Two weeks in Puerto Rico with Nick Pappas and Moonshine Mfg
March, 2017: By Nick Pappas
My recent trip to Puerto Rico starts with the Moonshine MFG family, from those in the Pacific Northwest headquarters, to my fellow riders. Without Moonshine and the crew, it wouldn’t have been possible!
The focus of my two week escapade was to attend and document the well-known Guajataca DH Festival, while soaking up the amazing local culture, scenery and weather.
I was met in San Juan by fellow Moonshine rider Brandon Desjarlais, and Matt McKeon from Team Broke Off. Traveling is always an amazing experience, but traveling with friends like Brandon and Matt, who share a love of longboarding and the connections riders have with one another, is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
We set up home base in a little village on the northwest coast called Quebradillas. From the moment we arrived, we were met with positive vibes from our local friend Nashley and her parents. Many thanks for the hospitality and for making our time in Puerto Rico so amazing!
We spent the first couple of days checking out the area, getting a feel for the local vibe and gathering content for the variety of projects we’re working on. We’re always working on ways to highlight our brand, our amazing boards and the lifestyle we represent. Social media is a powerful tool in today’s world. It might sound like nothing but fun and games, but we actually take our roles as team riders seriously.
The first day I got to skate was at Ciales, which happened to be one of the islands best. Not only did I have a blast, but I met a bunch of rad locals and made a close friendship a shredder named Josean Perez.
On these trips, making new friendships my favorite part. That’s something I truly love about skateboarding. You can be from anywhere in the world, and because of our great sport, we immediately have a common bond. I have a special interest in Latin culture, so this trip was especially rewarding.
After about a week of skating and hanging out, we met up with another homie, Noah Fischer, who I spent most of the rest of my time with. Hanging with Noah was one of the highlights of the trip. We spent the next couple days exploring the entire north side of the island. We also picked up Kevin Reimer from the airport.
This was Noah’s fourth trip to Puerto Rico, so we followed his lead as he showed us how to make the best of our time leading up to the Guajataca DH Festival.
We started with Mayaguez. Night life in Puerto Rico is known for being sporadic, and Mayaguez was just that. Noah, Matt and I showed up to around 300 people, which turned into about three thousand in an hour. With beer being about a dollar, and no rush on time, it was great!
With perfect weather (temps maxed out at around 90 degrees), great food, friendly people, cold drinks, warm water, beautiful beaches and, of course, beautiful ladies, our days were nothing short of incredible!
Time for business: Day one of the contest was practice. Day two was the slide jam, which is my favorite! Slide jams are the most engaging, interactive part of the sport. I was able to skate, as well as grab enough film to put together a cool little edit for Moonshine MFG, which will be fun to watch!
Race day brought about three thousand spectators out to watch and cheer us on. Being able to experience andcapture such a great event, with so much energy, was awesome. This year there was a huge crash in the Open Finals, which brought a lot of attention. The organizers also arranged for the town square to be rented for after parties each day, which provided us more time to hang out and meet fun and interesting new friends!
The event was recorded for TV, so hopefully there will be a full edit out soon!
The last couple of days were spent with the crew soaking in as much of the beach vibes and coconut water possible.
Follow Nick’s adventures on Instagram @nick.pappas_ .
Moonshine Mfg website: http://www.moonshinemfg.com