In spring 2017 Tyson Poor, Emily Balla, Nicola Cranmer, Wyatt Miller and Bryan Metcalf-Perez from the Beyond Boardshorts team travelled to Cuba for 3 weeks. Cuba has everything, what windsurfers are dreaming of: wind, beaches, even waves. It’s a huge island in the Caribbean, where north easterly trade winds hit the coast, especially during the dry season from December until April. Although the conditions for water sports seem to be great, there is a lack of infrastructure and windsurfing equipment. Besides other reasons, one of the reasons for the situation is Cuba’s economic isolation. And at this point the Beyond Boardshorts Crew comes into play.
Beyond Boardshorts mission is to bring the passion for water sports to the worlds youth by providing equipment, inspiration and training. They commited to help those who would not be able to participate in water sports.
Bryan Metcalf-Perez: “It was hard to find any information on Cuba before we departed. The whole crew was nervous that we might not find any conditions or Cuban windsurfers. Even when we arrived our only source of information was word of mouth. We found ourselves asking for directions at every other street corner. This made finding anything; beaches, potential Windsurf centers, places to stay a long grueling process. In the end our efforts would not go in vein. We met some amazing people in a beautiful country. If we had know how much windsurf enthusiasm existed in Cuba we would have brought more gear with us. In a lot of locations like Cuba, it is really difficult for passionate local windsurfers to get equipment and fortunately, in the end we were able to give away two full setups that would be shared by a group of kids who all ripped! The best part of the trip was by far all the beautiful smiles generated simply by windsurfing. Seeing just how happy the sport that we have dedicated our lives to made our new Cuban friends may have even brought a few tears of joy to the Beyond Boardshorts crew. Since our trip in Cuba we have been inspired to generate a movement within the windsurfing/ water sport community. Our mission became clear; through inspiration, training and donations we would spread the joys that being on the water brings. And above all, we would share the qualities that leading active lives on the water provides to youth around the globe.”
We think it’s an incredible project and the following movie from their Cuba trip documents their mission. In the movie you will see that sharing equipment is quite a common ritual in Cuba. Perhaps we should do it more often.
Beyond Boardshorts in Cuba