Striker’s Tales: The Caribbean Party Island Downhill St Lucia Pt. 2
The Caribbean Party Island Downhill St Lucia Pt. 2
Now that was one hell of an event!!! I’m still sun burnt from that island sun. Blue Dawn Photography nailed some nice shots of the event check out this one of Cariboo Brewing’s Mack Wacey with the Jim Z style in the upper part of the course.
Looking back I sure wish I walked the course and got some shots because besides a couple bangers from Blue Dawn Photography we failed to capture this bad ass raw course but we did succeeded in capturing the imagination of a whole community of children and teenagers. Longboarding opens the door for a better life, opens the door to travel and adventure. All it takes is the right person to get hooked on the same energy as we got hooked on rolling down the streets. I still remember that feeling of getting the hang of rolling all these years later!
After the race we headed back to our island home for the week relaxed shared footage drank boo’s and ate some food. William Royce showed up looking for the after party but we were partied out so he decided to feed us pizza!! What a guy wins the race, gives all the cash away to the locals, then buys all the racers pizza! Love the style!
The Dojo where we were staying was all locked up so if you wanted to get out of the prison you needed to hop the fence. For some this was easy but for others it was a bit tricky. This is William and Mountain Woman trying to escape early in the night.
We got to sleep in if we wanted to or we had time to head into town for some food, but we would need to meet back at the Dojo for one in the afternoon or miss out. With the help of Taj we got ourselves a driver for next to nothing for the rest of the day and the mission was to get out of the Dojo and see the island, go swimming and of course do a little skate and exploring. It was important to me that we give the racers more to remember than just a race this island had some roads and none of us had any idea what or where they were unless we hunted. Finally after driving around up and down St. Lucia’s finest and nobody getting out to skate them we stopped and kicked JM Durran out the door to give everyone a little clinic. JM was in his natural environment skating these rolling winding hills.
This was a frustrating part of the trip for me because normally I’m running the tour behind the wheel snapping photos and chucking riders down every hill. Now I didn’t have the power to kick riders out on the hills or document with pictures because I was stuck in the back of the van once again not being able to snap any quality shots for you guys! Next time I’ll be driving with a tour guide and we’ll do it right. It’s the first year so we really took a bunch of notes on how to give the racers the best experience we can. Race, Freeride, humanitarian work and tour CHECK!!
JM threw down a style that you only could learn through the Godfather of the slide. JM is a direct product of Mr. Cliff Coleman and the Berkley California windy curvy slopes as he was mentored as a young child. My photos don’t show you that style being stuck in the back of the van but countless times the van erupted with joy when JM gave us a little taste of his world. He left us all wanting to see more!
These shots don’t do these hills, JM or this island any justice but at least we have a couple to show you and I’m thankful for that!
We continued along through some villages and coastlines over bridges and through the jungle man I love St Lucia Island.
We would make random stops along the way take photos and try some of the local Spiced Rum. This stuff was powerful but wonderful, so wonderful in fact I made sure to bring back a bottle of my own before I headed back home to Canada. Of course when I opened it on Christmas day I realized I got scammed. The bottle I bought from the market was just leaves in a glass filled with flat Coca Cola. Fool me once but I’ll never buy another bottle without trying first. I’ve been had. This Jug was the real thing though eh. So good!
After a cup of the spicy rum we took a group shot and you know this stuff is good when Hollywood Wes Sampson cant keep his hands off the young buff longboarders whispering sweet nothings into their ears. Muscle Mania knows exactly what I’m talking about here and I snapped the picture to prove it.
We stopped at another spot and got a shot with the famous Pitons, Pitons is French for “peaks” the Cariboo Genuine Draft made it all the way to the Caribbean Pitons!!!
JM never panics every move is as smooth as an afternoon snooze just another day going for a cruise, ya dig!?
Next we headed to the St Lucia Sulfur Springs they tell us this is the only drive in volcano in the world. Mr. George Mendoza loved this place so much he started showing us some tricks on his board. Fifty-two years old and still could kick most your Asses.
Taj did some sweet talking and got us into this place for next to nothing I made sure to grab myself an ice-cold Cariboo for this venture. Shnitzel started calling me a beer drinking poser because I would take pictures of beer all day but never drink them so I had to drink these beers when he seen me snapping photos of them or he would call me out.
In the Sulfur Springs you find what they call a “mud bath” it’s basically spring water combined with volcanic ash. The local would come out of the bush with buckets of this stuff for us to smear all over our bodies it burns or it burned my skin a bit anyways. They say that’s the feeling you get while the mud detoxifies your body. It’s also said it’s good for people with arthritis and works as an anti-inflammatory. We pay a lot of money in Canada for this type of treatment id say. Were lucky as hell to host a race on one of the most mountainous volcanic island in the Caribbean were we can detoxify our bodies for a few minutes.
We were told that for it to work you need to let the mud dry on your skin before rinsing or it’s a waste.
Even Nuzz the local St. Lucian loves Cariboo in a Volcano. Some say in Canada that Cariboo beer is good for people with arthritis and also works as an anti-inflammatory.
We cleaned up and called it a day at the volcano spa then packed the bus. Maybe I should have just asked to sit in the front seat but once again I was stuck in the back fighting for a shot.
We let JM out to do some more playing, pissed that I missed all these shots but you get a little idea of the jungle fever flowing throughout the island. Gets a little tight at the bottom but ends here with a nice slide to safety
Our next stop was the beach!! We piled out of the van and soaked it up
Shnitzel was even in relax mode, in all the years I’ve known him I’ve never seen him in shorts but at the same time I don’t think he’s ever seen me in jeans
“When JM Durran goes for a jog on the beach he takes a Cariboo Brewing”
After a nice soak we did a little more sight seeing on our way home
Back at the Dojo, Mack and the boys did a little Palm tree climbing for some fresh coconuts and they found a local Rastafarian for a little extra help. This was a score!! Nothing better than fresh coconut water to keep you hydrated on Party Island!!
Jonny and the boys took out the locals and showed them the ropes of downhill, but the next thing we need to get these guys are some helmets.
This is a sweet little spot near the Dojo where we were staying JM and the crew got to enjoy one last clinic before we all started to load planes back to our own countries.
The guys taught the local St. Lucia Coasties some very important hand signals while enjoying some sessions.
The guys were learning the ropes and the dangers of these deep ditches.
It’s safe to say that JM and the boys left their mark here on the island and we just added to our big happy skate family. Anytime these guys come to Canada, California they know we have beds with hills waiting for them and of course free entry to Attack of Danger Bay and Jakes Rash!!
A huge crew flew out and the Rookie took us for dinner thanks to Kebbek Skateboards. You know Wes is starting to show his age when he falls asleep every night around this time no matter where he is
Across the street from the Dojo was a motorbike fest and fundraiser. Motor bikers were ripping wheelies while cops were drinking beer enjoying themselves. We got given a couple of lobsters to keep our mouths busy while our ears bled from the pounding sound system. I did get the microphone to plug the race and call out the sleeping beauties in the Dojo I think only Mack heard me because the rest were totally zonked out
We caught a ride to the Party Island Party where we found ourselves just seven days earlier; it was just as packed with people this Friday as it was the last Friday. Food, spice rum, dancing and more pounding sound systems. Party Island loves loud music, partying and good times I tell ya. You can’t out Party, Party Island!!
The next day almost everyone was gone so we cleaned up and woke up to a dance class, of course I got in there and joined the ladies like I knew what was up.
We headed in for one last meal and trip into town. St Lucia brings in the biggest cruise ships I’ve ever seen. You can just imagine the huge amounts of funny white people that come wandering off these boats with pockets full of cash. The locals know how to shake you down if you let them, they’re good at what they do and tourism is their main industry.
I headed to the market, I had the “Lion King” the artist seen here in this shot paint a custom piece of St Lucian art for me. I ordered this a few days prior and came back to pick this up. He made the boat Rasta colours for me like I requested just to make a piece he has painted so many times a bit unique for me. Love his work he paints all day at his art studio and shoe shop.
For our last meal we headed over to a good buddies of Taj “Chef Robby” this place cost a bit of cash but by far the best Passion fruit daiquiris I have ever had. The “seafood orgasm” dish was to die for I just loved this place
This lady thought I was special and pets my hair like a dog so I pet her hair like a cat
Taj picked us up and took us to his beach the “Taj Weeks Beach” sick little Caribbean gem tucked away somewhere on the coast. We parked by Marie’s Fish Shack and Cold Beers where Taj helped himself behind the bar while Marie relaxed.
This is where I spread some of my mom’s ashes she would have loved it here. Mom comes with me every trip I go on since she passed. I must say she’s been around the world now but too bad she was only forty eight when she was taken from us because I would have dragged he along a few of these trip herself. Love ya Momma Strike!
Wes was excited to find some fresh sea urchins so he got me to dive down and grab a few for him to bust open and eat up.
While I was down there I seen this little fishy. I wish got to do some more snorkeling while I was there but this is something we’re going to have to do when we come back next time because the underwater adventures are endless here in St. Lucia!
We said our goodbyes and took a nice photo for the first annual Party Island Downhill organizers archives at Taj Weekes beach.
I gave Marie or “momma” as I called her, a Cariboo bar towel to keep at the bar as a nice little gift from Canada!! She was thankful and I said see you next year as we loaded up the car and headed out. We didn’t know at the time but Taj needed to ditch us to head on over to the Prime Minister of St Lucia’s place for a nice dinner. You never know we might see Taj as the next Prime Minister of the island and if we’re lucky he’ll give us the keys to the St Lucia!!!
It was our turn to head to the airport so we got a ride Lucian style in the back of a truck. This is always on my bucket list anywhere I go in the world. Ride in the back of a truck drinking beers it just don’t get any better than that.
We got to head home with the island wind in our hair checking out all the sights along the way.
While were drinking beers in the back of the truck the cops drove up behind us and passed us the first chance they got with no drama. I love this country!
We got to the airport checked in and we were gone
We landed in Toronto around midnight and were invited to a comedy club downtown where we met up with Smooth Chicken and the old boys of the Toronto Longboarders gang. What a welcoming we had there. Wes rented a car and we were on our way. I forgot to mention we went straight from beach to snow. Toronto was cold as ice what a shock to the system!!!
When we got to the club it looked like we just missed a Christmas party but all was good because our buddies were still there waiting for us and the pizza shop next door was open!
I couldn’t help but notice that there was a microphone on the stage and the stage was quite inviting. I made my way up there and things couldn’t have been any better for us this night, besides all the hospitality the microphone was turned on. This is my kinda place. Any place that leaves the microphone on is alright with me.
It didn’t take long till I called out all the guys, Wes, Shnitzel and Alex to come up and share a story of the trip one by one maybe to start a little tradition. If we’re going to run this race again we’re going to make sure we get that layover in Toronto then come here to drink beer and tell stories with great company year after year
We got back to Smooth Chickens crashed on the floor for a few hours headed back to the airport flew to Vancouver where I got off the plane unpacked did laundry woke up rented a car packed the family into it and drove us all to the Cariboo for Christmas and lived happily ever after!!! What a trip!!! Thanks to all the riders that supported this event and made it happen!! Thanks to Taj, Mike and Shnitzel loved working with you guys!! Thanks to the islanders for welcoming us!!
THANKS FOR READING THIS WEEK’S STRIKER TALES!!! SHARE THEM IF YOU ENJOYED THEM!!!
PARTY ISLAND DOWNHILL!!!!!!