“Colombia, huh.” Then come the sly smiles. There’s obvs no shortage of shithead Americans going to Colombia to be shitheads, but in all honesty, we weren’t going for shithead-related endeavors. We were trying to get out of the cold. It was three degrees outside the day we left.
Remember that 2012 S.O.T.Y. award? The one after Pretty Sweet? People thought Guy Mariano should’ve had it as the final victory to a tremendous redemption narrative, and for like, laser heelflipping out of a smith grind — for whatever reason he deemed that necessary to perform. A young Colombian man who was Possessed to Skate™ ended up getting it. He was the first Latin American to get it (right?), and the first non-American winner since Arto in 2001.
Why are we talking about S.O.T.Y? Well, when we went to Colombia for the first time in 2016, we went to Gonzalez’ neighborhood park. That guy is a god out there. He passed his possessed-ness off to thousands of Colombian kids, because this time around, it was obvious that skateboarding and its culture had become even bigger in Medellín. That one somewhat random S.O.T.Y. win had a massive impact in spreading skateboarding globally, even if we didn’t feel it in the States.
The plaza gods also blessed Medellín with an incredible plaza a little over a year ago. Parque Chimineas could best be described as if J-Kwon and Sants (had it not been bashed to shit over the years) had a baby, and already fueled its share of progression. That place alone is worth airfare + a five hour flight, and a bit more ~exotic~ than your run-of-the-mill New York winter escape destinations.
Watermelon Alex has been living down there for months, and Dre is seemingly an honorary Colombian. A second visit was much overdue. Can’t think of any other place I’ve traveled to where $200 lasts over a week. Also, that near-equator sun will have you in bed by 11 P.M., asleep deeper than you could’ve ever imagined. Thanks Alejo, Mateo and Alvarez for showing us around ♥
Contributing lenses via Dre and Alejo.