On the eve of Round 3, Daewon Song takes it higher, farther, and more tech than ever before.
To supplement the already endless tapes of footage he’s logged for the new Almost video, Round 3, Daewon took it upon himself to rent an eighteen-wheeler and two 33-foot bobtails-for those of us not in the know when it comes to trucker slang, bobtails are the largest non-trailer-hauling trucks money can buy (or rent).
For the next two days, the short runway of the eighteen-wheeler became his launching pad, as the two bobtails, sitting side by side, provided a wider landing ground-that being the only concession made for safety as these big rigs towered fourteen feet up in the air with not a single net, mat, or safety railing to avoid a potential mishap.
Since the roof gap is almost as good a friend to Daewon as the picnic table, this should hardly be something to fret over, right? True, true, except every roof Daewon has ever skated has been in the light of day, with little to no moisture factor involved. The close proximity of the beach caused the tops of the trailers, as well as the flatbar, to develop quite a bit of condensation as soon as the sun set each day. As he leapt back across the gap for every attempt (there was bridge to just waltz back over to the other side), he kept slipping out all over the place. But a little water couldn’t stop him from making nearly 200 attempts at this thing for the ten hours he skated each day-all by his lonesome self. All the motivation came from within-he had to prove it could be done by doing it himself despite fatigue from hours of skating and leaping back across the gap every single time.
Once the flatbar was fastened, grinds were thrown down with delicate ease, but it wasn’t until the slides came into play that Daewon realized this was brand-new metal he hadn’t even back tailed on flat ground yet. Knowing that he’s currently resting on solid ground, it’s easy to blame all this insanity on his sheer confidence, but most of us would nosegrind the picnic table on flat before putting it down the stairs.
When it comes down to it, you can be dumb crazy and overly confident (Daewon himself said during the session: “I just got my life insurance, so I’m cool.”), but you’re going to need that skill to consistently outdo yourself time after time, and Daewon Song couldn’t be a better example of that.-Eric Stricker
Day 1 7:37 p.m.
I shot this just as I rolled up on the scene, and it was one of a handful of tricks (360 flip, frontside flip, et cetera) he did. At this point Daewon had already been skating the gap for hours, so fatigue set in and he was dealing with the wet conditions.
Day 2 3:43 p.m.
The backside tailslide was the first thing he ever did, and he went straight for it. Daewon never really tested out the rail on flat or anything. He immediately crooked grinded it, back Smithed it, and then back tailed it. The back tail was scary to watch, ’cause when he came up to the rail, it didn’t look like it would slide well. Nobody ever skated the brand-new rail to break it in. His board stuck, and he flew across the whole gap and barely made it onto the other truck. A lot of times it was really close. But Daewon knows how to jump a little farther and get out of situations like that.
Day 2 6:57 p.m.
180 nosegrind revert
The back-tail photo was shot fisheye, so obviously it’s going to look big, but to step back and see this long lens really puts it into perspective-the trucks, the height, the bar on top of it all-you see how gnarly this really is. First Daewon did this to fakie, and then of course he had to throw in the revert.
Day 2 9:22 p.m.
360 flip lipslide
This was the gnarliest thing besides his nosegind pop out over. I couldn’t get the sequence because there were too many people filming, so I just shot a still. When Daewon told me he was going to try this, I was just scared.
Day 2 2:18 aa.m.
Backside crooked grind pop over
When he told me he was going to cut the rail and elevate it up, I was like, “I don’t know if you should really try this.” To ollie to crooked grind on a flatbar, you can easily miss. One leg goes over, the other stays on the opposite side of the rail, and you basically sack or flip over. If that had happened to him, he would’ve been dead, paralyzed, or seriously hurt. This is one of the first times where I really became scared for someone while shooting a photo. And to do this at nighttime was seriously crazy. When he pulled it I was so shocked, and still nervous for him because I f-ked up the photo-I wanted him in the air popping out. It all happened at 2:30 in the morning, and he still stuck around to hang out.