An Interview With Daniel Kim, the 2016 Q.S.S.O.T.Y.

January 4th, 2017 | 8:40 am | Features & Interviews | 8 Comments

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Intro and Interview by Zach Baker. Photography by Will-Robson Scott.

Will R.S: “I’ve never even thought to, let alone wanted to do a switch Japan Air.”
Daniel Kim: “You need to empty your mind, Will.”

Let’s talk about influence. Here, in this beautifully flawed American society that we live in, we delight in the idea that we’re all unique. Supported by our convictions that never on Earth has there ever been anyone like ourselves, we (as skateboarders especially) are quick to call out the bandwagoning of others; the adherence to trends that we ourselves, whether we recognize it or not, are also influenced by.

Whether it be “Yo, I ride 8.5 because everyone rides 8.5” or “Yo, everyone rides 8.5, y’all biters. I ride 7.5, I’m different and lit” — we are all borrowing from the same pool of small board brands, nostalgic IG handles, and tricks done in Trilogy. It’s tough to stand out, and perhaps the less a person cares about doing so, the better they are at it.

Turn to Daniel Kim who, within the past year, has gotten what some might call “weird.” Prior to now, he had built a reputation for banging flip tricks, remarkable pop, and thoughtful Pulaski lines. He was on 10 Deep back when German Nieves was the team manager, got boards from DGK for a while, and later worked at Nike for a couple years. Then, his hat started falling off, he grew his hair out, started wearing fur vests, and introduced to us his mysterious new undertaking: Stingwater.

Sparking endless laughter from many and bewilderment from many more, Kim, throughout 2016, threw up all kinds of cryptic promotion for what is maybe a water company, maybe a skate company, maybe just a platform for trolling his favorite skaters. What can be certain, as reinforced by his part in Spirit Quest, Colin Read’s trippy opus, is that Daniel, both as skater and individual, is evolving — no, groeing. I’m entertained by whatever the hell Stingwater is, and I’m still not sure that I even totally get it. Maybe my mind’s not empty enough.

Regardless, in our eyes, Daniel had done some of the most unique and remarkable skateboarding in 2016, earning him the title of Quartersnacks Skater of the Year.

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Some of the readers may be wondering: did you lose your mind?

Nah man, I just found it.

You worked at Nike for some time, and then in the past year or so, would you agree that you’ve had much more right-brained approach to skateboarding, than say, a few years ago?

I think I just got more psyched on skating. I saw that once you have a regular job, you can’t skate as much. So I started to appreciate skateboarding more. Once the Nike thing was over, I started skating a lot more, and I started realizing that i could just have fun with it.

The 2016 Quartersnacks Year in Review: 5-1

December 29th, 2016 | 1:15 am | Features & Interviews | 2 Comments

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Closing this one out :) Previously in 2016: 25-16, 15-6

Past Editions: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

5. The State of the T.F. Report [Sponsored by Soundcloud]

Those around for the post-9/11 flatbar years would find the modern T.F. virtually unrecognizable. Anyone with a functioning brain opts to meet at a skatepark rather than a place where they are forced to have an interaction with a paralegal holding a permit. This year, we were shocked to learn that while we may have a dedicated place to willingly cage ourselves into under the Manhattan Bridge, Soundcloud rappers are still looking for a home. In 2016, they found a nest at our onetime East Village meeting place, and have kept the (sometimes literal) fire of Tompkins debauchery lit in an era when we demand that our day consist of something more than skating a piece of plywood or a discarded Christmas tree.

The 2016 Quartersnacks Year in Review: 15-6

December 20th, 2016 | 1:36 pm | Features & Interviews | 2 Comments

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Keeping it moving with the new 10-10-5 format :) Previously in 2016: 25-16

Past Editions: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

15. Astor Renovation

Two years ago, we lost a zen-like intersection of flatground that intertwined with all vibrant walks of life — the greatest non-spot in this history of skateboarding. It was, however, replaced with actual skateable obstacles this year: decent-enough beveled benches, a gap that replicated BAM’s ledge-to-street gap, and a Flushing-width flatground gap that Jason Byoun switch Muska flipped. The spot’s original meditative qualities dissolved into cement fairy dust, but at least it’s something to skate for now, even if the overall aesthetic of the new Astor Place is “we ran out of money.”

The 2016 Quartersnacks Year in Review: 25-16

December 13th, 2016 | 3:32 am | Features & Interviews | 16 Comments

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Late start to the annual “Year in Review” series, but we weren’t about to let up on one of our favorite annual traditions in this occasionally great but more often awful year. We are going to condense the first installment into ten entries for the sake of time. One a week from here on out though :)

Past Editions: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

25. Pratt Degrees Get Put To Use

The 2016 reality of bust-free spots in the nation’s largest city is grim (e.g. they knobbed a bump in the ground this year, and people are literally interrupting their lives to argue about the placement of a trash can on the street.) And so, New York’s underemployed population of industrial design grads began to ransack the plastic horizontal beams off construction barriers city-wide, and stacking them to create some sort of pathetic poverty row parking block.

An Interview With Ben Chadourne

November 9th, 2016 | 5:20 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

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Photo by Manuel Schenck

Words & Interview by Zach Baker

It seems like yesterday that we were blowing on cassette tapes and using t-shirts to dust DVDs off. Even shitty 240p YouTube videos feel like they weren’t all that long ago. Technology has evolved at a downright sketchy rate over the past couple decades, and it’s fun to watch society transform in its effort to keep up. The ways in which we waste money, photograph our own genitals and ingest media have changed drastically, and both we, along those in charge of doing the creating, have found ourselves adapting alongside them.

Skateboarding’s past couple years have been defined by the Vimeo auteur’s surge in popularity. Guys like Johnny, Peter, Nick Von, GX — without sponsorship from a larger company or any real promotion — have been able to go out, film their buds and throw original, quality edits up on the web for anyone to see. Skaters meritocratically recognize what’s tight and show these things enough love that it has gotten to the point that these guys are actually turning their creative side projects into full-blown careers. They have not only shined a light on lesser-known scenes, skaters, spots and tricks, but in using the tools at their avail, upheaved the traditional means by which a skate video is made and watched. The industry has been forced to keep up with them, and shit, even hire them.

Ben Chadourne has been on a serious tip lately — belting out HD edits of the Blobys, the Converse team and most recently, the Bobby Worrest/Hjalte Halberg edit for Nike SB, a love letter to skateboarding’s greatest plazas by two of the best ever to skate them. And Chadourne, with his admittedly useless art school degree, taste for Rod Stewart, and familiarity with the state of New Jersey, couldn’t be more on-brand for this site. We FaceTime audioed all about it while he paced up and down his street in Bordeaux, watching the people pass by and being self-conscious about his English, which is nearly perfect.

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What’s the last trick you learned?

Damn, I haven’t been skating that much anymore, that’s not good. I don’t know. Fuck. I’m doing the same. I’m working on my v flips because they’re trendy now.

What’s your favorite trick?

Fakie flips and ollies!

You’re from Bordeaux?

Yeah, it’s like a little Paris. It’s southwest, forty five minutes from the coast, three and a half hours train to Paris. You can refresh really easily compared to Paris; you can escape. That’s why I stay here.

What are a couple of your favorite French films?

You know this movie called L’Argent? It’s five short films in a movie, from different French directors. I like that, and La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz. I like Raymond Depardon as well.

When did you start skateboarding?

I started at a skate spot called Malraux, it’s like a skate plaza. I started with guys who were way older than me: I was 13 and they were around 20. They helped me out all the time, gave me boards and stuff.

Weren’t you sponsored?

Yeah, I used to ride for Nike SB and 5Boro. The first time I came to New York, I was 16 and I went to Tombo Colabraro’s house in New Jersey — the big skater house with the Ax Throwers, Andrew [McLaughlin], Willy Akers, Danny Falla.