Especially with a pandemic going on, it seemsl like Hobbe Hollands took the perfect decision and moved with his wife for a year on the Caribbean island Curaçao. Sunshine all day long, beautiful beaches, good food and yeah: skateboarding. Hobbe managed to shoot some photos during his stay and also film a video called “Tur kaminca, Semper”, which stands for “everywhere, always” and premiered on the 23rd of July. Just in case you’ve been to Barcelona quite enough, here’s our inspiration for another skate holiday destination.
My name is Hobbe Hollands, 36 years old. I am from Groningen, in the Netherlands, been skating for 21 years now and picked up a camera two years ago after a fucked up injury on my ankle. My wife does a specialty training to become a pediatrician, and for this it is required to work in at least one other hospital than the one in our home city. The options where a few cities in The Netherlands, but also Curaçao, so that was a no brainer. Since we have two kids we had to find a way to make this one year emigration project work, and we decided that I would become a house father, so I hit up Flipside skatepark and asked if I could work there. Patrick (the owner) hired me and with the salary I could pay for daycare on the days I would work and had free time in the mornings. So I started hitting people up to go film and take photos in the streets on those mornings. Sessions were planned within our whatsapp group “djamars mainta sesh” (“Tuesday morning sesh”). These Tuesday mornings sesh became the base for this photo and filmproject.
The scene is sick out here but there is a weird dynamic because there is a certain age-gap. Curaçao is a small island with 160.000 inhabitants and for studies a lot of people will go to Canada, America or Europe. So the island has a big group of skating kids and older guys, but a real small population of 18-25 year olds skating. They all stay connected though. For instance, @reemyskater is doing a real good job of skating really hard and they all hype each other up via social media. Also, a lot of guys are regularly coming home for a long vacation, which sparks some nice sessions, too. But it is different from what I am used to. Off course, in Europe people go study in different countries all the time, but you can always take a car and hit the hometown for a weekend with the homies. On Curaçao there is an ocean in between. That being said, I felt super welcomed by everybody and had a great time. I also was amazed by the hype for early morning sessions.
"It really struck me that being on an island it is so important to lift your own scene up"
Flipside is the only skateshop/skatepark on Curaçao. It is nice and indoors which might seem weird in a place with almost no rain but the sun is killing here so it is really nice to have. Patrick Kort has been running it for eight years now and before he took over it was called Splash. So there has been a shop/park for a long time which is sick and says something about how alive skating is on Curaçao. Since I started working at the park there was also a planned built for an outdoor concrete skatepark, so there would be more room for the skaters to use. The Beunbro’s (Bob & Gijs Sevenberg) came from The Netherlands and together we build a nice little concrete park at Flipside. Flipside sells boards and hardware. Since this year Bria skateboards, run by Will Antonicus has started as a board company to shine some light on the scene and to get kids hyped. This is really a sick development, because for the kids here there is no real look out on a sponsor deal. It really struck me that being on an island it is so important to lift your own scene up, and to support initiatives that help your friends and new skaters in the future. Basically keep the money in your own community and organize dope shit with that.
To find spots is super easy, you just hop in your car and there are small spots like ditches, banks, small stairs and colorful curbs all over the place. The first month I was here I almost had some car accidents cause I was constantly seeing spots and not watching the road. But to skate them is a real challenge sometimes. The ground here is really rough, and not European “this spot is rough” but like real fucked up concrete so that can be challenging. But there are definitely some gems to be found and to be skated. Also everything you do here is by car and the island is small so we would hit 3-4 spots in a morning. We only got kicked out of this one spot that is the headquarters of some oil company. But getting kicked out in one spot while filming for a year is a good deal I think. A nice touch is that everything here is super colorful and that people on the streets are very friendly and also interested in skating, most of the time they appreciated our presence.
I myself don’t really surf but I met a few people that where really into it, and what I can say is that there are two main surf spots. Kanoa beach has good waves but is quite dangerous because of its break on the reef, and if you fuck up you will get sliced and diced. The other spot is Sint Joris baai, real mellow and used by longboards most of the time from what I have seen. The deep ocean kinda freaks me out so I did not go surfing this year, or diving for that matter. I hear it is a shame but yeah I like skating more.
Yes definitely, because Curacao has It all. It has a skatescene and spots that can be skated (don’t expect plazas). There are a lot of small fun things to skate and a lot of bigger spots. The only thing is that they are scattered over the island so you have to just hop in the car and explore or connect with one of the locals. Besides skating, Curaçao is a good experience, too. It has 37 beaches as far as I know and the majority is just amazing with some real good cliff jump opportunities at some of them. You can hike, dive, snorkel, party, drive offroad, eat good food, and so much more. There is basically no rain and if it rains it rains for 10 min at most and the spots are dry within 20 min. The temperature is 29 degrees everyday and 26 degrees every night but I would not recommend coming in August till early November because there is almost no wind which makes it super hot and heavy for skating. All the other stuff stil is nice off course.