Talking 20 years of daewon-with daniel castillo

Skateboarding as a whole is one huge brotherhood. As a professional skateboarder, your responsibilities are always to shoot ads, make video deadlines, etc… but at the end of the day you just want to be with your friends skating. Some are lucky enough to do those same responsibilities with their friends. Although, with those same responsibilities, team changes & politics often occur. At times, the nasty business side of skateboarding can take a toll on the same friendships that they help grow. In fact, some are left only to be tarnished in the long run. While this may be true, it isn’t always the case. Through their lifetime of growing up together & at times, even being on the same team, Daniel Castillo & Daewon Song have manage to stay best friends. Over the course of 20 years, it doesn’t seem like much has changed. Apparently, they haven’t gotten sick of one another, they’re still skating together & to add to that, they’re still having fun.

This Thursday, we’ll be debuting Daewon’s pro model retrospect but before doing so, we had to sit down with someone who knows him better than most people.

You and Daewon have been skating together since your collective youth. How would you compare skating with Daewon at such a young age & skating with him today?
He has the same enthusiasm as he did when we were like 14-15. And he’s still learning new tricks, which is insane because the dude has enough tricks. He’s insane & is always amped to skate. It could honestly be anything. He’d be amped to skate a little curb on the street. That’s why I love skating with him because when I’m skating with him, it feels like I’m that age again. Like I’m 14. Anytime I hang out or skate with him, I have no care in the world except skating.

That’s definitely something to admire. As with most skate scenes, some friends tend to fade out. Whether it be because of partying, girlfriends or an injury. Somehow, all of you guys managed to stay together.
It’s rad. I mean, a lot of my friends like Chico, Daewon, Jeron & Guy, we’ve all been skating together for such a long time. We’ve all known each other since we were super young, anyone of those dudes are fun to skate with but especially Daewon. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but when I go skate with my younger friends, I’m like “Fuck dude, it’s not the same.”

It’s not all that surprising but I’m kinda blown away that Daewon would be stoked to skate a curb considering everything else he’s capable of.
Honestly, we’ve been skating a parking lot a lot lately. I don’t know if you wanna put this in the interview but we’ll skate the skate park, then go eat & then we’ll go to this underground parking lot that’s nothing but curbs. It’s so rad. But I mean, if you bring a young kid down there to skate, they might not understand. But to us it’s like “Fuck yeah dude!” Like just doing lipslides & shit [laughs] I ain’t trying to Hardflip a 9 anymore.

I couldn’t agree more.
Another thing with Daewon is that he can skate anything. Like half of the time, nowadays, I trip out on him. I mean, I’ve been skating with him forever, & I still trip out on how good he is. It’s really crazy. It’s crazy to see someone that good, forever.

Yeah, that doesn’t sounds like something you’d get to witness on a daily basis, let alone forever. How would you describe his longevity?
His longevity has been…..[pause]…. he’s just always innovating. Daewon is so good that he can just choose what to skate. You know some people, they’re just ledges, or pools but this dude can skate whatever & pull legit shit on it. I think that’s how he’s been able to skate for so long, by just skating anything. There’s certain shit that gets played out but he always manages to figure it out. Like one week he’ll be super into manuals & then the next week, you’ll find him trying some insane shit at Channel street.

You’re almost making me think he can skate the MegaRamp. Especially if he really puts his mind to it.
I think that he can do anything he wants on a skateboard. But you know what’s crazy? I’ve seen a lot of people change their board size over the course of the years but he hasn’t at all. Like I think he’s changed it a little bit but he’s still skating like a 7.6. That’s gnarly! I’m still under an 8 but at least I’m on a 7.8. [laughs] One time I hopped on his board & it’s so hard to handle. Have you gotten on his board before?

No, never.
Just imagine a little ass board with the loosest trucks you could ever imagine. It’s fucking crazy. I’ve seen kids go up to him & ask him “Why is your board broken?”. [laughs] I mean, he’s got one bushing on his nose & the rest are washers.

Courtesy of the CBI archives. RIP.

And on top of that, he’s doing the stuff that he’s doing.
Exactly. I mean, even doing a nollie on that board is fucking death.

I’d never imagine even trying it but after talking to you, I think I’ll have to add standing on Daewon’s board to my bucket list. 

To the public eye, Daewon is one of a kind. Normally, you can see a skater & easily be reminded of someone else’s style that they resemble but I’ve never been able to make that comparison with Daewon. He’s just in his own category. But how would you describe him?
Damn….[pause]…I mean, a lot of power. Obviously there’s a lot to it, but just from seeing his set-up & seeing the shit he skates & to do the stuff that he’s done, you’ve got to be pretty powerful on the board.

Can’t say I’ve ever heard him described as “Powerful” before. 
I mean, clearly he could be described as having grace or finesse because of his manual tricks but he’s seriously just raw. Like the shit he skates, people don’t go there to skate it ever again. That’s just “power”. The way he is on a skateboard is the way he is in real life. Also, when I say power, it’s because he’s a pretty strong dude. I’ve seen him put some big dudes in this one arm lock move that has taken them down. I just don’t think a lot of people know how gnarly he is. He’s a super good artist too & is competitive at anything he does. Like he drew something for his junior high school & I think it’s still their logo to this day. That’s how powerful he is. Growing up he’d always compete in Street Fighter or Pool but that’s what rad about Daewon, he’s always down to challenge you.

That’s so awesome. Thanks for sparing some words & time for Daewon, Daniel.
Anything for that guy, he’s helped me out so much throughout my life.