Gallery: Sweat and Destroy – the Panama journey

A final recap of our Panamanian excursion as captured by the lens of Davy Van Laere.

So, by now you should have had the pleasure of digesting our three episodes of radness from the European invasion of Panama. They say a picture paints a thousand words, so to wrap these series up we like to have a stills photographer on the scene to crystallise the experience permanently in images that tell their own story.

Here are Davy Van Laere’s frozen moments from another trip of a lifetime; a last glimpse of the good times Axel Cruysberghs, Jarne Verbruggen, Kevin Tshala and Korahn Gayle shared in Central America, and also a taster of what to expect if you ever plan to visit Panama City for yourself.

Missed the action? Watch the three episodes of "Sweat and Destroy" here:

Pro tip: use your keyboard to jump between photos
Axel Cruysberghs, Backside Crailslide
Axel Cruysberghs, Backside Crailslide

Axel Cruysberghs, Backside Crailslide

I didn't know any of the spots in Panama prior to arrival bar one from the cover of Transworld – this transition. It was a Sunday spot; we only had one day to go there. Transition killer Mr.Verbruggen was hungover because it was his birthday the night before, but luckily Axel came to the rescue.

© Davy Van Laere
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Puente de las Américas
Puente de las Americas

Puente de las Américas

Puente de las Américas (‘the Bridge of the Americas’) was built in 1962, and spans the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It connects the Americas, north and south.

© Davy Van Laere
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Ivan, Harold, Papo
Ivan, Harold, Papo

Ivan, Harold, Papo

These three good souls treated us like kings. Ivan, Harold and Papo – thanks for the hospitality. Without you guys, Panama would probably have been a whole different experience.

© Davy Van Laere
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Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Boneless
Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Boneless

Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Boneless

Another epic spot; here in a residential area of an old US army base. In order to get in, our tour guide Harold had to call a friend who lived there so we could tell the guard at the entrance we were visiting him. We never did meet him. Thank you, Harold, for taking care of us every day.

© Davy Van Laere
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Buildings
Buildings

Buildings

The city has a crazy mix of architecture. These buildings are in stark contrast to the rest of the city. We were stoked our hotel was only a five minute walk from the sea! But we found out that this part of the sea was so polluted that you couldn't swim in it. Luckily we had a rooftop swimming pool.

© Davy Van Laere
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Korahn Gayle, Kickflip to Fakie
Korahn Gayle, Kickflip to Fakie

Korahn Gayle, Kickflip to Fakie

At this spot our guide Paponation was a bit stressed out. It was in the middle of a gang area. Luckily it was Sunday and I guess they were all still sleeping, or something. Panama City can be pretty ghetto sometimes, so being surrounded by the right people is a must.

© Davy Van Laere
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Kevin Tshala, Alien Face
Kevin Tshala, Alien Face

Kevin Tshala, Alien Face

Kevin Tshala sticks his head out of the van window to show off his E.T. moves!

© Davy Van Laere
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Axel Cruysberghs, Backside Tailslide
Axel Cruysberghs, Backside Tailslide

Axel Cruysberghs, Backside Tailslide

Crazy heat, traffic galore and jagged spots! Axel doesn't care, he has the ‘shut up and skate’ mentality. Charging one hundred percent, every day.

© Davy Van Laere
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Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Hurricane
Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Hurricane

Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Hurricane

We had to trespass to skate this spot. After the session some cop showed up and kept trying to hassle us for money! It took us 20 minutes of talking to get out of it. Luckily locals Harold and Papo know how to handle their business.

© Davy Van Laere
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Korahn Gayle in the shade
Korahn Gayle in the shade

Korahn Gayle in the shade

Even Korahn had to take a rest in the shade once in a while. But Kevin Tshala was the one who suffered the most from the heat. I just liked the scenery so I asked Korahn to park himself on this chair.

© Davy Van Laere
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Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Nosestall Revert
Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Nosestall Revert

Jarne Verbruggen, Frontside Nosestall Revert

Jarne basically did this trick in the dark. The sideways run up was a mess so after a dozen tries we talked to this security guard and for five dollars he opened the fence. Jarne could now avail of the straight run up.

© Davy Van Laere
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City View
City View

City View

Panama has one of the craziest electricity networks I've ever seen in my life. As chaos goes, this is pretty impressive.

© Davy Van Laere
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Korahn, Harold, Axel, Jarne – Good Times
Korahn, Harold, Axel, Jarne - Good Times

Korahn, Harold, Axel, Jarne – Good Times

This shot gives you the perfect impression of the tour; good vibes!

© Davy Van Laere
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Kevin Tshala, Coconut
Kevin Tshala, Coconut

Kevin Tshala, Coconut

I couldn't believe that most of the time the crew emerged from shops with some random fizzy drinks. We're in Panama – drink some fresh juice! Tshala rocked coconuts on the daily, and so did I! The best!

© Davy Van Laere
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Axel Cruysberghs, Wallie into Bank
Axel Cruysberghs, Wallie into Bank

Axel Cruysberghs, Wallie into Bank

Some people prefer smooth marble spots, others like sketchy spots; I choose the second category, I guess Axel does, too. We live in the same small country but never shot a photo together. Years ago we tried but he broke his wrist. Stoked to have witnessed him killing it, without him killing himself!

© Davy Van Laere
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Korahn Gayle, Switch Flip to Fakie
Korahn Gayle, Switch Flip to Fakie

Korahn Gayle, Switch Flip to Fakie

Korahn is a non-stop talking machine, and if he isn't talking he's probably singing. Thanks, buddy – for the good vibes and making me smile for the entire trip. The crew on this trip was a perfect mix of good souls! Oh yeah, Korahn also did a bit of non-stop skateboarding!

© Davy Van Laere
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Stijn Lammertyn - Filming
Stijn Lammertyn - Filming

Stijn Lammertyn - Filming

It took us quite a walk in the dark to get up the mountain in order to climb this massive water tank. It was worth it, though – the view was stunning. Stijn Lammertyn doing what he does best!

© Davy Van Laere
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