interview by jd white
Some kids’ dream in life to is to become a sponsored skateboarder and then become pro, but Jason Wakuzawa did not share this dream. He was in the sponsored scene for 3 years and does not want to go back. He was on the amateur team for World Industries and received goods from DVS, Dark Star, and Elwood clothing, but didn’t like all the work required to maintain his sponsorships.
I remember when I use to skate with Jason every day after school in high school. Half the time, I wouldn’t even skate just because I was so amazed at the skill he had and the things he could do. He is so smooth when he skates, flowing like water. I remember attempting to copy his style of skating to see if it would make me a better skater, but it never worked. Jason is not only a badass on a skateboard; he can also bust on the turntables. He has been spinnin phat records for 3 years now. Besides being an all around badass, he is also one of the nicest people you could meet at the skate park. He doesn’t care how good you are, he will still skate with you and try to teach you stuff as well.
Jason is not only a badass on a skateboard; he can also bust on the turntables. He has been spinnin phat records for 3 years now. Besides being an all around badass, he is also one of the nicest people you could meet at the skate park. He doesn’t care how good you are, he will still skate with you and try to teach you stuff as well.
So what’s up Jason? How you doin?
Good, good got pretty wrecked this week skating. Fell 7 feet to the ground in the bowl at the skate park.
Damn! You all right man?
Yeah, I’m cool. Fucked up my shoulder pretty bad and got some fat ass bruises on my hip, but I’m cool.
Well that’s good. So what’s up man–why did you leave all your sponsors?
It wasn’t fun anymore. I was not skating to have fun, I was skating for someone else. And it took up so much of my time. Going on tour to skate in demos and contests and also having to go to school was hard. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Where they mad when you left?
Not really. They where just like, “Okay, whatever.”
So you weren’t having fun anymore?
Naw man. It’s way different from skating to have fun. I missed the old school days when me,Tony Boedi and Chuck use to skate. Those where the good old days, just skating to skate. Not having to worry about getting photos taken for the next ad or making sure I’m at the demo that week. And I could wear what I wanted. I didn’t have to wear the sponsors’ shit, I could just wear whatever clothes, you know. Being sponsored, kids would start rumors that I was riding for a different sponsor just because I was wearing different shoes. It wasn’t like it use to be when we would just skate.
So who got you in the skate scene?
Pretty much Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen.
You still talk to them?
Yeah, I talk to Daewon all the time.
Cool. Don’t you also spin?
Yeah, I have been doing it for like 3 years now. It’s pretty cool. I want to start a band with this buddy of mine. I am trying to learn to play the guitar and he plays the drums.
So what are you bumpin in your car right now?
Umm I think I have Linkin Park in there right now, but I usually have Beat Junkies and the Visionaries.
All right, all right. So didn’t you drop out of school to skate more?
I didn’t drop out of school–I just did home studies. But yeah, it was hard to miss 2 weeks of school, skating the whole time and have to come home and do all this homework. It sucked. I would just do these work packets and shit like that at home. It was better for me.
Do you have any advice for other skaters out there?
Yeah just have fun. Don’t do it cause you have to. Getting sponsored is not as cool as everyone thinks it is–there’s a lot of hard work. I had more fun skating when I was not sponsored the when I was. My friends always wanted to skate with me but the company wanted me to skate with the team and get photos. Sometimes I didn’t want that. So yeah just have fun. That’s pretty much it.