WCS certified Korean trainer
DOB: 1985/ 3/ 21
Location: Seoul Korea
My name is Keun Yupp Song but you can call me Yupp! I was born and raised in a town called Daejon in South Korea. When I was 12 years old, a bunch of kids were rolling around in the class hallway on their skateboards which naturally get hooked at first sight. I became friends with one of those kids and started to learn how to tick-tac which got me started. Around that time, my cousin who I click with even to this day, happened to work in the first skate shop in my town and naturally went to the shop to see what they’ve got.
That’s where I have seen the first skate video (Girl’s Mouse) which opened a new portal and made me fall in love at first sight. After that, my excuse was to go see my cousin but eventually was able to meet more skate crews in our neighborhood. My love for skateboarding blossomed due to that catalyst but my folks didn’t approve of my skateboarding and wanted me to pursue my academics. To rebel against my parents and the fact that I couldn’t skate any more made me pursue more interesting things which led me to become affiliated to negative influences and became the school bully.
My cousin couldn’t stand her little cousin straying away for 3 years in middle school or junior high, so she introduced me to StuntB’s Team leader Baek who happen to visit from Seoul which was the best thing I could see to seeing a real skater. I guess I still had a bit of tinder left of having the passion to skate, but StuntB’s Baek was like a nuke that became a catalyst for me to love skating again.
Baek was a legend at the time being the best skater in Korea, taking the Korean skate scene to the next level and making the Korean style of skating, an iconic hero came to meet me in person. I recall at that time if Baek wore a trucker hat, all of the Korean skaters had to have one. His influence in the Korean skate scene was off the hook!
I still remember my first encounter with Baek. From a distance, he was on his board and had a little puppy on one arm. At the time, he was just an average sized individual, but for me, he was a god of skateboarding.
Like that, I was able to meet Korea’s best skater and was able to tag along with him on a FTC Korea Tour. It was then, when I saw a pro skater Carl Watson and Mike Yolk in flesh but what amazed me the most was how Baek and the StuntB crew were skating. It was as if the people in the video came to life and skated right in front of my eyes, but what I thought was impossible was being performed by a Korean skater! That blew my mind away and the first thing I did after the tour was to jump on top of my skateboard.
Still my folks were against me skating due to the fact that the skate culture emerged from the streets thinking it was all negative, as if it was like Japanese contraband animation. I would then go to my friend’s house or toss my board in the trunk of some older skater’s car and waited for them to swing by to skate. The passion for skateboarding kept on growing and it was then I dreamt some dreams that I never had while I was a bully. My first dream was being a part of StuntB. (At the time, I couldn’t even dream about it.) Next, was having my own skate clip in a video where people give me street credit and shooting an official clip. The third was ranking 1st place in a big competition in Korea. My last dream was to have my own signature deck.
Come to think of it, all of my dreams have come true. It was then when I realized that skateboarding was my life. Currently, Korea’s skateboard scene is still small. However, putting half of my life into skateboarding and nurturing the youth skate programs made me think differently. It was that we are the building blocks of Korea’s skate scene. Not only did skateboarding end my reputation as the school bully. It was way more than that.
Since it is nearly impossible to make a living just being a skater here in Korea, I had to choose my path in the field of culinary arts. Even though I lacked the knowledge of operating a restaurant, the reason I was able to get a quick promotion up the corporate ladder was also due to skateboarding. It was in the field of marketing. I applied the marketing strategies I used to promote myself in my career. That’s why I am nothing without skateboarding. To this day, all this wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for my skateboarding mentor Seung-hyun Baek.
I will do my best to support the Korean skate scene and someday be the Baek to another me which is my recent goal. My seniors in skateboarding skated in an environment that was harsher than it is now. They skipped meals just to get a deck of their own. I know the very individual that gave all that he had to support the junior skaters. I guess this is just what skateboarding is.
I know we have a long way to go, but I will burn my passion until the world gets astonished by Korean skateboarding. I thank everyone taking their valuable time to read through.
“STEADY ROLLIN !!!”