Jesús Esteban Correa - Ollie transfer - Barceloneta Skate Plaza, Puerto Rico

‘Having the opportunity to photograph Robert Lopez Mont who was the most hard core stater of Puerto Rico.’

Abdel Lopez

February 2024

Tell us something about Puerto Rico that no one knows.
In Puerto Rico its summer all year long. You can visit the beach 12 months a year. We have rivers, mountains, beaches; we have everything. We have nothing to envy anywhere in the world. Very beautiful place. I encourage you to come visit us. Very good skateboarding and surfing.

How would you describe the skateboard community in Puerto Rico to a foreigner?
Skateboarding in Puerto Rico has had a monumental growth during the past 10 years. Many skate parks have been built across the island. All cement parks. Outstanding facilities. Skateboarders today have lots more options to practice the sport than 20 years ago.

What is the local skate scene most proud of?
Seeing how the sport has been growing one step at a time until you finally see that in many parts of the island. We now have skateparks where new talents can practice. It is nice to see that different sport activities that are being held nowadays all year long and that they are also supported by the public. So many young people are participating of all ages, and specially seeing how there is a bigger presence of women practicing this sport.

Steven Piñeiro Trick • FS transfer • Quebradillas Skate Park, Puerto Rico

Can you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Abdel Lopez and I am from Puerto Rico from a small county named Barceloneta. I started skateboarding at the age of 5. Then I paused until I was 11. At that age I retook the sport and started skating again and compete in local events. Around age 15, I started taking photos with my dad’s camera and there I discovered one of the things that I feel immensely passionate about; photography. And to this day I still continue taking photos and every now and then, I also skate.

Assuming you started off skateboarding at what point did you move to photography and why?
Skateboarding took me to photography. Slowly I started collecting money along with my friends to buy film. I used my father’s camera. As years went by I started working and purchased my own camera and equipment and I started to do other photography jobs. Like weddings, portraits etc. but I always kept myself around the Puerto Rico skateboard community. Nowadays I visit and go to the local activities and events in the island as wells as I have been to surfing events but I’ve always been involved in photography.

Is there one skateshot you wish you had taken?
Having the opportunity to photograph Robert Lopez Mont who was the most hard core stater of Puerto Rico. We talked to coordinate a shooting; however, this never came to materialize for several reasons. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2021. It was a great loss. He was a great skater.

“Keep shooting. Well done. Great lightning technique.”

Grant Brittain

Georggio Calderone • Slap air • Quebradillas Skatepark (PR)

Proudest moment as a photographer?
I would say, moments of great pride as a photographer were such moments as when skaters see their photos taken and seeing their satisfactory expression in their faces. It is my joy and happiness seeing how happy they are when they see the final result of the shooting session. That fills me with pride; to know that I am writing their history in photos. That gives me joy.

I noticed that Grant Brittain follows your IG account. How did you guys meet?
Mr. Grant Brittain follows me on IG and to me it’s a privilege that he does even though I have not had the pleasure to meet him in person yet. We have exchanged messages as I have sent him some photos asking for his opinion. Very kind and a very good photographer. I’ve known his work since I was younger when he was the photographer for Transworld Skateboarding and The Skateboard Mag after that. He is a legend behind the lens.

What feedback did he give you?
The most valuable feedback that Grant gave me was his opinion about a photo that I sent for review vias DM. “Keep shooting. Well done. Great lightning technique.” Those words are music to my ears.

Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
I would interview Atiba Jefferson. He is a photographer that has such an inspiring story. A fighter and with a perseverance that has taken him where he is today. I would not miss the chance to interview him.

‘That fills me with pride; to know that I am writing their history in photos.’

Jomar Ortiz Trick • Kickflip to fs boardslide • Rincon Skate Park (PR)