An Interview with SOVRN’s Dashawn Jordan

Picture courtesy of The Berrics.

United Skateboarding caught up with Dashawn Jordan at the Damn Am series in Chicago.  Peep the interview below to find out about the latest with Dashawn and SOVRN, Nike SB, and his love of social media.

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Hey Dashawn! 

You seem like a pretty clean cut, good guy, always smiling.  People have described you as “the future” of skateboarding, that you’re relentless, and always positive.  Can you talk about growing up, and what’s shaped you into this person?!

I always just like being around positive people, I’ve seen people stressed and getting mad about it, that just makes it get worse. I’ve met people who have been through a lot and shared their story and stay positive. If people get mad it doesn’t’ work out. A lot of a good session has to do with your attitude, I always surround myself with positive people-Mikey, Paul, Malto, Steve, Sinclair ..

Do you ever feel the need to be a positive clean role model in the skateboarding industry?

 I don’t feel pressure to be a positive roll model, its just who I am, I want to be a good representation of myself. Anyone can go out and have a different style, but when you’re clean and classic I feel like that lasts forever and stands out. I’ve never changed my style.

You have a pretty lengthy list of sponsors-I counted 10… which is awesome!  But does it ever get hard balancing all of them?!  Like how do you decide who’s logo you’re going to rock when? 

At some points when you get on a sponsor it’s mandatory to rock their logo, I used to put a lot of stickers on my board, I started cleaning it up, I just wanted to narrow stuff down, I have the same amount of love for all of my sponsors, they are on my list and when I go to a contest and everyone knows who they are. I show love equally and don’t mess up any relationships…

Some of your sponsors could cover you in more than one area-like clothing and hard wear, do you every consider maybe cutting out any? Like have you considered joining Nike or Diamond apparel?

Actually Nike head to toe now! I just started talking with friends and they were like, “In the future you may need to decide.” Before it took place I hit up the Krew team and told them about it, and told them there may be an opportunity with Nike and Krew was cool with it. They’ve helped me since day 1 they were supportive, told me that I could get more money with Nike and that they supported me 100%. They said that it will not effect anything between us, and that it was a good opportunity, so I felt comfortable enough.

You’re one of the guys on the very small but very good SOVRN team.  Talk about getting pulled to SOVRN-who contacted you about it?  You were Element before… what convinced you to leave a big team like that?

I was getting pressed from one of my friends that I film with who works at The Berrics, Justin Damer. He has been riding their boards since day one. I saw the boards, and thought they were cool. I didn’t want to leave Element so I waited it out for awhile. Finally, I was talking to Mikey, he suggested to make the process faster, I should just ask Element if they have any intentions with me. They said they didn’t really have a plan for me yet, so I saw an opportunity with a company that would have me with friends who are positive. I thought that if I was getting welcomed to this team there was no problem with it, everyone is positive and fun. They all send good vibes and its so fun.

SOVRN’s image is very different from a lot of the mainstream companies-from their clothes, to their boards, and even their small films they’ve released through The Berrics, they’re different.  Do you identify with this more artistic approach to skating? 

I definitely think the aesthetic they are creating is cool, it’s sort of like they are building a brand that doesn’t have a definition. All of the building blocks are a pregame for what they want to do-content, skate videos, it’s the beginning of a company and there is so much room for growth. The head guys are not pressed by the opinions they’re getting, We know we are going to grown and create content. Right now we are taking baby steps. Everyone who works with the brand knows what they’re doing.

Does filming a part for SOVRN go down any differently from other parts you’ve filmed?  SOVRN’s stuff is just so beautiful, it’s like they have amazing architecture on natural features in all of their shots…  What’s it like filming this??

Opposed to a regular part, we do have an image right now, as far as that, I like that and I love filming for them because it creates a different vibe for a video part. My Sovrn parts have a different feeling; the music, pictures, anything else to capture the audience as opposed to straight tricks for one to two minutes

Do you have a favorite SOVRN graphic?!

Right now I’m stuck on Mikey’s new board, it looks so cool. The Geri & Freki wolf one is also, I am skating that one now.

So you’ve been hot on The Berrics lately!!  You were featured in the Next New Wave, and you had an amazing Recruited! Just today you had a First Try Friday added!  When you’re filming big parts like this, what’s your approach?  Do you plan?  Do you have tricks in mind?  Or do you go in kind of spontaneously?

Everything I’ve been included on has been a surprise. I wasn’t planning on doing a Recruited part and one morning I woke up and got a call and they were like, “Chase wants to do a Recruited.” At first I was super hyped and once I started skating and filming I didn’t really have a plan, I would go in and just look at a spot, think of a couple of tricks and then after I continued working on that trick and filmed more I started planning a little more for what I wanted to do next.

When did you first start skating? 

When I was 9 in Tucson. My friends were doing it and they were better than me, but I kept hanging around and skating with them. When I moved to Phoenix, I kept a friends board that he had lent to me. I knew nothing about skating and boards, I was missing a bolt on the wheel, I went to Autozone, to see if they had a bolt for it. Ha ha ha, I had the weirdest bolt on my wheel for the longest time, I had to look so funny. I started skating with different groups around Phoenix and I started skating at Chandler Skate Park.

Growing up around Phoenix, did you skate with some of the other Phoenix guys we’re hearing about now?

I grew up in Chandler skating with Andrew Nicolaus and Justin Nicolaus, as I was getting older I made my way out and started skating with the Cowtown scene. All of my friends who were around were from a company called Zombie Skateboards. They took me on trips when I was young, they were the main dudes of skating at the time so I was always around them. It was so much fun, and really how I got started.

What are three iconic skate videos to you?

Fully Flared, Minefield and Flip Extremely Sorry.

Skaters from different parts of the country are said to have different styles.  Someone made a comment on one of your Instagram videos the other day that you had “Phoenix style”  Do you think such a thing exists?  If so, can you describe it to me?

Not really, I don’t think that’s for real. I mean, maybe it can be classified as what you skate. I don’t think it matters where you’re from. But I think a skater could have a personal style and they’re all different. My style, I like being well rounded I like trying to be good at everything, fakie, switch, nollie, I practice everything everyday I want to be good at everything. I wanna look clean.

You’re pretty active on social media.  You’re snap chatting all of the time.  Do you ever catch any shit from your friends about always blasting them on Snap? 

Sometimes, like, they will be salty before I post it but then they get over it quick. I feel like it’s there, so I feel like capturing every moment. I like to let people know who I am and how I live. I enjoy life and I want to let people know that.  When we were flying out here, one of my friends was sleeping on the airplane, I wanted to get every Snap filter on him while he was sleeping.  I think I did it!  It was so funny.

 You post on Instagram a lot too.  I feel like there’s been a lot of talk lately about skaters getting bonuses and extra money for IG posts.  Do any of your sponsors offer this incentive to you?  How do you feel about it?  What’s your personal motivation behind posting to IG frequently?

Um no they don’t. None of them have a social media cap or anything. That’s what social media is there to do, it’s there to help you. I feel like that’s already a bonus to you -to show what you’re doing and to get content out in a different way, you shouldn’t be rewarded for something that’s free to you.

 Staying on the topic of IG…  A lot of people share the fact that NBDs are constantly being done and shown through IG.  With this happening there is a lot of debate about style vs trick…  Like yeah you did a NBD, but it looked shitty…  What are your thoughts??  What is your priority when skating and filming-do you wanna go for those NBDs to impress people, or do you want a clean style? 

I want to go for both, I want everything to look clean, if there is an opportunity to do something NBD I wanna do it. You are going to want it to be clean though, you’ll want to leave a mark and show people how it should be done not just that you can do it.

J Scott Handsdown was on the best skateboarding podcast in the world-Skate Fillet 😉 and mentioned that he stayed with you and few other guys at Berra’s house!  Do you live at Steve’s house right now? 

Yeah I was staying with a couple of friends in California and I didn’t want to go back to Arizona. Someone told me to hit him up. I hit him up and he said alright, he figured stuff out for a couple of weeks and let me know I could move in. I’ve been there over a year now.  It’s worked out really well and I’m so thankful.

So you won the LA Damn Am stop.  Do you prepare for every Damn Am stop the same?  Does being in Chicago for this one change anything for you? 

I don’t really prepare, I was only skating contests for awhile so I needed to balance it out. I started filming parts and street skating. I always try to work on a few things, some new things so I’m always keeping it fresh.  But, I don’t really think about what I’m going to do at the competitions a whole lot, I’m always looking at the bigger picture.

Some skaters really hate on the guys who skate competitions.  I realize that as an Am it’s a little different for you, but why do you choose to skate competitions?

Not everyone wants to shoot a street part. I want to have balance and keep a good audience in the contest circuit. But, I want to keep everyone interested and make a good career in skateboarding so I like to do a little bit of everything.

What about the Olympics?! Do you see yourself skating in 2020?! How do you feel about skating becoming more mainstream and being featured as an Olympic sport??

I think it’s rad. I think it’s sick that its all growth for skateboarding. If it gets a larger percentage of people asking questions about skateboarding and being involved in something that big, it’s big for everyone…

Thanks so much for your time Dashawn! I appreciate you letting me do this!

For sure! Thank you! I love it!

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