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Bogota, Colombia "My City" with Jhancarlos Gonzalez
My City is a Volcom video series showcasing the Latin American Skate Team as they take us through their hometowns, showing us where they grew up skating and what struggles they had to overcome along the way.
In this first episode, we welcome 19-year-old Jhancarlos Gonzalez from Bogota, Colombia. Jhancarlos grew up skating in the streets of Bogota in Barrio Roma at 10 years of age where skateparks were elusive and average at best. None of his friends his age skated, but as with typical younger kids, the older crowd had a huge influence on him as he watched his neighbors grab their skateboards day-after-day and hit the streets. Finding it upon himself to build up enough courage to ask if he could try out their skateboards, Jhancarlos instantly felt that connection and got hooked. His most trusted skateboarding resources were curbs, rails, stairs, and ledges he found around his city, which provided him with a sense of community for himself and his friends as they gathered at these local spots with the local pros. But this also gave him a sense of creativity in the approach to his skateboarding. By not having the luxury of well-crafted and diverse skateparks at his fingertips, Jhancarlos manufactured fictional skateparks in his city, drawing unique lines to mundane city streets, rails, and stairs. Some of his favorite spots in Bogota are Telecom, Maderitas, Cedritos, Catastro, El Campin Suba, and Torres, which he still credits as some of the his favorite spots to skate in Colombia.
Contrary to Bogota was another spot in Colombia Jhancarlos grew up skating, Medellin, which is the second-largest city in Colombia. With its tight-city structures and endless spots to skate, this city felt like another world to Jhancarlos, a world far different than Bogota. One he calls a paradise. The Lights Plaza, Chimeneas, Downtown, 4 South Skatepark, and Mayorca make up his go-tos when he’s in town, while stopping off at some of his favorite places to eat: Los Quesudos and Las Mandingas. Growing up in these cities, skating every corner of every piece of concrete, gave Jhancarlos a drive to go further. If skateboarding provided the outlet for Jhancarlos, then Bogota and Medellin provided the foundation.
Jhancarlos was also featured in Volcom’s 2016 skate movie Holy Stokes! when the crew travelled to Medellin to shoot for the project. With its award-winning release and high popularity among the skate world, Jhancarlos broke onto the scene with his impressive part and laid back style. Some of his best moments filming for the movie was being able to skate with his favorite skater, Grant Taylor, and simply hanging with Milton. Jhancarlos also appreciated lounging with the team in the hotel and chilling with everyone, and said the “whole vibe was super sick, holy stoked!” He also noted landing the backside noseblunt as a highlight from the movie.
Besides inspiration from dudes like Grant Taylor and Milton Martinez, Jhancarlos is inspired by a crew of solid guys in Colombia: Juan Pablo Velez, Jose David Velez, Barbas, Felipe Agudelo, Sebastian Pineros, whose “passion for skateboarding and desire to succeed is unmatched,” he said.
Where’s Jhancarlos off to next? USA, Brazil, and Argentina to hit some of his bucket-list spots and hopefully get some good footage for an upcoming project he’s working on.