K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico Article at Skatepark of Tampa

K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico

Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2005 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and captions by Rob Meronek

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 @ 8:44pm – Best Western Hotel Pierre in San Juan, Puerto Rico
We got off the plane today at about 1pm. Brian Schaefer and Tito Porada grabbed the rental van while Scotty Conley, Rob Meronek, Barry Wiser, and I hung at the airport and waited. It took abnormally long for them to pick up the vehicle, so the rest of the crew skated at the Arrivals area at San Juan Airport. It was packed with people and there was crazy traffic, but we had a full-on session and no one said a word...even the cops and security were watching us. At that point right there I knew we were in the right place.

Tito Porada is a long-time friend and originally from Puerto Rico. We flew him down here with us to be our tour guide. He set things off right because 15 minutes after getting in the van he had us atop a restaurant overlooking a beautiful beach and eating local seafood. From the killer lunch we checked into our hotel in San Juan.

Driving In Puerto Rico
Driving is really sketchy here, so Tito laughed at me when I told him that I wanted to drive because I get motion sickness as a passenger. The streets are really small, sometimes not even wide enough for two cars. One of his friends joined us at the hotel, so it was my job to follow them in the mini-van to Moisty Skatepark, the site of the K.R.3.A.M. Am. All I can say is that talking on a cell phone while driving in Puerto Rico should definitely be illegal...driving just takes too much concentration. I also bet that those Navigation Systems don’t get sold too much down here either. The streets come and pass so quickly that I doubt the System would be able to direct a driver that fast.

Moisty Skatepark
We had a fun session at Moisty and felt very welcomed by Moises (I think that’s his real name) himself and the rest of the locals. This park has one of the most unique settings I’ve ever come across – it’s located on top of a parking garage connected to a mall. One downside to the location is that it’s susceptible to the weather, which happened to consist of rain. The whole place was built nearly two years ago by Team Pain, so you know that there’s a bowl there. Fortunately, the bowl is covered, so that’s what we skated.

Friday, July 15, 2005 @ 8:20am – Best Western Hotel Pierre in San Juan, PR
Later that evening we met up with Angel, owner of KR3W and organizer of the Contest. He bought us too many drinks, along with Regis from Red Bull, and then proclaimed that Thursday was not a work day. Viva Puerto Rico and viva Angel!

Not Being Able To Speak Spanish Sucks, But Puerto Rico Rules!
I don’t know how many times I heard, “Thank you, Tito,” yesterday. We were basically taken on a tour of the entire island courtesy of Tito. He slaved away at the wheel, pointed out endless landmarks, and told us more Puerto Rican history than one’s mind could take in. He babysat us while we drank Medalla Light, ate amazing food, and skated one-of-a-kind-spots.

This island has beautiful coastline views, sort of mixing the cliffs and rocks of California with the Gulf Beaches of Florida. At one point we were eating lunch at a restaurant on top of a 100 ft. cliff and then one hour later we were jumping off rocks into the bathtub-temperature Atlantic. From there we swam a couple hundred yards to shore and played (yes, played) in the sand.

We left that spot and raced to our final destination to watch the sunset and drink Pirates, which is pronounced “pee-rah-taes.” It’s a milky Bacardi mixture that’s served to you in a coconut and it tastes like a fancy coffee drink from Starbucks. The night came upon us and the resort we were at, Villa Cosito, or something like that, turned into a party atmosphere with Karaoke as the main entertainment. The 90% Puerto Rican crowd loved Scotty Conley singing in Espanol...that’s was definitely a hilarious ending to a great day.

On the three-hour drive back to San Juan we got pulled over doing 80 MPH in a 55. That would almost be jail-time in the States. Tito took the Breathalyzer and passed no problem since he hadn’t been drinking. The officer said to slow down because sometimes there are herds of cows in the road. No ticket. How ‘bout that? Viva Puerto Rico!

As I reread what I just wrote about the Puerto Rican countryside, I don’t think that I did it justice. Hopefully Rob’s pictures tell a better story.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 @ 9:15am – Moisty Skatepark in Bayamon, Puerto Rico
We actually had to work yesterday. The crew at Moisty is very accommodating and did their best to take care of our every need. We have an air-conditioned office with DSL, which is where I’m writing this little update from. That’s pretty much been our experience with everyone in Puerto Rico thus far. The friendliness and service we’ve experienced has been superb.

Yesterday was the official practice day. We rolled up about 11am and basically took care of whatever needed to be done. All of the skaters got registered, the banners got hung, and we were out of here by 5pm.

Out on the course there were heads like Tampa Am 2005 winner Nyjah Huston. I also saw Collin Hale from Vermont along with some random kids from Texas that I had never met before. So all in all it looks like there are a decent amount of skaters that took the flight to Puerto Rico. Mix in the locals and it looks like we have a contest.

Yesterday evening was spent looking for a sushi joint. We found one in El San Juan Westin, which was a super-fancy place. Our crew, by far, was the most under-dressed group in the entire hotel. The sushi was mediocre and very expensive...I’m going to avoid sushi in Puerto Rico from now on. From there we migrated to yet another Karaoke bar, where El Cuerpo (that’s Body’s name in Espanol) made another appearance. El Cuerpo prefers singing the Spanish Love Ballads, which definitely won over the crowd. I think anyone that witnessed El Cuerpo’s performance would agree that it was the highlight of the evening.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 @ 10:10am – Moisty Skatepark in Babymon, Puerto Rico
The Qualifiers
We ended up with only about 40 entrants for the entire Contest, which makes your odds of winning some bling pretty damn good considering that it’s paying out to 8th place. The field consisted of about 10 kids from the States, most from Puerto Rico, and few from random places like Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. The cut was to 20 for the Semi-Finals, with one Golden Ticket going directly to the finals. Click here for the Qualifier Results.

Here are some highlights that I remember from the day:
  • Evan Hernandez and Terry Kennedy were chillin’ and talking smack on the mic
  • The locals had mad respect for Orlando Ramos, who’s been killing it for decades
  • Manny Santiago from MA did the kf bs 50/50 in his run on the round handrail
  • Branen Fitzgerald fully ate it right at the beginning of his run just by riding down the roll-in...don’t know what happened there
  • Early grabs are still in style in Puerto Rico
  • Mike V. has a fan here because Jose Ortiz from P.R. can throw down a one-footed Japan like it’s nobody’s business
We were able to get out of there early and head to a local joint for some killer grub, authentic Puerto Rican style, courtesy once again of Tito. Then Rob, Scotty, Jason, Barry, and I headed to the Marriott to test our luck on the tables. There was a dress code just to get in the hotel, but the door guy let us in once I explained to him that we were just there to gamble. Remember, gambling is legal here in P.R. They had some crazy salsa dance contest going on in the lobby, with a live band and the whole deal, so maybe that’s why they were making such a big deal about what people were wearing. Anyway, I think that everyone lost on the tables, but I came up about $300 in Blackjack...hell yeah!

Monday, July 18, 2005 @ 9:47am - Best Western Hotel Pierre in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Semi-Finals, Finals, and Best Trick
The weather here, as far as the rain goes, is pretty tough to deal with. It rained, and then it stopped. Then it rained again, and then it stopped. Finally it drizzled, and then it stopped. The locals suggested that we just get going with the event as soon as possible or else we would just be dealing with the same thing all day long. So instead of having a cut to the Finals, everyone agreed to just make the Semis be the Finals to save time. All of those that made the 20 cut, including Manny Santiago who got the Golden Ticket, skated three, one-minute runs. Here’s how it ended up:

  • 8th – $250 – Branen Fitzgeraldbig-ass methods from the super-jump to the steep bank ramp
  • 7th – $250 – Greg Myers – has the noseblunt every time on the flat bar
  • 6th – $250 – Collin Hale – Napoleon Dynamite keeps it entertaining
  • 5th – $250 – David Bachinski – new friend with both personality and skills
  • 4th – $500 – Robert Mont – well-known local goes back to P.R. to represent properly
  • 3rd – $1000 – Alex Vidal – local boy kills it
  • 2nd – $2500 – Chris Troy – Tony Hawk (that’s what Terry Kennedy calls him)
  • 1st – $5000 – Nyjah Huston – not surprising at all...once again, Nyjah put together an amazing run that completely earned him the top honors
Best Trick
Best Trick was possibly better than the entire Contest. It was on a kind-of low, square rail that went across and down. Hitting it either way was acceptable, and here’s a list of those that nailed some moves:

Oh yeah, in case I didn’t mention it earlier, KR3W kicked down some mad loot for the winners. And I may as well throw my thank-yous in here now, too. Thanks to all of the heads (Angel, Steve, Kyle) at KR3W for making this event possible. The co-sponsors...Circa and The Skateboard Mag (look for some type of coverage). Moises and the entire staff at Moisty Skatepark – we truly appreciated how accommodating you guys were. Much respect to Ricky Ronda, Bowly, Orlando, and all of the other people that love skateboarding in Puerto Rico.

Scotty Conley enjoying some random Puerto Rico beach we stopped at
These banks like this are everywhere. They're super rough with a nice gutter at the bottom so, if you're off guard you stick and get thrown like dice. This is Ryan Clements, Brian Schaefer, and Scotty Conley
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
The beaches are amazing here
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
There's a few things you can't see in this photo. One is how big Nyjah Huston's smile is and the other is Chris Troy getting the champagne treatment like Nascar awards or something. As you can see it's about to dump a bucket of water, so we had to take the 20 people who qualified yesterday and just give them three runs like they were all in the Finals together. There was no Semi-Finals because we weren't sure about the rain deal. Full results from the weekend are here
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Alex Vidal has been skating for less than five years, has no beginner style, and has both the trannies and the tech on lock. He's got one of the smoothest Cab flips on tranny. This is a gap smith grind on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Yoyo, Branen Fitzgerald, and Brian Schaefer - Branen got first in Best Trick for a 360 flip frontside 5-0 on the bump to flat bar
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Alex Vidal (3rd), Nyjah Huston (1st), and Chris Troy (2nd)
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Terry Kennedy shouts, "das my nigga" into the camera about Nyjah Huston
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Chris Troy doesn't waste any of the champagne
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Scotty Conley pole jams to fakie
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Brandon Boehm - feeble grind on the square rail
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Branen Fitzgerald won Best Trick with this 360 flip to frontside 5-0 on the bump to flat bar
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Branen Fitzgerald - frontside 180 nosegrind on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Branen Fitzgerald - melon from the whooptie whoop blader tosser into the bank
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Branen Fitzgerald broke himself off on this attempt to tail drop from the roof into the sketchy quarterpipe with vert
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican lurker ladies in the crowd
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Cody Hale - bluntslide on the square rail
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
David Bachinski - gap back tail on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
David Bachinski - frontside noseblunt slide on the square rail
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Greg Myers - kickflip over the bank to bank
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
John Cristian Acevedo - melon launch from the whooptie whoop blader tosser into the bank
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Louis Miguel Lopez - gap backside salad grind on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Manny Santiago - 360 flip over the bank to bank
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Manny Santiago - varial heel flip boardslide
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Manny Santiago - gap kickflip frontside 50-50 on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Nyjah Huston - backside 180 nosegrind
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Nyjah Huston - backside smith grind like a full grown man
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Nyjah Huston - backside tailslide
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Nyjah Huston - kickflip 5-0 on the hubba
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Robert Lopez - check the flick on this gap kickflip crook on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Robert Lopez - kickflip from the bank into the whooptie whoop blader tosser
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Robert Lopez - kickflip off the whooptie whoop blader tosser deck to flat
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Robert Lopez - gap back smith on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
A wide view of the course and the sky which was half rain clouds and half sunny
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Terry Kennedy and Yoyo
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Chris Troy - 360 flip on the bank to bank
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Chris Troy - gap crooks on the a-frame
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
The whooptie whoop blader tosser goes perfect with moves like this on a skateboard. This is Jose Ortiz
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Jonathan Yonnie Cruz with a new MySpace friend he made. Scotty Conley is trying to move in on that
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Jonathan Yonnie Cruz - nollie back lip
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Jonathan Yonnie Cruz - nollie backside big spin over the bank to bank
K.R.3.A.M. Am In Puerto Rico
Yonnie is pretty hyped on taking pictures. He took this one of David Bachinski's frontside 270 to backside noseblunt slide on the bump to flat bar
I lost $1,000 just to Brian Schaefer alone while we drove around the island playing Acey Ducey and $100 games of draw poker
Scotty Conley and a new friend we made in the airport on the way home
Five dudes who need to put clothes on: Rob Meronek, Jason Rothmeyer, Brian Schaefer, Barak Wiser, and Scotty Conley at one of the beaches
The sand at the beaches is very different from Florida sand and there's a lot more rocks/coral in the water there, too
I overheard the waitress at this super fancy Sushi joint ($7 beers, $25 chicken dinner, $39 steak dinner) laughing at our watersports jokes, so I asked her if she's into bondage. She was happy to tie Scotty Conley up for a bondage pic
Anything goes on the beaches there - glass bottles, dogs, fat chicks in thongs, etc
Branen Fitzgerald was responsible for getting the best breakdance circle I've ever seen going at the Pier 10 party after the contest. He set that place off for sure
After the breakdance circle started, people were throwing down nut grab windmills, headspins, and other crazy moves like this
Brian Schaefer in some random bar we stopped in. Anyone know what that thing in the background is for?
The is a cemetary at the fort thing we went to
The view off the balcony of some restaurant we went to. I fed my chicken dinner to that cat right there
I'm a super picky eater, so when my chicken dinner came out looking like fish (which I don't eat), I didn't even try a bite. Everyone else loved the food, however
Pro drinkers like me will appreciate the fact that literally every single time you get a beer handed to you in Puerto Rico, it's ice cold. One of the local beers there is Medalla Light. I consumed many, many of those
Greg Myers, look down and check the oil in that gap
Sometimes you don't want hair off the dog that bit you. Can you tell which hole Ryan Clements is sticking his ass out of?
What do you got on this marble ledge?
You can find a lot of fruits and vegetables you've never seen or heard of if you're nice and uncultured like me
Many of the drinks there are 10 ounces instead of the normal 12, as shown here by Scotty Conley
One of the cannons at the fort we went to
Next year, I'll be able to read stuff like this
This was just a small sample of the girls at the Pier 10 party after the Contest. It's like standard issue or something for girls to wear bikini tops to the club
We didn't look like tourists at all drinking these things
One of the best bars there - beach out back, bar in the middle, and a crazy karaoke session in the front
Puerto Rico is not immune from busted pre-fab skate crap. Jason Rothmeyer left his Soap shoes at home, but gets by with some Adio's
Scotty Conley is definitely a fan of Puerto Rico
Scotty Conley gets a kiss and a Harley ride from some random people we met in the hotel lobby
This was probably the most run down skate park I've ever seen
There are stray dogs everywhere - the beaches, in bars, restaurants, etc. and they all look like these two
Tito and some lovely French women
After Yonnie went on an upskirt photo assault at the Pier 10 party after the contest, he puked, passed out, and got smacked around by random strangers. I guess he couldn't handle being able to buy beer without a problem there
He didn't have as much fun as you think. Not much later, he was in this position
Yonnie Parties With The Chill Cam
He definitely aims down every time he takes a shot. This is one of many girls in bikini gear at Pier 10 in Puerto Rico


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