Back in 2009, a 17-year-old kid named Jeff sent me video footage to get into Tampa Am. My immediate impression was this kid is different. In our skateboarding culture, different can work both ways for you. Ben Raybourn different and Nate Sherwood different are, well, different. Different sometimes starts out harsh and then ends up coming around to where people are feeling it and you're accepted and become known for being different. Maybe Jeff is on his way down that path. His friends started referring to him as Jeffwon Song. As you'll see in his footage, technically, he does some similar tricks to Daewon. Aesthetically, maybe not so similar. Jeff's a nice ass kid who has built up quite a following with his consistent video parts he has been posting to YouTube over the years and even got the attention of P-Rod who asked Nike SB to get him in Tampa Am. That's how he ended up skating in 2009, getting last place. Jeff has some great things to say about what he learned with his experience there and how he views his own versus other skateboarding.
In my earlier stages of skating I feel like I did a lot more unique tricks which probably caused me to get the amount of attention on the internet that I do. Now I tend to do a lot more simmered down common tricks. Some dudes I've thought were kind of similar to me would be Jimmy Carlin, Albert Nyberg, and Torey Pudwill. We both got that crazy arm thing going. Actually, I think I'm not really similar to anyone, I just like to skate my own way.
I never thought I was good enough to put out video parts, I just did it because it was fun and I liked to show my friends how I was progressing. Eventually it became a thing and some people seemed to enjoy when I put out footage, so I continued doing it.
Truthfully I never tried to gain any of the attention or fame that I have. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey with nothing to do, so my entertainment was obviously skateboarding, but I liked to push the limits on tricks and see how far I could go even if I didn't think something was possible. I didn't have many spots, so once I did all the basic tricks over them, I had to get creative with it. Back to the internet fame, I just made a YouTube account one day so I could show my friends I was actually learning all these tricks that I was claiming I could do. I honestly had no idea any of it was all that special until random kids around the world would comment on the videos.
A lot of people ask me about Tampa Am. Basically that year I started getting flow from Plan B and Nike and I also moved down to Tampa for school. Tampa Am was going on, so having the sponsors I had at that point in time I felt kind of obligated to enter. Little did I know you needed more than just sponsors to enter the contest. I sent my footy to Rob (you) and you said I had some crazy tricks but I wasn't really ready to enter the contest. Being the naive stubborn person I am I didn't want to listen to that even though you were right and I told Plan B and Nike how I wasn't being allowed into the contest. I'm pretty sure they contacted you and got me in somehow. I had never really done any real contests before that, so when I went to practice my mindset was completely different from everyone else. Now that I look back I kind of took it as a joke which is probably the worst thing to do if you're trying to be an upcoming amateur in skateboarding. I landed some tricks in my run, but I obviously blew it. It kind of gave me a whole different perspective on the skateboarding world, which is actually a great thing that came out of it. I saw how many talented human beings there are in skateboarding and if you want to make it, you have to stand out from the rest of the crowd. I kind of already stood out from everyone else, but not in a good way. So in the past few years I've pretty much been doing what I've always been doing, but trying to clean up my act a little more.
Yeah here's a link to my two most recent video parts. Thanks Rob!
Jeff sent over a few photos to go with his interview. See this kickflip at the convention center in his video part. Photo: Tristan MershonProfile: Jeff DeChesare aka WonSong
Jeff sent over a few photos to go with his interview. See this varial heelflip at Tampa's ghetto gap in his video part. Photo: Dustin ZimmermanProfile: Jeff DeChesare aka WonSong
Jeff sent over a few photos to go with his interview. Photo: Heather DemeleProfile: Jeff DeChesare aka WonSong
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