represent for DVS, since we had went through a tough patch. What better place to go to than an area that is all about hope and rebuilding and heart! I loved it out there.
Not the cover, but just as sick. Frontside Blunt. Photo via Matix France
Can you talk a little about the cover you shot while you were here? I specifically remember going to the local shop to get the magazine for the article, and ended up getting even more stoked once I realized it was a Michigan cover too.
That spot was amazing! They showed me a picture of it, and it was the one in the front, but when we got there we couldn't skate that one because people were working! But we ended up going to the far back one and it was so fun! A lot harder then it looks from the ground ! The locals know.
Speaking of which, the Skateboard Mag article was built around that amazingly awful T-Baby song, and I know everyone in the group was from different parts of the world, but it wasn't really that cold, was it?
For me it was! I came with just a couple of tank tops and a long sleeve! Hahaha, I was freezing, but with the proper gear , your all good! Still cold though.
Did you get to sample any Midwest-only donut chains while you were out here? Sorry that they don't have Dunkin Donuts out in CA.
Just Dunkin Donuts, but not the golden gems of donut shops out there! Hope to next time!
After The Streets closed, Chiips has the best mini ramp worth driving to. Daewon knows. Stolen from some random Instagram
How did you like the Hart Plaza manual pad? Be honest, it's the best isn't it?
That manny pad is amazing and I wish I could have got something there! I was a little hurt on the trip and I have trouble filming in big groups which limits me! I gotta get over that nervousness...
We got to experience high top fade Daewon, picnic table and bench over roof Daewon, full on crazy street spot Daewon, mini ramp Daewon, and even trees and rocks Daewon. Is traveling to dilapidated areas going to become your next 'phase'? Perhaps "most dangerous cities Daewon?"
Hahahhaha that would be amazing! I think my next quest is gonna be to spread fun and try things I was afraid to try! Maybe tricks people make fun of, or things I was afraid to try four years ago... and to just lurk in dangerous areas hahah!
When I was younger, I used to look up all the major companies' summer tour schedules, and the majority of them would only get as close as Chicago to us. Being someone who's been involved in the industry for over twenty years, why do you think that is?
I think maybe the shops that the companies were affiliated with at the time were more local and bought more of the local brands... which is a terrible reason but you know how that goes. I think times have changed, and you gotta get out to every damn area for the kids! I mean, people fly to China for a ledge! Hahahha.
On the flip side of that, in the past few years, there have been more and more companies venturing out this way (Emerica held Wild in the Streets 2012 here, Jahmal Williams and Joel Meinholz held that Bum Rush the Spot event here in 2011, Thrasher's Skate Rock last year, Dave Caddo, Suciu and Gall, a Jake Johnson solo trip and some others that are slipping my mind). Why do you think that is?
I think people love the experience they got when they were there, like I got with the locals! I was inspired by how bad some people can have it and they acted like they are the luckiest person in the world just hanging out at a demo! Me and a lot of people can learn a lot about the value of life out there! I think people have been spreading the word about Detroit, the spots, good people, and amazing feeling of being in the city!
Can you talk a little bit about how everyone felt about the trip? Who would you say was feeling the city and the surrounding areas the most? Got any good stories about the trip?
I think everyone was excited and of course a little lost at times, but that's because were tourists hahah! We all had an amazing time and the photos that we got out there stand out from so many places because of how amazing Detroit looks!
According to Daewon, everyone had a good time, so, here's Zack Wallin having a good time.
Finally, did you have fun? What was your favorite aspect of the trip to you? Are you planning on coming back, or was once enough?
I wanna go back for sure, and I was really happy and excited to hear about the DIY park they were doing for the community that was pretty much gone and a ghost town! These are the things that inspire me and will help build the love and motivation for all the people!
Schendel will be stoked on the amount of Blunts in this article. Blunt to fakie at Chiips.
Thanks again to Daewon, The DVS Team whose Instagrams I stole photos from (as well as other ransoms), and the internet for allowing this to happen.