A blizzard is likely to be the last natural hazard that you’d consider might affect a trip you were planning to Puerto Rico. However, Charlie, Mikey, and I were delayed by a whole day leaving London and then trapped in a miserable limbo, being shepherded from gate to gate for a seemingly infinite amount of time, all due to a few feet of snow on the runway at JFK. Eventually, we were ushered onto a plane, landed, met the French, and got stuck in San Juan.
Text by Conor Charleson:
“No visitors have been quite so unlucky with the weather,” Andres told us on the fourth day of rolling thunderstorms and torrential downpours. Damp and frustrated, we drove from spot to spot through newly-formed rivers and lakes, occasionally managing to escape to pockets of temporary dry land on the southern and easternmost coastal fringes of the island.
Forecasts aside, another challenge we faced was the fact that so many of the spots had been absolutely annihilated by the local skateboarder Robert Lopez Mont (R.I.P.) 15 years ago. Almost every spot we visited had some kind of seemingly impossible ABD lore from the man himself. It’s hard to make a mark in a city that’s been completely destroyed. That being said, I think the boys made a significant dent. Everybody took advantage of the sunnier days, cleaned and dried spots between downpours, hopped terrifying fences to skate undercover, and took new approaches to some San Juan staples.
Although it might not be the first-choice island destination for European skateboarders, I can’t recommend it enough. Even with our run of bad luck, skating in the Caribbean is incredible. Some of the spots are overrun with iguanas and free-living chickens, making it feel like a tiny Jurassic Park, locals brought out surf boards for us to use when we skated spots near the beach, and Medalla (the local lager) really cuts through the humidity. It’s a real change of pace that was well worth enduring the snow storms and air-travel torment to get to.
For the photos, check the article in our issue #45.