Like the Revolution…some things never die
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Like the Revolution…Some things never die. “I will always remember the drive from the airport to Havana. The cars passing by, the people dancing in the streets, the Che billboards, and all this in the sunset light”  – Ozzie Wright (Sipping Jetstreams) On leaving Cuba, Ozzie left his board with the Cuban surfers. Many years have passed and the board still lives on in Havana. Now stored in Cuba’s national aquarium it is used by local kids who do not have boards of their own to surf.

“Hold a true friend with both hands.”
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Chantelle “Channy” McCoy is a Sydney Northern Beaches surfer, graphic artist and freak, who is about to give her heart and soul to South and Central America. On her travels, Channy will be heading to Cuba to spend some time with Havana’s Cubanitas, a few bottles of Havana Club and a handful of Cohibas. Cuba is visited a lot by both pro and amateur male surfers, so it’s about time Havana’s small community of female surfers are blessed with support from the likes of Channy. Check out what goes on in Channy’s head by checking out her Tumblr at www.http://wheat-barrel.tumblr.com  

Surfing to Baracoa – A Red Bull film.
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Surfing to Baracoa is a beautiful little film that features Royal 70’s Cuban family and Havana’s surfing community. Featuring Arnan Perez Lanigua, Cuba’s first surfer to compete internationally, and US big-wave surfer Ian Walsh, it takes a look into the lives and struggles facing Cuba’s surfers.

Mamerto – Cuba’s surfing future…
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Yojani ‘Mamerto‘ Perez is a young surfer and skater from the suburb of Playa in Havana. Mamerto rips on both concrete and in the water and is destined to be Cuba’s next extreme sports freak. Check him out in this little Cubaskate film. Recorded a few years back by Miles Jackson at CubaSkate, it isn’t hard to imagine just how good Mamerto is today.

Ola Libre – A Waterlust film about surfing in Cuba
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It’s an amazing feeling when your footsteps are noticed by others and someone chooses to walk beside you. The New York Times story ‘Before the waves, the hurdles’ helped to create some much-needed awareness for the Cuban surfers. One person who was moved by  the story in the NY Times and felt compelled to help was San Francisco’s Mike Gibbons. He packed his bags and headed to the island to educate himself first-hand on the struggles facing Havana’s surfing community. He documented his journey on a GoPro. Check it out… Ola Libre – A Waterlust film about surfing in Cuba A film by Mike Gibbons & Patrick Rynne aimed at exploring and supporting the emerging surf culture of Cuba. The non-profit organization Royal 70 (royal70.net) works to create opportunities for Cuba’s youth through extreme sports, music and art. Made possible by Jimmy Lewis Surfboards (JimmyLewis.com), StayCovered surf equipment (staycovered.com) and GoPro cameras (GoPro.com)    

Surfing + Cuban Kids = Smiles
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Gathering a few of Havana’s surfers together and making our way east to Megano beach just out of Havana, we spend a day pushing  kids onto waves. Many of these kids hadn’t even swam in the ocean before, let alone attempted to surf. The smiles and laughter from these kids blew our minds and reminded us just how much happiness surfing can bring to the world.

Who the F#@k are The Cuban Cowboys?
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They are the world’s greatest Cuban surf rock band and have supported Royal 70 and the Cuban surfers from day one…   Que es/What is un Cuban Cowboy? A berry good question. The Cuban Cowboy is not a tipico cowboy in the mold of a cheesy-quesoso Hollywood Western. Horses? He has none. His bovine encounters are limited to the meat aisle. He (or she) sleeps on a mattress, rides a subway train, and owns no rifle. The Cuban Cowboy is a breed apart–a hy-breed. The tools of his trade are a musical instrument, a silvery tongue and a pair of twitchy hips. He is the bastard love-child of Ricky Ricardo and Tom Waits, Elvis eats azucar. The musical estilo of The Cuban Cowboys is as itinerant as the elusive creatures who spawn it. A capricious mixture of tradition and revolt, it features tasty rhythmitos ofMontuno and Guajira served up under swooning surf guitar and dark post-punk power chords. An occasional hillbilly root thrown in the pot not only justifies the wearing of cowboy hats, but also makes an excellent garnish. Armed with intelligent lyrics and catchy mambo riffs The Cuban Cowboys swivel forth to enclose their audience en un rock ‘n’ roll abrazo: suave, firme y muy—¿como se dice?—SEXXAY. Today the band is busy wreaking havoc on cultural assumptions and rocking their culos off along both U.S. coasts: spreading the word, playing the tunes, and promoting the traditional Cuban values of Ritmo, Amor, y el Consumption of Pork Products. The Cuban Cowboys may not know joo yet, but already they burn with lob for joo… […]