Among the many curiosities Cuba is known for, the most alluring to many a traveling tourist are the streets lined with classic cars. As it happens, the colorful 50s Chevys and Fords are a metaphor for Cuban life. The history is complicated, but essentially when the United States instituted a trade embargo in 1962 (that persists to today), products from the US and its allies, including automobiles and parts, became hard to come by. With a little elbow grease, tenacity, and Russian parts, Cubans have managed to keep many of these cars on the road not as collector’s items but as pragmatic forms of transportation. Against all odds, Cubans make things work. As the film explains above, they find solutions.
The approach to surfing is much the same. The entire island of Cuba has a surfing population of about 150. Zero surf shops to speak of. And a dearth of materials to repair the few surfboards that do make it to the island. Still, the Cuban surf scene persists.
According to some Cubans, the government continues to invest heavily in the athletic development of Olympic sports – namely baseball and boxing. But, with both surfing and skateboarding’s recent inclusion participants in Cuba appear hopeful their respective sports will gain some momentum and recognition.