Not many have put out 13 pro models. For those that have, some of it can be a blur considering the advances in skate shoe technology. With Daewon’s history, it’s safe to say that he’s been through it all. From rubber toe paneling, runner toes, airbags, cupsoles, vulc’s…etc. When looking at some of these shoes, they downright look ridiculous. But, as ridiculous as some of these past models look, it’s even more reason to praise Daewon, who’s done some pretty ridiculous things in them. Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of his video parts throughout the years & analyze what he’s done in some of his past DVS pro shoes.
Between the first & second installment of the popular “Rodney Mullen vs Daewon Song” series, Daewon had just finished coming off of his 1st DVS pro model & was already moving onto his 2nd shoe. In Round 2, you can distinctively see him skating the Daewon 2 throughout the entire part. Now, call it taking present footwear for granted & forgetting the footwear of our youth, but seriously: How did he manage to pull off the tricks in this video part, in this shoe? The Daewon 2, back in 1999, wasn’t anything out of the ordinary but in comparison to today’s styles, it wouldn’t even be entertained as a skate shoe. Yet, for Daewon, no shoe could interrupt his potential to skate the insane roller coaster-like obstacles that he did in Round 2. Among the slick & slanted table tops, Daewon managed to pull together a combination of fakie flips to manual combos that can hardly be recreated again (mainly the combo at .58 secs). Let’s also not discount the massacre that he performed on that infamous roof gap. Jeez.
The onslaught of all slick table tops, round rails & other DIY obstacles continues when you have an empty warehouse & a forklift at your disposal. Daewon’s Deca – 2nd to None video part not only captured his willingness to skate the unstable, unsafe & janky but it also forces us to believe that even if there wasn’t a video camera or friends present, he probably would’ve set-up these sketchy obstacles to skate anyways. This was during 2001 and Daewon’s skating, as well as his flair, were at an all-time high. Who could forget his jersey, gold chain & frosted-fade haircut phase…? So good. In this video part, you’ll find him in the Daewon 4, which served as a subtle update to his 3rd model. With the addition of the hidden lace protection feature & higher placed toe paneling, the Daewon 4 proved to be just as comfy & durable as its predecessors.
The Daewon 7 is hard to forget. It’s release during 2004 was around the time that Almost skateboards started gaining traction as the newest skateboarding brand on the market. With their inception came the video that no one saw coming, Round 3 of the incredible Rodney vs Daewon series. By this time, 5 years had past since Round 2 & those who saw the previous installments had no capacity of what to expect from Rodney & Daewon, let alone a new group of skateboarders. Between filming this part over a course of 2-3 years, you’ll actually find the Mele (6), Daewon 7 & 8 models in the Almost video. Of the three, we happened to favor his sixth model because of it’s early similarities to the modernized skate shoes we have today. Of course it was puffy & featured the protective lace paneling system but, it was a one piece toe cap without a runners toe or rubber toe paneling. Back in 2003, that was somewhat of a rarity.
Recently, Daewon’s been on a killing spree. Actually, no. Daewon’s always been on a killing spree. He’s been pushing skateboarding’s limits to an incomprehensible level of difficultly. This Spitfire “Enter the Daewon” video part has so many tricks that are beyond our understanding. Just naming some of them out loud will shock & confuse you. More so, he’s doing this in some of the most simplistic designs from DVS that you can think of. If the 12er didn’t get your attention, then his 13th signature pro model should. It’s enhanced insole alone merits your attention & it’ll keep you skating comfortably throughout the day.
During the writing of this retrospect, his good friend & DVS teammate, Paul Shier, helped us get some answers from Daewon regarding his past pro models. Thanks Paul!
Out of all of your DVS shoes, which one is your favorite?
The Daewon 3 was so damn comfy and reminded me of running shoes. They were definitely different, but I remember seeing Anthony Van Engelen wearing them in a 411 part back in the day and I was hyped!.
Now be honest, which one did you think was the ugliest?
The ugliest shoe was probably my first shoe because I had no idea or concept of shoe design! [Laughs] All I was excited about was that my name was on the tongue!
Any unique stories about the design/development process?
All of it was a learning experience for me. The shoe design team at DVS was amazing and always adjusted my shoes to what I needed. Even up to all of the crazy bells and whistles I wanted. It was crazy because I would help design my shoe and always just skate in the Gavin’s at the time! Always hated getting used to a new thing.
What can you surmise from someone with 13 pro models? Well for one, their loyalty is unquestioned. It’s hard to even think of many other pros in the same light as Daewon, let alone share the same accolades. If you didn’t read our insightful interview with Daniel Castillo about all things Daewon, you should check it out. Not only was it insightful but it was an intimate portrayal on how they’ve kept skateboarding fun, even after all of their years as professional skateboarders. In that interview, Daniel describes Daewon as Powerful; it’s a thought that we haven’t been able to shake because of how unfamiliar that word is within skateboarding’s vocabulary. Being described as “powerful” is a rarity in any physically demanding activity, but being described in that context, for skateboarding, is practically unheard of. With only a handful of skateboarders in mind when thinking of the word “Powerful”, it’s really made us appreciate Daewon even more. Not only has Daewon pushed skateboarding for the better, but he’s also always been the skateboarder’s skateboarder. You won’t see him endorsing any energy drinks, wearing the latest trends in skateboarding fashion, or entering any particular contests in hopes of breaking the bank. In fact, from what we found out in that interview with Daniel, Daewon much rather just skate curbs in an empty parking lot with his friends. Amazing.