Charlie don’t surf!
The famous line from Apocalypse Now may just be a mantra of the Cuban Government (¡Carlos no surf!), or so it would seem based on a new film from Makewild. The group of U.S. filmmakers traveled to Cuba several times over the past two years befriending Cuban surfers and testing the country’s waves. What they found was the world’s most taboo surf scene.
In Cuba, surfing is not legal.
The words spread across the first frame of the trailer are shocking; confounding. How could a sport that so embodies and promotes so many positive things – brotherhood, healthy living, empowering women, fitness, respect for nature – be illegal?
Apparently, in Cuba, things that aren’t readily understood, or that are somehow too closely rooted in American culture (baseball excluded, of course) are automatically deemed not legal.
Surfing is just one of those misunderstood things, leaving the small community of Cuban surfers ostracized – their sport practiced in secret; the boards and equipment macgyvered.
In an effort to change this, Makewild has teamed up with a group of local Cuban surfers led by Yaya Gurrero, well-known in Cuba for spreading the sport to empower women on the island. Together, they’ve started an online petition to get the sport of surfing officially recognized by the Cuban Government ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Few countries value Olympic glory quite to the degree that Cuba does. The hope is that a little education on the sport, combined with the opportunity to win more Olympic medals for Cuba, will finally bring surfing out of the shadows across the island.
To help make surfing legal in Cuba, be sure to sign the #surflibre petition here.