Daewon Song on Selling Flowers and Donuts

Script and Narration by Nate Kan
Audio by Elphick Wo
Photos by Alex Maeland
Illustrations by Naomi Otsu

Not every pro athlete dreams of hitting the big leagues as a kid. For many, like Daewon Song, skateboarding was something to do for fun, but also a means to stay out of trouble and the motivation to make it through history class. With options limited and gang membership never far away, skateboarding was both an outlet and the unbreakable link to his own drive to constantly pursue and overcome new challenges.

 

Yet today, even after 25 years in the industry, he remains humble and gives an earnest account of what it was to be a skater back before it was accepted, his eventual adoption of social media, and what it means to stay true to yourself, the people that support you and a love of good donuts.

Daewon’s Favorite Donuts

“I was just like I can’t do this anymore. This selling flowers business, I’m over it, and… I’m just going to bang. Skating took me out of all that.”

“I think because when I grew up skating… skateboarding was garbage. It was a terrible thing that nobody wanted their kids to do. Either you were a criminal, a gang banger, a writer (graffiti) or you’re a skateboarder. We were like criminals.”