‘We have one skatepark the “Black Pearl skatepark”. It’s the second largest concrete skatepark in the world’
Tell us something about Cayman Islands people do not know?
There are three main islands comprising the totality of the Cayman Islands – the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman Island is the most visited. The total area of the three Cayman Islands is about 100 miles, or roughly the size of Washington D.C.
Cayman Islands used to be popular amongst shady businesses and big corporations to hide their money from their government as offshore accounts. Has this changed at all with all the tax reforms in the US and Europe?
I’m not 100% sure about that if it’s still going on. I do know Cayman is still like a tax free heaven for most people.
Tell es something about yourself?
My name is Kieron Myles of the Cayman Islands from the district of Savannah (Bodden town). I was born on November 11th 1994 (a day after my mother’s birthday fun fact).I was born with something called “dextrocardia” which basically means my heart is more on the opposite side (the right) and a lot of organs are on the opposite side like liver, appendix etc.
‘I say this because it has something for beginners, amateurs up to the pros but we lack heavily in the shops and community.’
How big is the skate community in the Cayman Islands?
Honestly, it’s sad to say that it’s has fallen very drastically over the years with about only 5 really dedicated skaters that try to go out weekly to the park. It used to be hundreds of kids every weekend.
What are some of the best skate spots in the Cayman Islands?
Mostly all the skate spots are located in the district of George Town or “Town” for short. There are some in other locations but we choose to go mainly to George Town. We only go street skating on Sundays as most stores are closed and less cars on the road.
Are there any official skate parks?
We have one skatepark the “Black Pearl skatepark”. It’s the second largest concrete skatepark in the world and pretty sure largest in the Caribbean.
The second largest concrete skatepark in the world is in the Cayman Islands? How did this come about?
To be honest, I’m not even 100% sure. All that I’m sure of is that Tony Hawk had a part in it and he attended the grand opening. I think this was back in 2005. I once heard that the owner, the late Mike Bell built it initially for his son and friends.
‘Honestly, it’s sad to say that it’s has fallen very drastically over the years with about only 5 really dedicated skaters’
Has any pro rider/teams showed up on the island?
Not in many years. Back in the day Ron Allen and the Volcom team used to come down every year and visited the schools and do events at the park. The Thrasher team came, the globe team but not every rider from the teams showed up. Also Mark Appleyard, Chaz Ortiz and Sean Malto came and absolutely destroyed the park. I mean I witnessed actual skateboarding for the first time that day. I was in awe.
Any talented local kids that are making a name for themselves?
No one has really made a name for him/herself but there a lot of talented skaters. Some don’t skate anymore but my top pick for a naturally talented skater would be Neuville Cover. I mean everything came so easy to him. I have to give him my thanks because he pushed me to new heights with me trying to keep up with him. He is very skilled but my favorite skaters are Phillip Berry and Andrea Strachan. They’ve been doing it for 20 maybe 30 plus years and I wouldn’t be where I am today as a skater without Phillip Berry.
How close is the relationship between the different Caribbean nations amongst the skate community?
Umm not really close. Recently I met a guy from Trinidad and Tabago and he invited me to a group chat with guys from other Caribbean Islands. You guys actually interviewed one of them recently. I don’t want to really throw it out there but maybe someone seeing this idea may be in the position to invest in it. Basically, the idea is a competition where all the Caribbean islands skaters compete. The Top 4 or however many really based on skills and their performance during this competition is given the opportunity to compete in Tampa am. This would be the opportunity for them to get their names out there. The chance to get sponsors. The chance for us to express our style of skateboarding and help bring back the skate community in the Cayman Islands to get more skaters back out to the park.
‘I mean I witnessed actual skateboarding for the first time that day. I was in awe.’
How difficult is it to access skateboard gear?
It’s not to say it’s difficult but it takes time. We usually order our board and get them shipped or we wait till we or someone we know is traveling and we ask them to get what we need. There is a sport shop on island that sells deck but they don’t focus on skateboarding just. There are not proper skateboards like known boards and there are very expensive. For example for a pack of wheels it’s like 48$ (U$58). A deck alone without grip tape is around 90$ (U$110) so you can see why we just order either from Zumiez, Skatepark of Tampa, or Skateware House.
What are some of the challenges people face in Cayman Islands every day?
I would say our biggest challenges is the difficulty to find a job even if your certified and the high rise in cost of living. It’s very hard for a young caymanians to get a piece of land and build a future for themselves and children. The cost of rent is unbelievable. Your paying like 1,900 ci (U$2,300) for a STUDIO apartment and that if you’re lucky.
Last question: If you could interview a person, who would it be and why? What would you ask?
I would definitely say Brian Schaefer. Why? I’d like to sit down with him and discuss some ideas I have to help the whole community of Caribbean skaters. I believe one island can’t make a difference by itself and we need to come together help push each other. I believe Brian is the person within reach that could maybe help me with my goal. I would say I’d be pitching ideas more to help Caribbean skaters get more exposure and better opportunities to get sponsors.
‘I believe one island can’t make a difference by itself and we need to come together help push each other.’