We just received another update from Justin. Check out what he and Wade are up to down in the Dominican Republic.
After having done the demo and signing I’m trying hard to find an adequate word to explain the experience.
Cool, isn’t enough; Awesome doesn’t cut it. Even amazing falls slightly short. How about..life changing. Yes, life-changing should suffice. I’ll start with the signing. We arrived to a crowd of maybe 20-30 kids. Some of them were skating off the stage, the others talking while others watched us comes in and set our stuff down. I’ve grown used to the look on their faces by now seeing as how that’s how every native had looked at us since we got on the plane. It was one of curious examination. Amusing in that it reminded me that I wasn’t as good as I thought at blending in, but not at all too off-putting. As the table began to get set up with product, and I started skating the stage as well, more kids started pouring in. The original plan was to just throw out some products, sign some things and shut it down, but after watching the kids huck themselves off the stage, we knew we just HAD to have a contest. After about 30 minutes of watching the local talent and distributing prizes, it was time for the signing. Seeing as how I am by no means famous (at least not in my own eyes) it felt a little strange signing autographs for the delighted faces that lined up to greet us.
Even stranger was the numerous requests for photos we got when it was all over.
As I posed for photo after photo, I began to realize that it didn’t matter to these kids whether or not they we were professional skateboarders as it’s defined in America, it didn’t matter if they even knew our names; the skaters of D.R. were just happy to see that someone cared enough to come to their country and support their scene.
There is A LOT of talent in the Dominican Republic. My wish is that other companies will make the effort to come out here, see and support their scene. Build some new and much needed parks.
We held the demo at Montecino skate park, the only skate park in Zona Colonia and one that could definitely use some love.
(If any skatepark-building foundation is reading, take notice) But I digress. All in all it was a blast. We managed to put on a pretty crazy demo, the cheers and applause almost never stopped.
After an insane product toss where we gave boards to the kids whose boards were the worst and the hungry little shredders took even the shirt off my back, we gave away a few more autographs, some photos ops and escaped into the van to relax, pack and get ready to get back on the road to Cabarete the following morning.
To catch up on everything that’s happened on the trip, click here.