Floridian Pirates


Nike Skateboarding has recently launched their fourth collaboration with one of the most infamous skate parks in the world, the Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT). They worked together developing a design inspired by the story of an allegedly historical character: José Gaspar, known as Gasparilla, was a Spanish naval officer who deserted and turned to piracy around 1783. He fled to the virtually uninhabited west coast of the Spanish Florida and established his base on the Gasparilla Island from where, sailing his ship the Floridablanca, he and his pirate crew plundered dozens of ships and amassed a huge cache of treasure. Their savageness soon became a terrifying legend in the area: male prisoners would be recruited as pirates or directly put to death while female ones would be taken to a nearby isle (called Captiva Island for this reason), where they would serve as his concubines, become the wives of his pirate crew, or await ransom payment from their families. Around the end of 1821, same year that Spain sold the Florida territory to the United States, he decided to retire after 40 years of piracy but, when he and his crew were dividing his vast treasure, they descried a fat British merchant ship, an opportunity too good to pass up. But as they approached in the Floriblanca, the intended victim lowered the Union Jack and raised an American flag, revealing that this was no merchant vessel, but the pirate hunting schooner USS Enterprise. In the battle that followed, Gasparilla’s ship was riddled by cannonballs and in danger of sinking. Rather than surrender, Gaspar wrapped an anchor chain around his waist and dramatically leapt from the bow, shouting “Gasparilla dies by his own hand, not the enemy’s!” Most of his surviving crew were captured and subsequently hanged, but a few escaped. Since 1904 the city of Tampa runs a festival commemorating his legendary life which has became one of the biggest parades in the area, performing a friendly invasion of Tampa Bay among many other activities.

The SPot x Nike SB Gasparilla Dunk High Premium features embroidered sabres on the toe box, a 3M Swoosh on either side, a custom Jolly Roger graphic from artist Sean Cliver as the tongue tag, and premium colored threading on the heel, making each pair a true collector’s treasure.








If by any chance you are in Tampa, Florida around the end of January, you should not miss the huge Gasparilla Pirate Festival that at least on the pictures looks amazingly fun!


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by Marcos F Gallego