KRONICK: Tell me the story of how you got sponsored.
DAEWON: I was skating at this school called Adams, a double sided curb and a hydrant. I was just skating having fun, and Rodney (Mullen) rolled up and he was just watching in the distance and talking to my friend Pat. Rodney told Pat, "That kid's pretty good, he's got some moves". I didn't even talk to him so Pat told me later that Rodney was stoked, and I was like really? This was when I was a full on Z guy. I used to love Z, ya know?
KRONICK: What, Z Rollers?
DAEWON: Yeah. I had Z Rollers, Z Rails. Anyways, a week later I saw Rodney again at 135th street school and I was just skating. He came up to me and was like hey man, maybe we could get you on the flow, maybe hook you up with boards and stuff. I was stoked. I was like yeah, yeah, alright. I'm down for that. So he got my number and sent me down some boards. It was so weird at the time because I was riding World boards with Z Rollers.
KRONICK: (laughing) That's hot!
DAEWON: I felt weird. You know how peer presure is. Kids were like what are you doing? I finally said OK and tried some other trucks. I switched to some normal trucks.
KRONICK: That must have been a big step for you.
DAEWON: Oh my God, yes. But it actually worked out for the better. I thank Rodney, narmean?
KRONICK: Big ups to Rodney.
DAEWON: I had rough times being on the team (World Industries). Alot of people didn't want me on the team at first. This was back in the day when I first got on and nobody knew me. They would be like, "who's this new skater, we don't think he's all that". But Rodney had faith in me. KnowhatImean?
KRONICK: So you didn't grow up skating with Pros around?
DAEWON: Naw, naw. I just came out skating in the fuckin' Hood. I'd be taking the bus to places to skate.
KRONICK: What's the craziest place you've treked out to?
DAEWON: Down Crenshaw past Lemert Park and all that. Just going to Downtown and stuff. But taking the bus from Gardena to Downtown by yourself at 10 at night was crazy. I was just like Fuck it, ya know? I would get transfer tickets and stuff and just skate down there.
KRONICK: Because you've skated for 11 years you were around for that low point in the popularity of skateboarding. The early nineties. Like alot of people my age, I quit skating to chase girls and get into trouble. Was that ever a factor for you?
DAEWON: Yup, that happened to alot of my friends that I skated with. Everyone dropped out of it. This was probably back in '91, jr. high era. Skating wasn't cool anymore because they wanted to get girls. Narmean? They would be like, "Girls don't like skateboards, girls don't like skateboards. That was back in 88!" I was like, "No. No." I mean, I love looking at girls, girls are beautiful, but there's always time for girls. My heart was in skateboarding now. Then I'd see people in high school and they'd be like, "Damn Daewon, you still skating? When you gonna quit, man?" "Naw man, I'm gonna keep going" "What you still skating for?" "I just wanna skate." Next thing you know I see all my friends from high school asking me, "what are you doing now?" I say, "I'm still skating. Hey, it's my job now" and they be trippin'. They kind of congragulate me now. They say shit like, "You really stuck with it. You didn't let nobody pressure you out." It gives me a good feeling, like sticking with it and achieving a goal I never thought I would get to. Narmean?
KRONICK: So you skated by yourself alot in high school?
DAEWON: Yeah. I'd go do my laundry at the laundromat by my house, and just skate in the hood by myself at night. At the time I was about 16. I was young and I didn't realize what could have happened. Looking back on it, that was dangerous, man. I could have got fucked up for my laundry money.
KRONICK: Have you ever been jumped for your board?
DAEWON: No, but I got jumped into a little gang by my house. That was funny. It was a gang called Street Rascals. I don't know what kind of gang it was. One of those gangs that your neighborhood just makes up, some bullshit. I got jumped into that. They kicked the shit out of me, ya know. But you can fight back and try and avoid getting the shit beat out of you. That was kinda fun. Some of the people in the gang were kinda slow, like retarded, narmean? Not in a bad way. How do you say it? Mentally challenged? They would be laughing and trying to hit me, so then I be like (raising an open palm near my face) and just be like BOOM! Then they'd be scared. I was like, "Damn, this is pretty chill, being jumped into a gang like this". Actually that's one part I didn't tell you about, that part kinda kept me from skating. But that was only for a short period. I got jumped out and got back into skating.
KRONICK: Do you see some of your old friends getting back into skating?
DAEWON: Yeah. I see some of them getting back into it for the fun of it. But I'm thinking, if only they would have stuck with it. If only they would have kept going. I always tell my friends that. Alot of them were better than me.
KRONICK: Enough reminiscing. What are your thoughts on those concerned with the consistency of thier tricks.
DAEWON: I like consistency. You really need consistency for demos. At demos you don't really want to try the hardest tricks first, maybe later. What you want to do at a demo first is utillize everything you got on point. The tricks you can get the first or second try. After all that you can move on to doing hard tricks, cause it takes you longer. Then the kids are more relieved instead of you just getting stuck on one trick. Alot of kids get caught up when they see someone trying something hard. It kinda juggles their head. Consistency is cool. When you go to a spot and just see someone hitting everything, just boom boom boom. You be like, "Man, he's got control."
KRONICK: What do you think of skateparks popping up?
DAEWON: I think it's great, don't you?
KRONICK: Yeah, but I only like the ones where you don't have to wear pads.
DAEWON: Me too. Believe me, I'm one guy who hates helmets. I definitley know what you mean. You want the air blowing through your hair, not no helmet. I swear, I've never fallen on my head, but everytime I put on a helmet I fall on my head. I feel top heavy.
KRONICK: What's the worst injury you've sustained in skateboarding?
DAEWON: When I broke my ankle back in '93. A little bit after the New World Order video came out. It happened when I was just messing around and I've never gotten it fixed. It's still messed up now. My ankle healed, but my bone cross membered on the side. The only thing holding it together is me taking in the calcium. When I skate gaps it's scary because when I land it feels like it's gonna give out. KnowhatImean? It get's scary sometimes. Lately I have been skating more gaps, but I'm not gonna take it to the extreme where my ankle pops out of it's socket and just rips out of my skin. I gotta go get that checked out. I just don't want to do that anytime soon because I want to keep progessing. I don't want to go into a slump.
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