Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Going Downhill with Pam Diaz

pam diaz longboardExtreme athletes go the extra mile. They seem to carry a heavy weight on their shoulders, that is to become overachievers in performance sports. Doesn't matter the gender over here, being the best they can be is the ultimate law. And they don’t shy away from it not even one bit, in all reality, they embrace it with every fiber of their being. 

 

In the case of Pam Diaz, well... she's been carrying the torch for females in dominican downhill longboarding since day one.

Pamela Diaz Martinez began riding fast boards over 5 years ago in the capital city Santo Domingo. Initially she had worked as a photographer and didn't really consider trying out extreme sports up until she was 19 years old, that’s how she found out about it while documenting skater friends and their tricks. After staring in awe for the first few hours, Pam couldn't help herself. She didn't know other girls that practiced it but she didn't care. She would be the first to pave the road for the upcoming crew. 

“I wanted to try it out so I asked for a board, a friend lent me one and it’s been going downhill ever since! Lucky me.”

Watch a short documentary about Pam + her experiences on the sport.

pam diaz longboardpam diaz longboard

 

After dedicating a LOT of hours, sweat, blood and tears into it, Pam became more agile and respected in her stance. Others cached on to the addictive vibe. What once was a group of five or six friends, bloomed into a much bigger community of super active young athletes bombing hills all around the island. 

"Anybody can skate and everybody is welcome to join us" she says, but with one condition.

"The only thing you need is proper safety gear (helmet, gloves, pads and knee covers), a board, and fearlessness."

pam diaz longboard

Pam started contacting different brands for Longboarding equipment as well as sending photos and videos of her and her buddies. 

"They couldn't believe there was a scene here. Next thing I know I'm getting invited to international longboarding competitions as well as organizing some others here in the DR, not just with local riders, foreign riders as well."

pam diaz longboard

Quisqueyanos D’el Patio. 

What once was a Facebook Group made by Ricardo (Ry) Guillén with friends like Miguel Cabreja, Wilbert Caba, Catherine (CathyKat) Goico, Diego Verdaguer, Carla Javier and Gabriel de la Cruz (Kurativo), grew up from an online community with just a handful of buddies to one of about 700 members. Some more advanced than others, but all open to friendly racing and growth.

Quisqueyanos del patio pam diaz

Spread the Stoke

The sport spread out to different parts of the island like fire, specially in Santiago and Puerto Plata due to it’s steep hillsides. Formal events like the Jacagua Extreme Downhill took place and many more followed. Pam helped as much as possible in the organization of several freeride and outlaw activities for riders across the island, specially in Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata. The last one hosted was the famous Mortadella Slide Jam in Santo Domingo, in it's third edition so far.

pam diaz longboardpam diaz longboard

"It was always fun to see new faces and people asking to join in on the fun!" 

Other crews like Rueda Loco POP, Punta Cana Longboarding Crew, Los Mulateros Crew and Aboutaboard made the scene more competitive. Every weekend they went exploring looking for new spots to ride. Growing deeper into their new found physical speed limits. 

pam diaz longboard

Some of the members from these groups have represented the country as well, names like Giancarlo Di Vanna, César Pucheu and Giancarlo Nadal, spring to mind. However, the scene still has more room to grow.

Riding around the country practicing downhill longboarding has given birth to new initiatives such as Hill Hungting RD.

New dreams, new life

pam diaz longboardpam diaz longboard

Sponsored by big name brands such as Jet Skateboards, Liquid Trucks, Abec 11 Wheels, Holesom, Socco, Bikini Empire and The Clayers nowadays Pam likes to keep it homey in Puerto Plata and considers it a great place to practice longboarding, as well as many other sports like surfing and mountain hiking. Also a positive change in scenery, ideal for outdoorsy lifestyles.

Pam diaz longboarder

Having skated with big names in the industry like James Kelly, Louis Pilloni, Marisa Nuñez, Ishtar Backlund and puertoricans Jose and Jomar Guzmán (& many more), she says it's all about having confidence and telling yourself that 'you're awesome'. Fake it 'till you make it? Perhaps, but you won't know anything about it 'till you try.

Any big accidents?

"I remember when I first started skating, I broke my jaw and spent months on recovery with my mouth sewn shut. It happened mostly because I wasn't skating safe. I'm just glad I'm alive to tell the tale and I can still do the things I love. Wear helmets kids!"

Other than that, nothing more than a few scratches and bruises here and there.

pam diaz longboardhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqF4gNw-Hgo

"People say longboarding is not for girls, but I didn't want to hear it. That's my position whenever people get negative, i think it's out of fear, but fear never made no champions. I just kept skating! And it's the best decision I ever made. "

Not bad for being the Longboard Girls Crew Dominican Republic ambassador.

Any last words Pam?

"My life is going downhill!"

pam diaz longboard

Here's some of the Past Competitions she's participated in:

Dominican Republic

Jacagua Extreme Downhill 

Cap Cana Downhill Race

Clothilde Slide Jam

Little David Outlaw

El Cupey Outlaw

La Confluencia Outlaw

Mortadella Jam

La Lomota Downhill

La Antena Downhill

United States

Florida: 

King of Clermont

Washington:

Maryhill Festival of Speed

Puerto Rico:

Rio Arriba Downhill

Guajataka Downhill

Guama Downhill

California:

Catalina Island Classic by Riviera

For more perception on longboarding practices and lifestyle, follow Pam in her social media outlets:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqF4gNw-Hgo

Facebook Instagram

 

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