50 years of Vans, according to Jason Dill!

As the skateboard world looks back at the history of one the shoe brand that has been associated with it since that day with no waves when surfers screwed roller-skates on a piece of wood, we thought it would be interesting to hear what Dill would have to say about Vans. As a current rider, but also as a skater that has seen and lived it all from his Californian youth in the epicenter of skateboarding to the Nineties that shaped what we are nowadays. Luckily, he is hanging out in town these days , skating with the Blobys, drawing on napkins and more…


"In the early 90's, it was Half Cabs, sometimes Old Schools… Nobody really had solid shoe deals, in them old 101 sections, I'd be riding everything […]"

You grew up skating in Huntington Beach, half an hour away from where Vans was founded, Anaheim. Do you have a first memory of knowing what Vans was? Was that skateboarding related?
I remember seeing little Vans stores when I was a child, nothing like the Vans stores now. More of like a small bakery, it felt like. They were these ultra tiny Vans stores that had like three styles and not that many colors to choose from. I remember my mom taking me to them as a child and getting me Authentics for school. Nothing to do with skateboarding, I was maybe 5 or 6 years old…
You have a fair amount of photos over the years wearing Vans, whenever you did not have a shoe sponsor… What was your go to model, whenever you just wanted shoes to skate in?
In the early 90's, it was Half Cabs, sometimes Old Schools… Nobody really had solid shoe deals, in them old 101 sections, I'd be riding everything from Old Schools to them basic black leather Reeboks. That was most likely influenced by Gino! I'd like to watch them old videos just to see all the different brands of shoes in those old parts.
Frontside bluntslide in Half-Cabs, in Snuff.
Who is your favorite Vans rider nowadays, and why?
Julien [Stranger] and Ray Barbee… I just have to mention them, and Cardiel, before talking of anybody current… I really like [Elijah] Berle, I really like Rowan [Zorilla]. Saying one person is kinda whatever, Kyle Walker, Daan [Van der Linden] is some other kind of brilliant new skateboarding that I hadn't really seen in person since early Grant Taylor, I really like Daan.
On the other end, in all of Vans history, which of their past rider would you love to have a sesh and hang-out?
They should have made a Gonz shoe, he's riding Vans a lot all through Video Days, I know he was riding for them around that time. You can't really beat Sean Young in Vans, that's kinda some forever shit.
Skaters have a love / hate relationship with their shoes, for obvious reasons. What makes a good shoe to skate in, for you?
I myself especially like a very thin shoe, that's why I skate in Authentics. I use Super Glue on them and that's pretty much the only shoe I skate in… I will always love the look of a Half Cab, but I just can't skate in anything but Authentics now.
If given the chance, what would be a shoe feature you would add, these days?
I wanna make an Authentic in conjunction with the Super Glue people. Green, red and white like the Super Glue packaging and it would come with the little tube of Super Glue.
What is going on with Vans Syndicate, actually?
Syndicate was great… Purposely moving on and closing up shop on that department was and is a positive move I believe. Syndicate had a great run, I'm happy that I was part of it.
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