-David Aparicio February 10, 2014
Photo Credit: Khaleeq Alfred (Rider coverage) and David Aparicio (Island photos)
In the northeastern Caribbean there lies a beautiful island they call Puerto Rico. This is the story of my travels through the island in 12 days, a recap on two of the DH races and a slide jam, with a side of some local culture, art, and history. I only touched the surface of what the amazing island has to offer!
I was lucky to fly into San Juan and drive across the Island from East Coast to West Coast, it was like a dream.
Before I met up with the Bustin NYC crew I met up with the Bustin Puerto Rico crew, Jayson Ramos Jr. and Jayson Ramos! Turns out Jayson Ramos Jr. is Friends with Puerto Rican Madrid grom, Alexander Rivera (far right). Not only that, but Jayson Jr, who I like to call “papito” helped to Coordinate Douglas Daluas first trip to P.R. for the races! Daluas Friend Pegro Frangulis (far left) wound up being super fast on both courses! The Brazilian guys are sharp!
Before long I had met up with a lot of the bustin NYC crew and we were all eager to get some skating in!
The slide Jam at Guajataka was hot, rowdy and a lot of fun! The spectators went ape shit when the News Chopper showed up!
For a lot of Beast Coast skaters, the Guajataka slide jam seems like a tropical version of one of our favorite spots, “DarkTower”. Both nestle up next to old cemeteries!
Maybe it’s because Puerto Rico is a Caribbean Island, and that’s why so many female skaters turnt up. Whatever the reason, were stoked to see so many ladies on the hill throwin down with the boys and pushing each other to progress!
Carla Javier is one of our most stylish girls on the bustin squad! lean’n and layin 5-0 thane at the Guajataka slide jam!
Noishh Boom getting sideways on his Yoface 35″ in a secret ditch!
Cami Best takes the Maestro Pro higher and further!
Steven Vera took 5th place at the Guajataka Slide Jam!
Bustin grom Dejuane Jones won 1st place in juniors at Guajataka DH 2014 Here he is Tucking into the chicane!
William Royce Took 1st in consolation finals in Mens DH at guajataka earning him 5th place! Rocking his bustin pro model wheels and deck!
I wound up taking 3rd place in Mens Guajataka DH 2014. I should really watch where I’m going though!
But Puerto Rico isn’t all about skating, you have to stop and soak in all the beauty that the island has to offer. Reminisce with me.
Heres a little secret path I found…
If you put a sign on a door that says ” dont enter” a skater is bound to walk in.
I had a week to spend on the Island between the two races and after Guajataka was over, I was lucky enough to link up with bustin team rider and local Puerto Rican, Nayhomi Cruz. She brought me to the oldest city in Puerto Rico, Old San Juan.
Old San Juan looked similar to pictures I had seen on the of Italy, with cobblestone streets, just wide enough for cars to move in one direction, barely. The colorful buildings make the streets seem brighter.
I was in Old San Juan, and my guide knew how to get to the infamous “Perla Bowl”, so that’s where we went. After all that was always our destination, I just didn’t tell you.
La Perla Bowl is bad ass! A Concrete wave being smashed by ocean waves all day, are you serious!? It’s better than anything I’ve ever dreamed up.
It is impossible for me to express how grateful I am to have been able to spend time with Jayson Ramos and Jayson Jr. .While I was in Puerto Rico, they gave me two hands full of once in a lifetime experiences. Above is a shot of Castilo San Felipe Del Morro , I snapped while we drifted across the bay on a private motor boat! This fortress dates back to the year 1539!
The next race on the schedule was Ponce Formula 1 DH. A big crowd of spectators showed up and eagerly awaited riders to come crushing through the very fast final turn just before the finish line. I was so stoked to see Rolando Martinez out at the races. Rolando is our friend and Push Culture rider. He is still in recovery mode after being hit by a car last year, during an open road session. Remember skate fast, but skate safe!
Dejaune Jones won 1st place in Juniors again! Here he is leading the pack in a heat, and for some reason he wanted to ride a Sportster for a few runs. Well there’s all the proof you need. Even our NY Push Series decks CAN be used for whatever you want. I’m not saying its going to be the best choice, I’m just saying hey look, it CAN be done.
Here’s Nayhomi Cruz leading the pack on her Mekanik and Valeria Sedano following in pink and green! If you see them on the hill take a picture, because they’ll be gone before you know it! Nayhomi and Valeria scrubbed wheels together going through the last turn, and went from 3rd(nayhomi) and 4th(Valeria) to 4th(Valeria) and 5th(Nayhomi)! We’re still super proud of you girls, you were kill’n it!
William Royce bracing himself to make a pass, Royce went on to take 5th place in Mens at Ponce! Right on William!
Cody Lux was gett’n some too!
I took 8th in Mens and wound up getting eliminated in the Open/Pro Quarter Finals. It poured rain right before my heat and I was foolish enough to not have rain wheels. Note to self: Always have rain wheels, just in case… and get an aero lid, I felt fast with Pedro Frangulis’ Risch on!
After Ponce was over, I had to get back to San Juan and prepare to leave the tropical paradise called Puerto Rico. Yea that was my view from the living room of the condo. Big-Ups again to Jayson Ramos and Jayson Jr. for setting me up with the best spot in Isla Verde!
I will never forget my first time to Puerto Rico, It was an amazing experience that I hold close to my heart and I will always be grateful for the opportunities bustin has opened up for me. I’m back home and bundled up now! Hasta Luego Puerto Rico estoy enamorado!