Posts Tagged ‘Daewon Song’

Does A Thrasher Part Risk Puncturing @Versace_Plug’s Distant And Detached Instagram Mystique?

February 8, 2020

The year was 2008. The global economy was beginning to circle the ‘toilet,’ Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were balling for position across primary-voting states, food riots shook several countries, and in Baton Rouge, singer-songwriter Webbie released ‘Savage Life 2,’ propelled into the musical mainstream by the feminist anthem ‘Independent.’ This manually spellchecking ‘club banger’ told the story of a street-savvy and successful career woman who, occasionally to the surprise of Webbie and featurees Lil Phat and Boosie, rejects their patriarchical advances to acquire and pop her own bottles, leave the club early for work when necessary, and exhibit few if any onion ring aromas.

Was Webbie, 12 years ago, actually writing the story of @versace_plug, sometimes knowed as Hyun Kummer? The answer is yes. One of the pivotal moments for the skateboard industry in the ’10s occurred when the snooze-flicking IGer denied then ghosted Torey Pudwill, after the latter had put forth a presumably unsolicited offer of Thank You flow:

Have you ever tried to reach out to any of these Instagram stars?
Torey Pudwill: Yeah, I hit up that kid Versace Plug*. He told me, “I don’t do sponsors.” That threw me off so I told him, “That ain’t what this is!” He never hit me back. I guess he’s on some new shit.

The implications were enormous: Here was a kid out of continental Europe turning down one Skater of the Year and another credible coulda-been to continue filming clips with his friends for ‘tha gram.’ Rather than submit to the skate-biz machinery of compulsory product-drop hashtaging, camera-specific filming missions and associated hobnobbing, @versace_plug has spent however much of the ensuing years he deems appropriate skating, perfecting the fine art of the trap-soundtracked park clip, tending a Nike hookup, and gathering flamey emojis from pro skaters and fashion industry admirers. By the all-important follower metric he is batting 400K, nearly halfway to his onetime would-be employers’ personal totals and multiples of the meandering Thank You enterprise, with next to none of the traditional ‘coverage.’ To Be Sure, gifted others have walked from the industry’s embrace — Travis Stenger, the sorely missed Ted DeGros — but @versace_plug seems never to have had much careerist aspirations to begin with, and crucially, hasn’t really appeared to seek much validation from the industry, which nevertheless continues to lavish upon him positive emojis and comments.

Until Friday, that is, when @versace_plug delivered a part for Thrasher. It is a fairly comprehensive distillation of his IG exploits — big stair sets, leaned landings, bigspin flips, costly shoes, Chief Keef with hyperactive hi-hat cymbals. There are some surprises, like the hardflip up the long stairs, the spastic-fast between-stack nollie flip, the nose manual down the hubba, the Bastien Salabanzi-channeling kickflip backside lipslide shove-it on the micro rail. It is a serviceable, even impressive answer to the long-running mystery of what @versace_plug might produce if he directed his considerable skills and laconic, moneyed style toward a video part. But by making such an effort and offering it up to the center of the skateboarding universe in 2020**, is he risking the posture of aloof indifference he has cultivated via rejecting the blazen path?

Is this whole topic neutralized and rendered moot if he winds up getting onto Primitive? How much of @versace_plug’s digital clout derives directly from his top 10-level choice of handle? Has @versace_plug made a convincing enough case to be added to the short list allowed to do varial flips? Or is this in fact a ‘trick question’ and no such list ought exist whatsoever?

*’To Mr. and Mrs. Plug, a son, Versace.’
**The one not called Instagram

Term Limited

September 24, 2016

old_muppets

Aging may be the great skate industry adventure of the ’10s, as grizzled pros test the tolerance of weathered ligaments and brittling bones in an ongoing quest to avoid that unholy wyrm, the Real World, and its most loathsome prison, the Day Job. There are a few who two decades ago may have seemed obvious candidates if one were to choose a moon-shotter capable of stretching a pro career into a third decade, like Eric Koston or Daewon Song or Marc Johnson. There are are others whose misadventures with substances and the US legal system made them less obvious picks, such as Jeff Grosso and Fred Gall and Guy Mariano. Yet here we are.

Jason Dill, a veteran who never really warmed to half-measures when it came to things like video part construction, socks height or New York City nightlife, appears to have embraced old age as lustily as any slot-playing, shuffleboard-pushing thee-time divorcee. Witness his silver fox persona, his grayed and thinned hair, his floral shirts, the Britannicesque recollections of days gone past and concepts ripe for resurrection. As he raises a brood of young street urchins with life partner Anthony Van Engelen, Jason Dill also has honed an ability to emotionally wound that appears as needle-eager as any sourpuss granny. From his recent Playboy interview:

I’m now past my third year of FA. I’m proud of what we’ve done. If you are a company making stuff, you need to have it in the back of your head that, hey, I might have to kill this thing one day for the greater good so it doesn’t look like a bunch of bullshit. Imagine if Mark Gonzales got to end his skate company, Blind. How would we look at it today? Imagine if Mark had made some deal with Steve Rocco, the owner of his distributor, early on, like, “I’ll totally do this, but when I think it’s time that this is done, I get to put out an ad that says, ‘It’s done. We killed it. It’s over. Thank you.

Jason Dill didn’t have to take it there. For skateboarders ‘of a certain age,’ Blind’s last 15 years or so as a stable for a Canada-heavy lineup resembling a Digital Video Magazine board team will always take a back seat to the ‘Video Days’ lineup and, later, the Ronnie Creager and Lavar McBride-led ’Trilogy’ generation. Nowadays, you’re hard-pressed to place your hand on a Blind board outside the Tech Deck assortments cradled within the boxy bosom of Walmart. In fact, they’re outlawed. But with his reminder that Blind’s heyday now lies a beagle’s lifetime in the past, Jason Dill’s prodding of old sores is an exercise in discomfort matched only by grouchy grandmothers’ bitter questions over the fate of hand-knitted blankets long ago vomited upon, washed and relegated to life’s basement closets.

Time’s grinding passage has yet to reveal whether Jason Dill or Pontus Alv — another long-in-the-tooth owner of an insurgent board company that lies under his control, and who has expressed similar sentiments — will avail themselves of a Hunter S. Thompson exit strategy, rather than some much-later forced transfer to a mall store-ready nursing home. Do they possess the financial and testicular fortitude? The skating mind seems wired for Quixotic pursuits that can batter the body, plague the mind and sometimes, sear the soul — literally throwing one’s self down a set of stairs over and over again, sometimes for days on end. Quitting while one is ahead, whether in the sense of a sound body or arrest-free permanent record, may not pay dividends in the form of shoe contracts and soda-pop endorsements. For every Heath Kirchart and Scott Johnston showing themselves the door rather than be escorted out by younger, abler-bodied teammates, there are multiples of beloved pros whose ratio of video footage minutes to pro deck graphics looks increasingly lopsided.

Can pros turned board company proprietors be relied upon to serve as judges and executioners weighing the street cred of their own enterprises? Should company owners freely discuss the concept of forced euthanasia, for will this only perplex the Dutch? Does Darren Harper’s trick-trying persistence make him more likely to seek revenge for a five years-old board to the head, or vice versa?

Matt Miller Takes The Midget Picnic Table Game Of Inches Up About A Foot

January 22, 2013

Matt_miller_DC

Like the cellar door and the Jersey barrier, the miniature picnic tables native to Southern California practically encompass their own subgenre at this point. Across the past say, twenty-five years, you can pick and choose your peaks and choice practitioners — from the ’90s era take Sean Sheffey’s fakie ollie, Kareem Campbell’s 360 flip 5-0, Gino Iannucci’s last trick in “Trilogy,” Keenan Milton’s switch flip, Daewon Song from 1994 to 2000. New millennium you could put in there Justin Case’s switch backside noseblunt, flaring in his DC uniform for a Ghetto Child ad before burning out, later on Alex Olson’s sideways jump and maybe Torey Pudwill’s hardflip. Lucky contestant this decade is Norcaler Matt Miller with a heavier-than-most nollie 180 into a switch backside noseblunt revert. This would be one for the Police Informers or Chrome Balls to adjudicate, but I’m not even sure I’ve seen the more-common half-cab version on one of these lunch spots.

Daewon Song’s “Love Child” Recreation Exposes Vital Weaknesses That Our Enemies May Already Be Exploiting, Dudes

June 21, 2010

Former World Industries Man Daewon Song had the internet agog last week when he made the choice to re-film a few clips from his landmark “Love Child” section along with a heap of other zany moves that indicate his already freakish skills have only mutated bigger and more transition-savvy tentacles over the past couple decades. Daewon Song was roundly praised for his choices and we applaud him as well, except with the Zen-approved one hand’s worth of clapping because this seemingly fun exercise exposes a gaping weakness of modern skateboarders that puts the whole operation at risk.

Basically several generations’ worth of product upgrades and fashion cycles have seen our legs atrophy from the pinnacle of the early 90s, when miniscule wheels, sub-Abec 26 bearings and yards of cheaply dyed denim ensured a minimum five pushes between each trick. And on actual paved surfaces, as opposed to the custom-poured park surfaces of the current era. It’s no accident that among the most severe blows landed against the drill-bearing aggressor in Plan B’s early 90s document “Virtual Reality” were several beefy kicks. And similarly, unsurprising that no physical violence ended up transpiring between Mike Plumb and the shouty Baby Schizo the other weekend, as neither wanted to throw out the first feeble roundhouse attempt in a widely televised event.

The truth is that complacency has led us down this unhappy road, to a place where Will Smith’s child-star could whomp our collective behinds, where rollerbladers’ calves may be considerably more toned, where we stand little chance in grape-stomping contests or a race to the top of the Burj Khalifa. I think we can make this work again but it likely will require discipline, an aged/possibly alcoholic mentor and at least a couple training montages set to appropriately motivational tunes.