Text by Paul Moulier
Photography by Paul Moulier, Welvin Cruz & Christian Placeres
Edit by Christian Placeres & Paul Moulier
Paul Moulier – Backside torque
Throughout the years we have made it clear that we have lots of talent on our island. Take by example “Hoax” and “Step Two”, just to name a few old school films where it has been presented. In 2003, the I.M.Y.T.A. finals were celebrated in Puerto Rico and everyone who experienced it won’t forget them anytime soon.
We are also very proud to have one of the best skaters that rollerblading has ever seen, Mr. Abdiel Colberg. Still to this date you see sections of him and you realize how ahead of the time he always was. He also has been the only Puerto Rican to have what every skater dreams about: his own pro model skate. Skated pro for USD skates, Eulogy wheels, Ground Control frames among other industry related brands. He was featured in magazines and videos throughout his career, his way of skating made him stand out from the crowd. He has currently begun a new chapter in his life as a father and we wish his family and him all the best!
We are very hungry for the future, hoping to make our scene bigger and better. In the last few years we have started our own local projects. In 2004, Alejandro Vélez released “Zahorria”, a great movie that features years of skating and good times. In 2009 Christian Placeres released “De Tripas Corazones”, a video featuring young talents without forgetting Puerto Rico‘s finest OG‘s. I was very involved with that project with my good friend Christian. It was a great experience and it made me realize that we must continue to do small projects like those in order to keep our scene alive.
Since 2008 I‘ve started a clothing brand named “Smooth Swaggers”, with the hope of helping our scene and rollerblading in general. “Smooth Swaggers”, currently has 3 team riders; Rafael Cruz, Gabriel Arturet and Raymond Matos. I‘m very proud to have them on boat, because they are all very talented and have the same love for the sport as I do. If you haven‘t heard of the brand yet I‘m sure that in 2011 you will! You can visit us at http://www.smoothswaggers.com
Another rollerblader that has done so much for our scene is Miguel Ramos. For decades he and a group of people in his neighborhood have worked nonstop in order to have a skate park to which people all over the island can go and have a great session. It has been a very long journey, but finally they have finished a new concrete skate park, located in the city of Quebradillas. Miguel has traveled around the world, doing what he loves the most. This past year he placed third in the “ChunCheon World Leisure Cup” and also took first place in the AM division at the WRS finals.
All this hard work is starting to pay off now. Lots of old friends that had quit skating previously have been getting back into it other the last months. And although most of us are in our mid 20‘s and have 8 to 5 jobs we still find time to do what we all love – rollerblading.
This past year was a great one for our scene and gave us time to think and make some adjustments in order to continue on the right path. It hasn‘t been easy and we are still learning and making those adjustments, but we‘ll get there.
On December 15th of 2010 we experienced a very sad loss of a great friend and amazing rollerblader, Christian Rodriguez. Christian was very well known during the 90‘s in the rollerblading industry and one of the first to ever strap a pair of skates on in Puerto Rico. He was a humble and spiritual human being, a great father and musician to whom many of us looked up as a skater and a person. He will always be remembered by all of us and we very much appreciate everything he did for our scene. He has left a legacy and we will continue on his path and show the younger generations what rollerblading is. What we do is more than just a sport, it‘s a lifestyle. I lifestyle you must love in order for it to love you back.
Whatever the future may hold may be uncertain, but if we keep doing it with love, passion and in unison, there will be a great outcome. We would like to thank Be-Mag for giving us this opportunity. This is just the beginning of our growth. So join us, come to Puerto Rico and skate with us. You‘ll love it! Remember that those top three things that pop into your mind when you think of Puerto Rico are always guaranteed!
Angel Viera – Acid drop
Alejandro Velez – Backside backslide
Paul Moulier – Backside fulltorque to truespin fishbrain
Joel Agosto – Backside backslide
Alejandro Velez – Alley oop wallride
Gabriel Arturet – Alley oop wallride
Christian Placeres – Negative makio
Check out this amazing edit the crew produced for this story!