I pretty much booked this trip last minute. I was unsure if I could get the days off work and spend the money, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t go. Super hyped that I went. It was a short five day trip and I feel like it was perfect. We traveled the whole island, skated, went to the beach, and ate the best tacos. All while it was twenty degrees and snowing back home. It was crazy to see the damage from the hurricane, I noticed quite a bit of down powerlines, messed up signs, and it seemed like a lot of people haven't came home yet. We talked to a friend that was without power for four months and had the roof blown off his house. Even with all the damage we saw I have to say it seemed like everyone that is there is making the best of the situation. Great times with good friends, can't wait to go back!
I found myself sitting shotgun shooting photos from the car in between each part of the island we were going to. The drives would usually be an hour or two. I would have the exposure ready for when I spotted something that I thought was interesting coming ahead of us. Below is a series of photos shot from the van.
This scenic lookout was one of main places I wanted to go. I know I have seen quite a bit of skate photos here but I felt it was too epic to pass up. Here Pat is doing a frontside 5-0 nosegrab followed up by drinking a coconut shortly after. This is harder to skate than it looks and there is about a fifty foot drop on the other side.
We arrived in Isabela shortly after the lookout where we found the spot below on the way back to the car. This one was harder than expected, and all the neighbors were watching, but mission accomplished.
On to Rincon. Which is definitely my favorite city in Puerto Rico. We stayed here last year and it seemed to be the most fun. This trip we had an airbnb with a pool and pool table right near the beach. We also went back to our favorite taco place, and a saw a weekly art fair. The photos below are from a nice morning walk around the neighborhood we stayed in.
On the way into Rincon we noticed this sidewalk bump that may or may not have been created from the hurricane. The last day we were there we had to hit it. Schwalm got a kickflip, and Hartzel got a nice ollie. On to the next!
Next was a city called La Parguera to go on a boat ride to some small island and swim. No one had been here before and the drive there was great with plenty of views. We were greeted by a guy named Omar in the parking lot that showed us right where to go to get on the last boat tour of the day, as well as how he was going to jail soon. The boat tour was amazing they showed us where all the iguanas were at, caught a starfish, and got us to the best swimming spot. Afterwards we found a few spots in the city, got some food, and Pat handed out a signed deck to a local skater that was really stoked to see us.
On the way to Mayagüez I noticed quite a bit of damage. The first time we didn’t have time to stop and I felt like I missed something that I really wanted to photograph. We ended up passing by the next day and I was lucky enough to stop and get out of the car this time. I hope the people who lived here are ok, and able to find a new place to live.
Next city of the trip was Ponce. The main goal was to get to a spot we went to last year so Pat could battle a trip he was unable to land last year. When we arrived at the spot FEMA had taken it over as a storage area. That was a bummer but the city ended up providing many skate spots and my personal favorite session of the trip. We met up with a bunch of locals that were ripping at every spot. I also noticed next door to where we were skating there was an electric company from Missouri storing their trucks after a day of working to get electricity restored. There was a very sad stray dog laying around that they were giving food. It was nice to see that, and seemed like something they do everyday. Below Pat does a 5-0 fakie.
After Ponce it was back to San Juan for our final day/night. Upon arrival we were greeted by quite a few cats outside the airbnb. Pictured below is "Wifi" who go the name from always sleeping on the wifi router.
The next morning in the last hours of my trip I knew I wanted to explore as much as possible. I went on a two hour solo walk and saw quite a bit of the neighborhood. I noticed this billboard that had crashed into an apartment building.
La Perla is a small community inside of Old San Juan, that has no rules or police. To us it is known for a skateable pool that is right on the water. The pool was being filled up for swimming but the place was still really cool to see in person.
The very last photo of my trip, this was taken right before I left the guys for the airport. Everyone got down on this spot, Great times!
All film photos were shot on a Minolta x-570 with Porta 800. All digital photos shot with Nikon d5000.