An Interview With Jason Byoun + Remix Contest

jason grab by colin

Photo via Colin Sussingham

The most experimental, controversial, subversive, and Vine-friendly skateboarder working in New York City today. Interview by Jesse Alba and Genesis Evans. Scroll to the bottom for details on the re-edit contest.


Where are you from and what’s your favorite board company of all time?

I’m from Monteville, New Jersey, which is near Parsippany and Towaco, and my favorite board company is Creature.

What nationality are you?


But what about ethnic background?

Korean. 100%.

How did you start skating?

My friend Lynden from New Jersey got me into skating. He had a Popwar board, with Phantom Two trucks, orange Spitfire wheels and riser pads. We were chilling in my basement and he had to take a shit. My basement is carpeted, so I stood up on his board and learned how to ollie in the time it took him to take a shit. Then I got on CCS and ordered a board.

When I was learning how to ollie, my cousin told me that Stevie Williams learned to ollie on his second try.

In my first week of skating, everyone I grew up with told me it took them years to learn tricks. I was just like “Nah, first week, I’m gonna learn how to kickflip,” just so I could call them and tell them I did it.

Where did you skate in New Jersey?

I grew up skating in a town where the main spot was a basketball court and rec center, sort of like Tompkins. It was outside, but in the wintertime, they’d put an air bubble over it. My mom had a mini van and we’d put a box and a Zero flatbar in it to bring over there.

How about Chris Cole leaving Zero for Plan B?

I haven’t been keeping up with that to be honest. Chris Cole was actually my first favorite skater. Ryan Sheckler and Chris Cole.

Who are your favorite skaters now?

Paul Rodriguez, Phil Rodriguez, Brian Tober, Adam Zhu and Nate Rojas.

What about Shawn Powers?

That’s another one of my favorite skaters. He’s mad good at flatground.

If you born on the west coast, who would your favorite skater be?

Probably like Chico Brenes.

Did you BMX before you started skating?

Yeah, I was riding dirtbikes then, too. I used to ride bikes all the time.

If you were on the Boom Boom Huck Jam tour and could only get paid to do one thing, what would it be — dirt biking, BMXing or skating?

I got really hurt dirtbiking, so definitely not that. I’d love to still have one though.

Who’s your favorite BMX rider?

George Dossantos, Joe Tisseo, Darian Robinson.

Are you ever going to drop another BMX part?

Maybe. I gotta fix up my Dyno. My front wheel got stolen. I was at a thrift store looking for some sick t-shirts on Park Avenue and 170-something Street. I locked it up outside, and it was gone when I came out.

If you had the ability to either tre flip or tail whip down Wallenburg, which would it be?

Probably tre flip it, so I could get my career on the road. That’s how Chris Cole did it right? Chris Cole, New Blood — that’s my favorite video part.

What’s your best trick?

Nollie heel. I lost it for like two years though.

If you could nollie heel anything, what would it be?

Just on flat in a dope line. Nollie heels into banks are sick too.

What’s the hardest trick you’ve ever done?

I don’t think of tricks as hard or easy. It’s all luck. Fifty-percent of skating is just getting lucky.

Is the best BMX trick better than the best skate trick?

They’re kinda the same thing, but I feel like grinds on BMX are way sicker than grinds in skating, because they can grind through any type of rough ledge. They grind through bricks, and that’s the sickest thing ever. I would love to noseslide a brick ledge or some shit, but I can’t even noseslide.

Have you ever grinded a taxi cab?


Why not?

I don’t grind really.

What are your favorite type of spots to skate in New York City?

I don’t have a favorite. I can’t stop at a single spot for too long.

jason byoun - colin quarter

Photo via Colin Sussingham

Where are the best cellar doors?

Camden, New Jersey actually has the highest concentration of cellar doors. My boy goes to Drexel University in Philly and we rode over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Camden one time. There were spots everywhere, then we were skating this one block where this dude told us to leave or we were going to get killed. He didn’t pull out a gun or anything though. But Philly and Camden are definitely the best places to ride cellar doors.

What are your thoughts on Mike Valley?

I used to think he was a guy for posers and shit to watch, but he’s actually really sick.

Who has better dessert: Burger King, McDonalds or Wendy’s?

I’d rather have a McDonalds ice cream cone than a Frosty. I used to run the Hershey’s sundae pie from Burger King. In New Jersey, that’s all they had. Now, I’d rather eat halal than fast food. It makes me feel like I’m supporting a better cause.

Shake Junt, Death Wish or Baker?

Baker. That was my first board. Well, my first real board. I had a Mongoose board from Wal-Mart first.

Union Square or Washington Square?

Union, because I live in the Bronx and the 4 train goes right there. Every day, I take the train from Fordham Road to Union Square, or City Hall if I’m meeting people at L.E.S.

I know you rock both, but if you had to either wear Adidas track pants or Nike basketball shorts for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Probably Adidas track pants. The swooshy ones. I’ve gotten hurt falling on the ones that have rip-off buttons on the side before.

What do you think of “My Way” by Fetty Wap?

Fetty Wap? I don’t fuck with him.

But every time I play that song, you nod your head. And he’s also from New Jersey.

I nod my head to every song. Shout out to Team Saf though.

Are you even sponsored right now?

I got no sponsors. I need a bearing sponsor.




jason byoun by colin fall

Photo via Colin Sussingham

If you want to win a care package from QS, download the raw footage from Jason’s Life is Goodie part plus some select bonus clips from the LurkNYC and Video Blog series (1.7GB download), and re-edit it however you want. Upload it to YouTube or Vimeo (don’t WeTransfer us back a clip please), and e-mail the link to quartersnacks [at] gmail [dot] com with “Remix Contest” as the subject.

A panel of judges who didn’t go to art school will select the best one. Winner gets a board and a set of wheels from one of our friends, in addition to a bunch of Quartersnacks tees and soft goods. Any entires to a Wu-Tang song will automatically be disqualified. Deadline is June 30th.


  1. Favorite skater atm. Mad crouch, mad recovery. If I were in an airliner and both pilots got food poisoning and passed out this is the guy I’d want at the buttons. He’d figure that shit out and land it shifty on a cellar door.

  2. Sick interview and long overdue. Favourite skater atm too, for realness and relate-abiliity. Dope style. Not enough irony and 90’s, keepin’ it classic NY, backpack on, having FUN! Inspiring me at 43 years old to go skate shitty streets every day. And I am. Props Jason.

  3. Nice!…

    My man Ryu doing big things.

    I remember when I discovered you.


  4. are there skaters alive today who watch these vids and think, this sucks, it is like my dads homemade skate videos from high school?

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