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

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

daniel-1

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.

+++++++

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.

It’s 3 in the Morning, Take Your Old Ass to Sleep

December 12th, 2016 | 4:21 am | Daily News | 2 Comments

lehos

Zaytoven deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Watched this guy Ruben Spelta skate at Milano Centrale this past summer and it was insane. Dude is a good follow on Instagram, but this compilation video should bring you up to speed for now. Who’s everyone got for best steez 2k16 award?

“I wish Brandon Turner was wearing a Bronze tee when he switch Hardfliped Carlsbad in the Guilty video.” Skateboard Story interviewed Peter Sidlauskas from Flipmode Stick Up Kids Bronze. Link to the “How I’m Living” video please :)

“And I guess I’m also saying that Tiago, if you care bud (which hopefully you don’t) you should maybe consider changing your name to Trevor, switching from Mountain Dew to beer, and getting on Anti-Hero or something.”

Taylor Nawrocki’s Spirit Quest part is now playing over on the TWS site, and Free Skate Mag has an extensive interview with Colin Read about the project itself, in addition to a minute of extras that got left out from the video.

Place interviewed Alex Olson, the guy whose office is a floor below Alltimers.

“There is no reason that a campaign born out of the streets cannot be intelligent and incisive.” Something that is probably going to come in handy in Tr*mp’s litigious America: Love Live Southbank’s Guide to Saving a Skate Spot. (The city of Barcelona is restoring Sants, by the way *side-eye Emoji*)

Hey did you know that there was a moment when Dill and A.V.E. might’ve got on Aesthetics at its inception? Sal Barbier got Chromeballed.

“Don’t put this in one of your stupid edits, dude.” “NY Times Vol. 20” via LurkNYC.

“Tood” is the new one from Rios Crew, Hungarian skating-with-backpacks devotees.

R.B. just uploaded some raw footage of Zered, Eli, Westgate, Tierney, Dela, et al. skating around the city from a summer or two ago.

Part two of the Right Coast Tour with Freddy and Quim is now live.

Zach Moore’s Transplants video is now online in full.

Did you know there was a time when John Cardiel had a pro snowboard, and Burton advertised in Thrasher? Our bud Alex Dymond just released a book entitled Snow Beach, which chronicles an era when snowboarding was very much an offseason activity for skaters, with tons of crossover via fashion, style, etc. from skateboarding.

The new Watermelonism video, “Keep Biting,” is premiering at 2nd Nature on Thursday. Flyer here. Music by the world famous DJ Thando of “Needed Me” remix fame.

“Dipset: The Movie” — a big topic around here some ~ten years ago — is back and is actually still great. “You’re so ugly I could hear it through the phone.”

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Sooooooooo, ANYWAYYYYYY

Quote of the Week: “I just found out through Google that I have chlamydia, I should bounce.” — Name Withheld

Today marks ten years since the release of The Inspiration, which was 95% of the way as incredible of an album as TM101, this website’s founding piece of scripture. (Even did a tribute post to it the day it leaked online, and distinctly remember listening to nothing else that winter.) There really is no greater three-peat of motivational speaking than the first three Jeezy albums. The guy has nothing left to prove #jeezysaves.

An Interview with Dave Caddo

November 1st, 2016 | 6:35 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

caddo-1

Words & Interview by Zach Baker / Photos by Trevor Culley

One of the cool things about having the privilege of knowing how to ride one of these things, besides being able to find pot no matter where you are in the world, is that it keeps you exploring. It sends you out to uncover weird parts of familiar places, makes you creep into all sorts of alleys and ditches and post-industrial shit-piles, and on many occasions, you’ll leave feeling a lot happier than when you got there.

Every time I see Caddo, he’s having a pretty good time. Then, every time I see some Caddo footage or photos, he’s having a pretty sweet time. He skates all these spots I’ve never seen before, in cities I’ve never thought to go to. He’s gotten clips at like, the Holy Trinity of New York busts: the Roosevelt Island Monument, Forbidden Banks and the Holy Grail on Nostrand Avenue. Caddo goes out of his way to keep skateboarding interesting for himself, which is why his skating is so much fun to watch.

His part in Politic’s Division, which is his second full part in as many years, is loaded with all kinds of new approaches to familiar spots, fun lines down hills and in all kinds of parking lots. Here’s a chat I had with him about Enid’s, longevity, and kickflips.

+++++++

Tell me about when you kickflipped into the Roosevelt Island monument.

That was when it first opened up. I don’t know why, but the Parks Department would close it one day a week. You get maybe ten minutes before the old security guard comes out and starts yelling at you. But the guy is like sixty-years-old, it takes him a while to mosey over. The guy got there and his technique was to stand right in the way. He’s just mellow about it, kept repeating over and over again “no, no, no.” He was just saying that for ten minutes. [John] Valenti was walking backwards with the camera as I’m trying the last one and luckily I made it. I almost rolled into the guy.

The Importance of Being Sinner — An Interview With Pat Pasquale

October 27th, 2016 | 10:32 am | Features & Interviews | 13 Comments

img_2189

Words by Zach Baker / Photos by Dom Travis

In the wake of the sorrow that has come with the passing of Dylan Rieder, the thing that shines brightest about his legacy was an adherence to his own set of artistic values. You may recall him receiving backlash for his tastes in music, attire, skate shoes, and in general for how smoking hot he was. Despite that and piles of other shit talk, Dylan did what he wanted. He stayed true to himself and expressed who he was, despite what a million opinionated avatars had to say. While it’s undeniable that he was one of the best people ever to ride a skateboard, what will always stand out to me will be how he chose the represent himself. For that and so many other reasons, he will live on for generations. R.I.P.

Pat Pasquale A.K.A. Sinner A.K.A. Bandana B, as we’ve claimed before, is another polarizing individual. Some people found his Theatrix part to be inspired; others found the man, the gear and the dubstep to be downright infuriating. QS described it as “Josh Kasper in The Storm meets Guy in Mouse meets 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Total Recall.” It’s not like we’re all about dubstep, but all three songs worth of Sinner’s last major part was a pre-meditated, unflinching realization of a vision as close to its author’s sense of truth as imaginable. Furthermore, he lives by a similar albiet far more hectic mantra to that of this site: “Ollie up it if it’s under eight stairs, if not, go ahead and huck down it.”

Anyway, Snackman’s all “do you want to interview Sinner?” and I’m all “hell yeah,” so he sends me the contact info of a guy named “Bandana B,” who keeps texting me the words “hijinx” and “Arf!” We plan to link during my time in Los Angeles, which is tough because ~you know how getting around L.A. is~. Eventually, we agreed to link and do the interview at Street League, which, in so many words, was drenched. We decided to save the interview for the next day, but go to a party where Nyjah is playing drinking games, EDM is on blast, empty Monster Energy cans are everywhere, and people are lined up to get tattoos. Next morning, he tells me to meet him at the Roosevelt. The rest is, well…it’s here.

+++++++

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Skip from Dead Presidents, B!

What’s the last NBD you did?

Last NBD? Like ever? Or for me?

I mean, have you ever?

Yeah, I got NBDs on my resume for sure! That switch shove 5-0 shove it is one of them. I got switch three-shove revert, up five. I call it a Sin Spin. I invented that one.

An Interview With Jamal Smith

August 17th, 2016 | 10:33 am | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

WorldChampion_Jamal

Photo by Nathan Éthier-Myette

Words by Zach Baker

Becoming a professional skateboarder seems pretty tough. You have to get really good at it, but it’s not about who’s the best. Everyone is too good for us to tell the difference at this point. The people who sustain themselves in skateboarding the longest are those with charisma and moxie — “something else.”

Jamal Smith has been exemplary in this regard, pretty much since the invention of YouTube. He finessed himself into the public eye with the Tornado Spin trick tip ten years ago. But, as evidenced by his Sabotage 4 opener, the new Palace clip, his pre-Glory Challenge pseudo-prize fighter Instagram campaign, and most importantly, getting on Stingwater, the dude has been especially feeling it as of the past year or so. I checked in with him outside of the Glory Challenge trying to roll a joint in the wind. He had just suffered a heart-wrenching loss to Wade Desarmo — but he was fine with it. His phone was blowing the fuck up. They both won.

+++++++

You just skated against defending titleholder Wade Desarmo in the the Dime World Championship Game of S.K.A.T.E. What was it like going into that for you?

It’s all about theatrics. At the end of the day, if you can put on a good show, it doesn’t matter who comes in first or last. But I mean, of course I wanted that $150,000 or whatever the fuck these Dime niggas are joking about. I was nervous as fuck though. I know I can’t kickflip and this nigga has all the kickflips.

When you saw the kickflip, what was going through your mind?

It was like everything went in slow motion. I felt every drop of sweat running down my face, I saw all the reactions, all the eyes on me. I had to turn inward, and I knew I was fucked.

You rattled off a couple tricks, right?

Yeah, because I’m that nigga. You spin to win. Unfortunately, I didn’t win.

Do you hope to battle him again next year?

Hell no. I’m just trying to smoke everybody else’s weed and watch motherfuckers huck their bodies down the biggest gaps onto swords and numchucks.

You live in Philadelphia?

Yeah, I’m originally from Ohio. I lived there until I was like 11. Then I lived in Massachusetts, and I lived in Ithaca [New York] after that.

Why’d you move around?

My mom passed when I was 11. I was a ward of the state, which meant I had no legal guardian and I had to stay in Ohio until I found someone who would take care of me. At the time, my sister was living in Massachusetts and took me in. I lived in Northampton, some weird little area in Western Massachusetts.

Did you start skating there?

Yeah, I want to say that I was maybe 14 when I started to really get into it. 11 to 13, I was on my Rocket Power shit, riding rollerblades, bikes, whatever the fuck, I didn’t care.