This past weekend the Dunk XChange (or DXC) returned to Hawaii, and it was time for me to finally check it out.
I’ve avoided going to DXCs in the past, primarily because I felt that an event like this should really be free. That’s based on the fact that a lot of the sneaker events I’ve attended before were free, like the Sole Collector Magazine events in Hawaii and Las Vegas, the Sole Searching event at Palama Settlement, and the Sneaks Up show in San Antonio.
Still, I needed to go to see what’s up.
If I had any expectations, it would be what other people would be wearing to the show. I was easily pleased.
The Dunk XChange was created to be a venue for sneaker collectors to meet in person to sell or trade their shoes. There were several tables to meet that need. Local consignment shops Truest and Nameless had tables there, as well as other entrerprising individuals.
Although it was great to see some hard to find shoes, sometimes I think some of the vendors just wanted to show off their collection, because I found several items were not priced to move, and even some with a “Not For Sale” sign. That’s fine with me, since I know it’s not easy to part with a pair. Even so, there were still stuff for sale for the right price.
Aside from shoes, there were several tables selling clothing, snapbacks and other accessories. There was one table selling clear acrylic shoe boxes, worthy for a sneakerhead’s most valued pair.
The guys from Mojo Barbershop were also there and gave cuts at the show. My fellow sneakerhead Paul Samiano took advantage of that and got himself a buzz.
The art scene also had a presence at the DXC. Jasper Wong of Pow Wow Hawaii worked on a piece, and later on Angry Woebots dropped by to do some quick paintings for purchase at an affordable price.
I didn’t think I was going to stay as long as I did at the DXC, but Ralph, who Paul and I came to the show with reminded us that the sneaker battle would probably be the best part of the night. So while we waited for that to happen, I got to hang around some other sneakerheads and socialize a bit. It was pretty cool to see that many of their significant others joined in the fun as well.
When it came to the sneaker battle, I was rooting for @narddo and @bguira, who showed off their Dunk SB Zoo Yorks and Patta Air Maxes, respectively. They rounded up the top three, but failed to oust the guy who had OG Air Jordans on his feet. That guy won a custom robot figure made from a Jordan shoe.
For me, my only gripe I had with the event was the price of admission – it was too high. Granted, I bought it at the door, and could have saved by pre-ordering. And the reality is no one’s hosting a free event for people to attend in Hawaii. If Hawaii’s sneaker community isn’t willing to hold a free event for people to attend, then Hawaii has to accept that DXC will charge to come over to hold it for them.
And though I may be a little grumpy about the pricing, I also know that if it was such an issue, I didn’t need to go. And it would be totally unfair to the organizers to use that as my deciding factor if I thought the event went well or not.
Because in the end, I think the DXC did a good job.
One thing I did appreciate was that they worked with some local shops like Fitted to produce some exclusive products for the show. I was lucky to pick up a Fitted leather strapback cap designed for the DXC, one of fifty made. There were some tees made just for the event as well and a VIP pack of goodies too.
That said, when the DXC comes down to Hawaii again, here’s a few things I’d like to see them do:
1) Bring something to show to the audience that they haven’t seen in person. Because the DXC is a traveling show, I would like to see them bring something to showcase, like a collection of rare Air Maxes, or a table full of vintage Adidas shelltoes or something. Even a presentation of all the events the DXC has done would be nice. If the DXC brought something to show to the public, it would make the admission charge justifiable.
2) Lower the price of admission – Although I’d like to go for free, I know that the DXC model is to charge for admission. I’d just like them to make it a little cheaper. People might say that the $10 presale and $15 at the door is fair, but for perspective, Hawaii has a cost of living as high as New York, but the wages here are much much lower. People in Hawaii want to make the most of their money. Maybe $10 at the door and $5 pre-sale? I think more families would be more than willing to go if that was the case.
3) Help attendees find food – This is a purely selfish request. Good food always makes an event better. Maybe next time DXC can ask some food trucks to park nearby and provide some tasty provisions.
Are these suggestions a requirement for me to return to the DXC? Not necessarily. But it would definitely make me more excited to check it out the next time.
DXC’s official website – Go here to find out where they will be next, and here’s where you can buy tickets on pre-sale. I highly recommend people taking advantage of the pre-sale, since it can be almost 30-40% cheaper. They also have a shop, and also have VIP packages for some of these events.
San Antonio Sneaks Up – I’ve mentioned my San Antonio family before, but part of my going to DXC was because I miss going to their events. 2013 was their biggest event ever, held on April 28th. And this event has been free to the public since its inception. This year, there was even a marriage proposal! Next one I’m told will be at the Spurs’ arena, the AT&T Center! Their event is what I used as my standard to compare the DXC to.
Fitted – Makers of some exclusive DXC stuff at the event.
Addenduum: After the DXC, I went to Asahi Grill with some fellow sneakerheads to have some dinner. Asahi Grill comes from the same company that used to run the diner at Kam Bowl in Kalihi. This diner was known for two things – Their Fried Rice Omelette and their Oxtail Soup. I’m pretty sure that my first bowl of Oxtail Soup was from there. Asahi Grill is a more Japanese influenced restaurant, with teishokus, ramen dishes, and curry dishes, but they never forgot their history, and still offer those signature dishes of that diner now long gone.
This time, I got a Shrimp Stir Fry Curry, which I enjoyed. Paul Samiano got some Teri Porkchops that looked so good, I had to take a pic of that too.
The night ended at the Blue Ribbon, since Grant, one of the guys who joined the dinner, was celebrating his 21st birthday, and the group decided to join in the celebration. I ended up having a beer and lots of fruit flavored soju with all. And it was all good.