Connor Champion talks DGK and Quartersnacks

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Who do you ride for?

DGK, Nike SB, Bones Swiss, Spitfire, Mighty Healthy, Independent, Endless Grind, and Empty Handed Hardware. They hold me down.

How long have you been on DGK?

It’s only been a couple months, still very fresh. I’m hyped they’re down for me.

Did you follow them before?

For sure! I’ve always thought the team was deep with heavy OGs and the younger dudes are super gnarly. But Wade, Stevie, Marcus, Kalis… Come on player… Always been and will be at fan kid status.

What’s it like skating with the OG’s?

Wade is the truth. I’ve only skated with the other dudes when I was younger either at random spots or events. All those dudes are at legend status for me, definitely get psyched anytime I see them skate.

How do you interpret the phrase “Dirty Ghetto Kids”?

I take it pretty literal, but at the same time I kind of see it as an interpretation of the way most people look at any group of skate kids. Like, “The skaters, you know, the dirty ghetto kids”. Even if the kids aren’t from the ghetto, being out in the streets all the time, as skate kids are, they get looked at a certain way.

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The DGK Instagram can portray a lifestyle of cars, women and money – how close to reality is this representation?

I mean, I feel like it is the truth for different dudes. Like if you see Stevie or Rick Ross on the Instagram flexing, I don’t think that’s not real or something, it’s definitely real for them. That is definitely a part of the image that some people are into with DGK too. Just like I said about perception, what I feel about a company or brand may not be what the 15 year old kid in Cali is into, but we can still find mutual ground in a brand like DGK that, when it comes down to it, is a skate brand, and does give back to skating even if it reaches into other markets and industries.

How does DGK give back to the skate community?

They stay hooking kids up with product and always want to bless up-and-comers in any way that they can. I think they give back by staying true to the brand as well, keeping it relevant with the team. All the dudes on the team are super good about showing their fans love, that goes a long way when you’re a little grom and get to meet your idol. It’s good for future generations of skating to have positive and accessible role models they can relate to as well.

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What’s your link with Quartersnacks, apart from the edits that you are in?

Just mutual friends. I came to stay with my homie Tyler Tufty a few years back up here in NY and he just linked me with Kosta to skate some spots, and we just kinda hit it off I guess… Snack is just the homie, we into the same ignorant ass rap and the same type of skating and shit. We also have a mutual lackadaisical approach to going skating most of the time. I’m lucky to have such a sick crew of homies when I moved up here.

Please explain the lackadaisical approach, it’s all too familiar.

Haha I donno, most of the time if we are skating together, one of us is at least 30 minutes longer than we said we would be and usually have no plan other than to skate a general section of the city. When I say the city, I mean Manhattan, cause we both like not trying to leave the island. It’s mostly about just being out skating, if something goes down… Sick! If not… Sick!

Are there any funny stories from when you were filming your QS edit?

Probably the most stressful thing was the last Lipslide. It was just super tiring, I had gone twice, and that sidewalk is so busy that what would be 15 minute of trying a trick, is like 45. Right where you start is a bus stop. I dunno what it is about that corner, people are just angry and dumb. Either someone was trying to beef with me on the sidewalk for being too close to them or someone would just stop right in front of the Rock and not want to move. I think I just had bad timing but never the less, not nearly as easy and stress free as the fun Lipslide to rock looks.

Is it a rough neighbourhood?

Not really, it’s just a weird little corner downtown where you get a heavy mix of different people so everybody is just random and on their own shit. Oblivious to what’s happening around them.

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How did the DGK X Quartersnacks collaboration come about?

Honestly I think it’s a timing thing. By the time I found out it was already deep in the works. The homie Stephen at DGK lined it up I think. People are into what Snack has going on I think, we all have a nostalgic type feeling about DGK as a brand too, it’s a mutual hype for sure.

What do you mean by nostalgic?

I dunno, I feel like perception is different in skating when it comes to how different people view different brands. For me at least and some of the homies up here DGK has a nostalgic feeling of a time and era in skating that wasn’t so reliant on the instantaneousness of the way things are now.

Like pre-Instagram, and more about full-length videos?

Exactly. Not just videos, I think just a time when people latched on to their “things” more. Like there wasn’t so much to look at, so when something was tight, you loved it.

Do you think that people are over stuff quicker now? What does it take for a brand to stay relevant: sister companies; constant reinvention?

I definitely feel like that. Skating is so saturated, there is always something new to watch. That’s why I feel like it’s important to span time with a brand to stay relevant. Constantly chasing the new hot wave can be a quick way to water things down, in skating at least. I feel like having firm roots with a good brand and staying true to whatever brand heritage, while still growing in “newer” ways is how brands stay around and also build a customer who genuinely feels some kind of attachment with the brand. The customer can grow with the brand.

Do you think that DGK offered an alternative to the whole wallie, Cons, and high water pants thing?

I definitely don’t think they were on that wave, but I’m not sure if it’s necessarily the alternative that brands like DGK and QS offer. Just a different take on skating I guess. I can’t front, you can catch me doing a no comply here or there. That being said, too much of anything can be bad. Don’t OD…

Interview by Daryl Mersom . Give him a follow @fakiehillbomb.
All skate photos courtesy of Walker Anderson. Top image provided by DGK.

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