Project Description

Cuba

It´s been an adventurous first chapter

We had arrived at night at Havanna Airport without cash or accomodation. The only ATM was broke. A Hawaiian photographer gave us a ride, some hours and Mojitos later we bumped into some German and American Pro-Skaters. Which led us to the whole gang of La Habanas skate- and surf-locals. Few days later we moved in to the house of two of them.
Within the next weeks, they showed us their city and life: A worn down Skatepark with obstacles that poor people steal the metal from. Cheap bars with inofficially destilled rum. Innercity surfspots with sketchy climbing entry and razorsharp reefs. Illegal tattoo-parlours with smuggled tattooing machines.

10 stair backsideflips at communist marble-monuments. Broken decks, a lot of police, selfshaped surfboards. Selfmade gasoline and printer-ink graffiticolors, used in old occupied Russian buildings. Delicious hidden foodstalls. A looot of rice with beans. Rooftops of 14 story buildings where families live in 7 squaremeter rooms. And most of all – many inspiring personal stories. Frank, the guy we stayed with, is not only the best BMX-Rider on the island, he also is one of the best bodyboarders, AND surfers. The guy pulls of backflips on the BMX, reverse aerials with his selfmade surfboard, and pretty much every classic bodyboardtrick known to men in 5 m reefbreaks. He was officialy invited to the Panamerican Surfchampionships of 2009, by the International Olympic Comitee and the Panamerican Surfassociation. But it‘s not that easy. He was denied access to the championship by the Cuban immigration authorities. In fact, he never got to surf outside of Cuba. He doesn‘t even have a sponsor.

Actually, there are no sponsors at all in Cuba. There doesn`t even exist a single skate- or surfshop. The guys are simply depending on people from outside, who give them their old equipment as a present when they leave after holidays. That means, every board, bike, truck or deck on the island is in fact brougth or smuggled in from the outside.

Cocina Criolla

– how the cuban cuisine is called, is anything but rich in variation

The easiest way to get in touch with the locals is to linger around Havanas only skatepark at the hospital de 26, or at the other main meeting point at the crossing 23 y G in the barrio of Vedado. You can also drop us a line, we will be happy to provide you with the right contacts. When it comes to food, one needs to invest quite some energy to find extraordinary local dishes.

The “Cocina Criolla”, how the cuban cuisine is called, is anything but rich in variation. A piece of pork/chicken with rice and beans is the base of most meals. And thats simply what the non-touristy restaurants serve. To find more interesting and special dishes, we´ve entered the private kitchens of different Cuban mamas and papas. Some of them know how to use all the spices, fresh vegetables and herbs the few cheap markets have to offer. But there are many restrictions. Beef, for example, they almost never eat – because they simply can´t get their hands on it.

All Beef is property of the government, and if Cubans slaughter their own cow, they go to jail for 10 years. So it’s not an easy challenge, to find culinary treasures. Still, we´ve found some very tasty and special recipes we´d like to share with you in our upcoming surfer’s cookbook. Check the Cosita Buena video for the first one! For now, we´re done with Rum. Next Destination: Tequila! We´ll keep you posted.

Gallery

Cuba

Next Destination: Tequila!

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