Kick flip • Puerto Rico   © Luis Ferrá

‘Puerto Rico has a vibrant culture and a lot of heart!’

Dave Bachinsky

January 2024

In the Boston interview (Vol. 15) you mentioned that you want to build a unique tiny home that has a skateable feature next to Manny Santiago in Puerto Rico. How much closer are you in realizing this dream?
Still very far away but a little bit closer. It’s a long-term dream project and like I said I’m not promising anything but it’s gonna be a couple of years working at it! I’m excited to be connecting these digital assets to my recycled skateboard projects. I’ve been holding raffles for my collectors. Last month, I got Dan Drehobl to set up a digital wallet so I could send him ETH for one of his Mark Gonzales shaped cutting boards. Anyone holding a Roll Forever piece entered the raffle. It’s been fun connecting these two worlds.

Why Puerto Rico?
Because of Manny. Over the last 12 years, I’ve been flying to PR every December for the Prince of Puerto Rico contest. It’s a two-week tour throughout the island, skating and hosting a contest for the locals. Each year a couple of guest pros fly in as well so it’s amazing getting in the van and exploring all the vibrant small cities on these tours. After all the years visiting, the friends have turned to family. Puerto Rico has a vibrant culture and a lot of heart! Short answer — Why Puerto Rico? Manny, laid back countryside in the Westside, Nature Rainforest, Roadside coconuts, Translucent water, Culebra.

FS flip • Puerto Rico   © Luis Ferrá

What is your observation when you skate with the local crew?
We usually have 2 cars full and just show up to spot or plaza. Music is playing, some are skating and others are filming. It’s the jam, everyone is just having fun. By all means that doesn’t work for all the spots, some are quick bust so you have to run in with a small crew to get a trick and get out. But most spots that’s how we show up and it’s an epic time!

What are some of your favorite skate spots on the island?
There are so many! It only takes 3 hours to drive across the island. When you get to the west side in Mayagüez visit Sk8hop (Manny’s skateshop) and they’ll take care of you.

‘Music is playing, some are skating and others are filming. It’s the jam, everyone is just having fun.’

Kick flip • Puerto Rico   © Luis Ferrá

Have you spotted a local talent where you know he/she will make it if they move to the US?
With the Prince Puerto Rico contest each year I’m watching the best skaters in the island come together. Over the years I’ve seen them skate this to participating in the Olympic qualifiers. I’ll shout out to Vianez Morales & Rio Batan; they’re on the forefront for Puerto Rico.

From your perspective, what are some of the challenges people face in Puerto Rico?
Sadly the constant repair of infrastructure that gets devastated from hurricanes. A ton of amazing artists came together and created Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund. I have 1 edition available and 100% goes to that. The best thing about the NFT space is everyone comes together worldwide and can raise funds for a cause. Web3 is social media with a financial connection.

What are some of the other Carribbean islands that you skated and which one impressed you most?
I’ve never got to really explore any of the other islands besides Culebra and Vieques. If you’re looking for a skate trip but also a vacation, go skate around Puerto Rico for a week and then fly to Culebra. You can rent a golf kart to explore the tiny island and it has the best snorkeling. It’s my favorite place in the world.

Wallride • San Juan, Puerto Rico   © Dan Zaslavsky