The Greener Pastures Experience

The Greener Pastures Experience

Camilo Céspedes, Dandoy Tongco and Ethan Cochard appeared on Greener Pastures Offshore Episode 4 “Sea of Clouds” and along with Patrick Switzer, they have put together a nice post on Loaded’s blog describing their experience filming GP Offshore.

Patrick Switzer’s recap:

To start off, Greener Pastures has been a whirl wind of emotions, steep learning curve, responsibility and in the end an absolute pleasure to put together. Much has changed since the first GP in terms of riding style, skill level, what’s cool, and the industry itself. As GP, Switzerland was really just an experiment gone right, GP, Offshore seems to be a much awaited recap of where longboarding is right now on a global scale.

Having the chance to invite some of my favourite skaters and co-ambassadors of Orangatang Wheels was a dream to me. These highly talented riders with hearts bigger than their slides and more compassion than their wheels can handle Ethan Cochard, Camilo Cespedes, Dandoy Tongco and Bruno Sirera were first choice picks when it came to an ideal film roster. Just in these four individuals we cover North America, South America, Asia & Europe!

With only teasers out so far of “GP in the making”, blog updates, instagram photos and some funny short videos allow our audience to get a feel for what we created. A perfect month to bring skaters out of hibernation, in February GP was hosted on one of the worlds most ideal skate locations ‘Offshore’!

Our talented riders will not disappoint. We pushed the skills of our riders on the best terrain our location could offer.

 

Camilo Cespedes’ recap:

Greener Pastures’ filming came to an end, those 20 days of glory are now behind, I made awesome friends, met with great people I already knew and skated the best hills I could ever think of. The variety of characters made this experience way more fun than it already was.

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The first days were really chill… Meeting with people arriving to the island, getting to know the crew, eating a bunch of local food, chilling at the surf camp, hitting the mini-ramp every once in a while… Freaking paradise.The days that followed were filled with fast standup slides, super fast bombing, street skating, crazy Dandoy’s tricks and Z1.

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The roads in “The Island” are nothing like the kind of roads I’m used to, I skate cracked-up, crazy-sticky paved roads with lots of features everywhere, this was just perfect, no cracks, no crazy features, just incredible turns perfectly paved. This made it easier for everyone to get the best that they could out of their slides.

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Being able to be part of this world-class project is a dream come true for me. It gives the opportunity to riders to get known, grow as a skater and a person. I am very grateful at life for putting me in this direction, Patrick for inviting me, my parents for the unconditional support, Mauricio Rodriguez for teaching me life in general and pushing me to be a better skater and person, Longboard Colombia for putting me where I am today, my friends back in Bogotá which keep me humble, FW papá! and my sponsors, thank you!

 

Ethan Cochard’s recap:

Wham, Bam, thank you Ma’am! Greener Pastures: Offshore has come and gone. It was a crazy 3 weeks trapped in a surf camp on an island in the middle of nowhere with nothing but crazy roads and a huge variety of skaters for entertainment. Thanks to this combination of radness, we were never bored. Well, almost.

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The trip began on February 1st and lasted until the 21st. The first few days, riders showed up one after another. P-Swiss and PerroPro’s Alberto greeted Camilo and I at the airport with Max Gradlmiller and Levi Green were already assimilating into island time. The next day Kevin Bouach and Bruno showed up, followed by Axel Serrat. Kody and Dandoy were the last to arrive, with Dandoy barely getting his Visa a day before his flight.

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Once the whole crew was assembled, we were introduced to the residents locals who were nice enough to show us around to good spots and deal with any police trouble we had. The camera crew was made up of Alberto Fernandez from PerroPro, Yvon Lebarth the technologically advanced Swiss cinematographer, Tamara Prader who was our back up filmer/driver/photographer, and Agro who was our resident photographer. Altogether we rolled around with a group of 16 people in between 2 vans. Thanks to the help of Axel’s rocking tunes, we left a couple permanent marks on the big van.

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The 9 of us were split up into groups of 3 to focus on certain styles of riding. I was teamed with Camilo and Dandoy for the technical free ride group. The others were fit into the Go-Fast downhill group and the skate everything anywhere (freestyle) group. Each group had days where they were focused on while other groups worn out from the previous days could have a chance to chill or go explore.

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Anyways, that’s all the boring stuff to let you get an idea of the setup for this years Greener Pastures, now let me tell you about the skating.

First day we all assembled together, the locals were kind enough to drive us to a nearby hill. This would be our first taste of what the island has to offer. It wasn’t the fastest hill ever, but it had its moments of full tuck speed. The top section was a few mellow curves that bring you to your first right sweeper. After that its pretty much hairpins and sweepers all the way down. The whole road was lined with guardrails and the pavement was so consistent that you could go for a full inside rip and grip but at the same time give your wheels a little push to drift all the way around the apex, close enough to be skimming the guardrail. Sooooooo rad.

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My first day filming, we took a 6 man free ride crew to the backside of a popular run that snakes through the hill side neighborhood overlooking the ocean. The pavement at this location was beautiful in the bottom/newer section, but we started at the top where time has scarred the road. Colder, faster and almost too narrow, the spot reminded me of skating in the northwest. So I felt right at home.

This was my first chance to feel out the riders I felt the most comfortable with and could rely on not crashing into or being crashed into by. Out of the 5, Dandoy was always solid and pretty much never fell. Levi was the person I’ve ridden the most with prior to the trip, but a hurt ankle made him a little less confident on his huge switch standees and he crashed once or twice, making his condition worse and putting him out of commission for the early part of the trip.

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But anyways, that’s how things went pretty much. We would either go out as a group or split up into smaller ones. We had two community session days to get to know more of the locals and thank them for letting us skate their island paradise. Too bad we were only skating a pretty much straight road that wasn’t very steep but long enough to get some real speed. Thankfully the road was closed so we were able to charge full speed without any dangerous consequences except for the butt boarders. For such a small place, there was a lot of serious talent.

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We began travelling to the north as we began to max out the skate tolerance in the south. Cops began to remember our faces and names and that’s never a good thing. We reached the north and quickly made our way to a new local favorite. We were actually the first to skate the spot but almost immediately we saw thane lines each time we showed up. Due to Patrick’s terrible Spanish, the spot was named Anaconda for easier future reference. To imagine this road, think Giants Head with more cracks in the pavement and cactus/boulder on the sides. It was gnarly and easy to get broke off. Even Kody did a front flip over a bush and landed on a rock.

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Then the fateful day came when we all skated the road down from the volcano, on a sunny and busy day. I had skated the road before, but there was an intense fog and we were slowly freeriding down. This time around it was clear and warm and speed was in the air. On our second run down, I follow Bruno and Camilo into a tricky left sweeper that requires cutting the lane or drifting early. But it looked like you could grip it…

As I made my way around the blind turn I watch as Bruno slides out, slamming into the guardrail, knees on his board. While this goes down Camilo slides out and barely makes the gap underneath. As I was watching them both go down I lose sight of my line and end up sliding towards then post supporting the guardrail. I make contact with the ball of my right foot first followed quickly by the weight of the rest of my body. The force made my toes touch my shin while twisting my ankle outward. And that was the end of my skating for Greener Pastures.

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But luckily Levi was able to heal up and replace me while I was out of commission. Oh how the tables turn.

The rest of my days were spent wondering if i had broken anything in my foot and sleeping in hammocks. Thankfully I finally went to the doctor and had my foot looked at. Nothing broken just lots of rest needed to let it heal itself.

Looking back on the trip, I have to say I miss the chaos of always having people around. The different personalities that were gathered under one roof brought only good vibes and laughter, with only one real tense moment (Yvon shouted at us for being too loud one night). Three weeks felt like so long in the beginning but now feels like it wasn’t enough time at all.

Wish I could tell you everything that went down, but I’m going to keep this PG rated.

 

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Dandoy Tongco’s recap:

I journeyed from the islands of Lapu-Lapu to the land of Magellan and when I arrived, I found the island quite well laid out. I immediately found a way to contact Patrick Switzer or Martin Diaz so they could pick me up from the airport. Not very long, Patrick arrived and our eyes and heart could hardly be still the whole time, while we were still in the airport, we met Tamara Prader and Kody Noble and made our acquaintances and then slowly started to leave for the camp site.

My respect for Patrick and his good heartedness had brought me here to this place, and had given me a one in a life time chance to show my beginnings.

Longboarding has given me a new lease on life, it has brought me to many places that I never had been to before, I met and made many new friends and was able to see many different places with new views and perspectives and met many different kinds of riders.

It was the first time I had ever skated such gorgeous roads in the world in my whole Longboarding career. It was also the first time I had ever surfed outside the philippines and it was also the farthest place I had ever been in my life.

One of the things I learned in greener pastures is to always have a meeting the night before to plan for the next days events and what we needed for tomorrow, what shots we needed, etiquette when riding,  respect for others, helping each one out, if you see someone who needs more time and attention, you give it to him. Look out for one another and share the love and stoke we had with one another through the entire trip.

The proper manners to riding is also one of the things I had learned while there.  There should always be hand signs, speeding up, slowing down, sliding and in case of car always gesture to your fellow riders, don’t push into another lane prematurely, always be a responsible rider and everyone is responsible for going down and protect the group as a whole.

In free riding, some riders think its still racing and it should never who is the fastest or who is first.  The words I learned from my fellow rider, Kevin Bouaich,”Usually, the people who are most in a hurry are the people who are first to fall, while as for me, I took the longest time to go down but come down in one piece.”  It’s not the destination, its how you get there.

The beauty of the place coupled with the spirit of the islanders is one of the things that I will always remember in my heart.

I would like to thank some of the people who had hoped with me in this most memorable journey.  I will never forget you through my life, THANK YOU, Patrick Switzer, Martin Diaz, Yvon Labarthe, Marcos Costa, Tamara Prader, Alberto Fernandez, Agro man baggins, and everyone who was in the line up of greener pastures who protected me the entire trip.

Many thanks to DC shoes who sponsored my entire trip and expenses for the one in a lifetime journey.  Loaded boards, orangatang wheels, free energy cooperative, driftwood local ent, joint skateshop, grupo nopo, my life on board, and the rest of my brothers and sisters from a different mother.

Thank you also philippine longboarding community for the help and being there in spreading Longboarding.

I deeply thank again everyone for the support that got me here and for the chances that were given  to me to reach these places.  Maraming salamat.

 

To read this post in Spanish and Visayan, visit Loaded’s blog!

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Greener Pastures looks to communicate this extraordinary new and vibrant identity representing all companies together, presented in an unbiased fashion. It is this type of unity that will allow for an uninhibited cooperation between riders. It is this sense of community and cooperation that is at the heart of the contemporary longboarding identity.

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