Stab Magazine | Volcom greases Puerto Rico

Volcom greases Puerto Rico

All photos and captions by Tom Carey Volcom team goes to Puerto Rico to premiere their new film, True To This, try to get in trouble, and find waves. They succeed on all fronts. Here’s what one man who accompanied the trip, and the photographer who gifts us this gallery, Mr Thomas Carey, has to […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 7 minutes

All photos and captions by Tom Carey

Volcom team goes to Puerto Rico to premiere their new film, True To This, try to get in trouble, and find waves. They succeed on all fronts. Here’s what one man who accompanied the trip, and the photographer who gifts us this gallery, Mr Thomas Carey, has to say of the place:

“The vibes are really cool in the Caribbean, it kinda has this Spanish vibe to it, not necessarily Mexican. It has American infrastructure so the roads are decent and paved, and it’s all pretty cheap for the most part, but it’s got that Spanish vibe where you can drive your car onto the beach and drink beer and no one’s gonna hassle you, like they could in the States. It used to be pretty sketchy, Volcom would hire some gnarly guys that, at times, would have to protect us a little bit. But now it’s really westernised. Puerto Rico gets crowded. A lot of east-coasters come over during the winter when it’s freezing in New York or New Jersey or whatever. Like, Pat Schmidt. He’s from Jersey and loved the 30-40 degree water difference. Last we’d seen of him had been in head-to-toe rubber.”


Parker Coffin at Pools, the wave straight our front of our accommodation. Pools is the most touristy beach in Rincon, probably. (Yeah, there’s a part of Puerto Rico called Rincon!) Lucky to find some waves out front for once. Super windy, but a coupla big sections.


Balaram, his best young Mitch Coleborn impression at Pools.


This is Pat and Parker at the house of Aron Geiger, one of our Puerto Rican riders, with part of his skateboard collection. This guy has the weirdest memorabilia at his house you’ve ever seen. He’s a great skater with a spine in his backyard. He’s probably more into skating and watching WWF than he is into surfing.


Parker again at Pools, straight out in front of the main bar, with a kite boarder in the background, which shows you how windy it was, blowing straight into the lefts. The waves went from flat in the morning to a foot overhead by mid-morning. That’s how quickly the wind came on and pushed some swell into there. We were on the west side of the island so it had to wrap around.


Parker at Domes. It’s got that afternoon Hawaii light. We lucked into this session – no one out, and some of the biggest ramps we’d seen in a long time. Parker pulled one of the biggest alley oops I’ve ever seen in my life.


We took all the groms out to Mexican food one night and watched them let loose. These kids are crazy these days. When they get together, like Parker, Balaram and Pat (pictured), there’s no stopping them. It’s hard to even drag them out of the restaurant. Good thing the waves were small the next day.


I was really impressed with how much Parker’s improved lately. His rail game is starting to look like his brother’s, and he’s doing bigger airs than his brother. He’s a couple of years behind him, but he’s right on his heels. These kids watch every video clip and study every turn they do, style and everything.


This one’s Noah Schweizer from New Smyrna Beach. That place pumps out a lot of good surfers, the Geiselmans, Aaron Cormican, Nils and Noah Schweizer… this kid is just growing up, total late bloomer, he’s just 17, but he stomps so many airs and I think he’ll be better than his brother in different ways. Nils is older, a big wave barrel guy, and I think Noah will be a late bloomer, underground ripper, blowing up real quick.


This is Carlos, talking about god knows what, in his broken English. He has the funniest style when it comes to talking to girls, but they seem to love him. He’s so likeable. I think he really enjoyed it down there, he ended up staying longer than all of us. He’s Costa Rican. Those girls would be American. It was spring break and there were a lot of girls from the east coast. The boys were having some late nights, to say the least.


Carlos Munoz at Domes. They call the wave Domes cause they built a nuclear reactor right there and it had a leak after like, the first day. So they capped it with a big dome and fenced it off. It’s still there and it’s really weird.


That’s Balaram on the left, Carlos coming in from the right. I can only imagine the smile on Carlos face here. He’s such a likeable person, he just likes having fun.


That’s Brandon Sanford, Parker and Balaram, and Noah. Brandon rides for us, he’s from the Dominican Republic so he caught a quick flight over. This is what’s rad about Puerto Rico. You just make a little fire on the beach, drink some beers and no one gives a shit.


Noah Schweizer again, at Domes. We were staying over on the west side, the waves are better but it needs a west swell, so at times it can be really flat. Which got us into trouble. This wave was a 15-minute walk from our house. Or a 10-minute drive, which doesn’t add up, but there’s some weird roads in Puerto Rico.


Puerto Rico gets crowded. A lot of east-coasters come over during the winter when it’s freezing in New York or New Jersey or whatever. Like, Pat Schmidt here. He’s from Jersey and probably loving the 30-40 degree water difference. Last we’ve seen of him has been in head-to-toe rubber.


Here’s a little morning pool party at the pool bar in Rincon, before the True To This premiere. Carlos, Pat and Parker. I’m not sure which came first, the pool bar or the name of the surf spot, Pools. Pretty sure all three of these guy popped those things after laying on them.


This is Balaram, down at Middles where they held the CT, shot back off one of the big headlands there. We only had a short time with Balaram ‘cause he had to get to New York for the True To This premiere. Which I’m sure he had a really good time at… at least, according to his Snapchats we all saw, anyway.


And here’s Pat Schmidt. The wind blows into the lefts too, so everyone was constantly trying to go left and ramp it up. This was a fun day with not too many people out. That’s the cool thing about Puerto Rico – the wind can scare a lot of people off. The waves get pretty powerful. A lot of people call it the east coast Hawaii.


Balaram in his element, pre-autograph signing session.


Noah Schweizer, directly out front of our house at pools. God, the waves were so bad that day but Noah did this crazy punt and actually pulled this thing.


This is Carlos at Domes. I mean, this guy is so powerful. Frontside, backside, tuberiding, and he’s probably one of the most genuinely nice, fun-to-hang-out-with people you’ll ever meet. I keep saying that I can’t wait to see him make it onto the CT.


We were just driving by one day and I made the boys stop and take a coupla portraits near these weird wheat paste artworks that were up on this abandoned shack. You can’t see, but they’re sitting in glass. It was just a full on abandoned little shack, with these awesome art pieces on it. It’s crazy that those were left untouched.


Here’s Parker at Domes. This was his second session there ever, but his first wave in that session. It’s a right pointbreak, but there’s this against-the-grain lefts that come in and when you can find them, there’s the best ramps. He’s in love with this wave now after this session. And, he landed this one.


This is another shot from Middles. Puerto Rico’s been having a really bad year, so when it’s smaller you can always head down to Middles and there’s always something rideable. Sometimes it gets so windy it makes it a little washy and tough to surf though. Carlos somehow just has these things down, these tail-high full-rotations.


You can see how hard that wind blows and just holds you in the air. I think Balaram was about to grab stalefish there but quit halfway. That’s a giant leap, it looks like he cleared a big distance. Interesting he hit it earlier, not the obvious end section, and cleared the whole thing.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


“I’m A West Oz Bogan For Sure, I Just Don’t Have The Mullet”

The first SEOTY entry of 2023 is ‘Into Dust’ ft. Jacob Willcox.

Mar 20, 2023

Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace  

Now available in the Antipodes...

Mar 20, 2023


Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made

BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…

Mar 18, 2023

Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands

How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.

Mar 18, 2023


Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?

William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.

Mar 17, 2023

Watch: Luke + Eddie

A mostly unknown, on-duty lifeguard won the most prestigious big-wave event in history. How Luke…

Mar 17, 2023


A Pipe Master, Ryan Burch, And Some Pickle Forks On The Eastern Seaboard

This one ticks a lot of boxes

Mar 16, 2023

Brazil Has A Talent Problem

And three other things we learned from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Mar 16, 2023


Mick Fanning On A Unicorn, Bags Of Dicks, And A Shocking Script Read By Surfing’s Biggest Stars

Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet on their outrageous film, 'The Greatest Surf Movie In The…

Mar 15, 2023

Italo Ferreira Caught 63 Waves In An Hour

And other stats from our Stab in the Dark production.

Mar 15, 2023


Can A Freesurfer Go The Other Way? A Dakoda Walters Case Study

The 57-kilo Aussie has taken a Stab High approach to trad contest surfing.

Mar 15, 2023

Caity Simmers And João Chianca Fulfill Respective Prophecies Under Gaze Of Portuguese President

A very good day of competitive surfing.

Mar 14, 2023

Kelly And Steph Are In Trouble

What's a GOAT gotta do to make the cut around here?

Mar 14, 2023


“I Used To Only Surf Here With One Guy…His Name’s Henry, And He’s A Seal”

A contemplation on the frigid desolation of Iceland.

Mar 14, 2023

World #1 Carissa Moore Vanquished By Front Pad Toting Wildcard, Lucky Few Get Supertubed

‘Go hard or go home, innit’ 

Mar 13, 2023

Hungover Hold-Downs, Patent Feuds, And One-In-A-Million Malfunctions Involving 11x World Champs: The Story Of Surfing’s Inflatable Vests

These things changed the game.

Mar 13, 2023


Parker Coffin Tells Ex: ‘Thank You For Everything’

Freesurfing’s best communicator leaves a classy farewell to Roark.

Mar 13, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Mar 13, 2023