Chevy Kobe • Ollie • Vieux Fort Town


‘Most of St Lucian skaters are street skaters, but not by choice. It is the only option we have.’

Interview with Joshua Curtis Lesforis
West Indies Skateboarding Association

Photos by Joshua Curtis Lesforis

August 2023

Tell us something about St.Lucian people we do not know?
The island of St.Lucia has over 180,000 creative and dedicated people, who believe in the work hard, play hard mentality, evenly divided between urban and rural areas. Most of the population is found on the periphery of the island with a large concentration in the North around the capital of Castries. On the island, we speak the languages English (official language) and French Creole (patois). Saint Lucia is an upper-middle-income country in the Lesser Antilles with an area of 238 square miles. It is classified as high in human development by the Human Development Index, ranking 89th out of 182 countries. Main export earnings are from bananas, tourism and manufacturing. The island has a higher profile as a vacation destination and therefore has very well developed tourism sector.

Tell us something about yourself?
A skateboarder from the island of St.Lucia, I’ve been skating from the age of 6 years old, but only been skating passionately since I was 18. I am a huge lover of music, athletics and dancing. In fact anything to get my body moving and active. Skateboarding has and is still having a very huge impact in my life along with the people that I have around me.

‘With more work and support, Saint Lucia can shoot itself right to the top of the ranks!’

Chevy Kobe • Fs boardslide • Massy Supermarket, Vieux Fort Town

How big is the skate community in St Lucia?
There are over 45 skaters on the island and the number grows with every day. Most skaters stopped skating not because they wanted to, just the sheer lack of interest from the government and ways to get board was tough. In 2016 a skateboarder from Barbados called Mikul (True Love organization) came to Saint Lucia to get to know the skate community. A competition was organized. After meeting a Bajan skater in 2016, they invited St Lucia to participate in its first international competition. Three people participated: Anarssice Alexander, Chevy Kobe and me (Joshua Curtis Lesforis). The competition was amazing with Chevy placing 1st in the best trick section. From this we were invited again in 2018 and 2019. In 2020 St Lucia was also invited to participate in a competition in Jamaica but then COVID happened.

What are some of the best skate spots in St Lucia?
Most of St Lucian skaters are street skaters, but not by choice. It is the only option we have. We skate in Cap Estate. This is were you get some nice hill bombs ranging from beginner to expert as well as many places on the island. Now we make a stop at Rodney Bay, with stair sets (8, 5, 4 & 2) located around the Bay walk mall perfectly designed for skating with ledges, banks and gaps. Unfortunately security will come by but they are pretty cool because they love skating.
Then comes Castries, the heart of all the action on the island with locals, tourists, business, anything you can think of. Sweet street spots that have some of the best views and atmosphere.
Heading down the south we find Vieux Fort, which is very similar but more hyped! Down in the south people are so rich with culture and packed with gaps, ledges, rails, curbs, bank and drops. With many old and new buildings that are full of culture, they are perfectly made to skate without the builder even having a clue that he made a perfect skate obstacle.

Ajaunie Scotte • Bs boardslide • Baywalk Mall, Rodney Bay
Are there any official skate parks?
We tried to open a D.I.Y skatepark in 2014 in the abandoned mall in Bois d’Orange but it has been destroyed recently. Move forward to 2021, I managed to get my hands on some wood and materials to build a few obstacles (Manual pad, Grind Box, Kicker Ramp) which is being used at our ‘Wheel Out Saturday’. In basic terms we have a portable park so progress is amazing!

Is the government involved in the skate community?
Until recently, it was difficult to get government support for the development of this still under-valued sport. We have organised and worked hard to get to where we are today and it looks like the efforts are paying off. At the first ‘Wheels Out Saturday’, we were honoured to have the Minister of Youth Development and Sports and his family with us as well as many others who came to observe or to take part. I believe it’s very important to have support and notice from your country and government but our mission is to continue on the road of getting the youth into skateboarding.

Any talented local kids that are making a name for themselves? Is there a local kid that is making a name for him/herself that does not live in St Lucia?
He is no longer a kid, but one of our skateboarders had the opportunity to practice his sport in Canada for a while. When he returned home he was close to being sponsored. He is now in Vieux Fort (a community in the south of the island) and skates with the team regularly which helps to increase motivation through a sense of healthy competition.

What is his name?
Chevy Kobe.
There is this one kid named Zidane, I believe he was 10 or 11 when we met. Every single day I saw this little man skate. He got better and better, learning and landing tricks each day. Time passed and moving back and forth from north to south, he moved places and I lost contact with him. In my eyes that lil bro is a prodigy for real. Lil man Zidane. I hope we cross paths again and I know you still skating, I guess. How can I lose you in this small island, bro! (laughing).

Is there anything from the other Caribbean islands that you like to have for your own? If so, what would it be and why?
A skatepark and a skateshop! The potential is there. The infrastructure and equipment not yet. It’s a daily job to make it happen.

‘I hope we cross paths again and I know you are still skating, I guess. How can I lose you in this small island bro.’

Chevy Kobe • Kick flip • Wasco, Vieux Fort Town

You are the President of ‘West Indies Skateboarding Association’. What projects are you working?
To achieve our goal of developing the skateboarding community in Saint Lucia, we are working in parallel to create what does not yet exist (skatepark and skate shop) and continue to promote skateboarding, especially among children and young people through ‘Wheels Out Saturday’. Every Saturday, we coach young people in Gros Islet (a community in the north of the island) in their progress and hope to do so in other communities. We also want to integrate skateboarding into schools.

What are some of the challenges people face in St Lucia every day?
St. Lucia is a place like no other. This island is truly blessed. I can pinpoint many different challenges like financial stability, having a home or family. The biggest challenge we face however is having a super support system for the youth, families and people in general to keep their mind set heading in the right direction. There is access to many things that can break up friendships, relationships and families. We just need access to the things that can change and create an opportunity of positivity.

Last question: If you could interview a person, who would it be and why? What would you ask?
If I had to interview someone, it would be Stevie Williams! I watched many videos of Stevie and even documentaries. What he went through in Philly is exactly what I feel in my island. I would ask him how far he did have to dig in order not to give up when he felt ike nothing is working out or going to manifest. Stevie, if you see this, what’s good man? Would love to talk man!

‘St.Lucia is a place like no other, this island is truly blessed.’

© Nick Fewings