A new photo book tells the untold story around surfing – which is technically still illegal in Cuba – through stories, art and photography.

A new photo book tells the untold story around surfing – which is technically still illegal in Cuba – through stories, art and photography.

A new book dedicated to Cuba’s underground surf scene is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project, titled The Cuba Unknown, promises to tell the story of the sport– which is technically still illegal in the country – through stories, art and photography.

According to the official summary, the book aims to reveal “a lesser-known side of Cuba, beyond the old cars and decaying buildings.” It will offer tips for “those intrigued to make the journey, without being a total gringo.”

The Cuba Unknown was created by Makewild, a US-based team of documentary photographers and filmmakers. They headed to the country as soon as the borders opened to Americans in 2016, spending five months on and off there with the intention of making a film.

“While there we discovered a much larger story and some really incredible characters,” Tyler Dunham, one of the authors of the book, tells Huck. “The book is like a prequel to the film, and shares the story of our adventures a little more. The film will centre around the effort to legitimize surfing in Cuba.”

The team took over 30,000 photos while in the country, and decided it would be a waste not to do something with them – which is how The Cuba Unknown was born. The book combines the photos with illustrations, treasure maps, and travel tips, as well as information on the growing surf scene.
Photography Marco Bava

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Corey McLean

Photography Corey McLean

“I honestly have never met more inspiring people,” Dunham says of the Cuban surfers. “I live in Southern California where there is surfing everywhere. To me, surfing is a way of life and I would never have considered it being banned or hard to participate in. When individuals have to fight harder to achieve something, the passion that they must have is naturally so much greater. Cuba is the epitome of this as nothing comes easy, and the resilience and creativity that surfers there employ are so inspiring.”
As well as seeking funding on Kickstarter, Dunham has also started a Change.org petition to help Cuban surfers show their government that it should be considered a sport.  “I hope that those reading this or who pick up the book become inspired by the stoke that our friends in Cuba have and further appreciate the relative ease at which anyone in the Western world can pursue their passions,” he adds. “It’s not so easy everywhere, and certainly not in Cuba.”
Photography Corey McLean

Photography Corey McLean

Photography Seth Brown

Photography Seth Brown

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Seth Brown

Photography Seth Brown

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Marco Bava

Photography Seth Brown

Photography Seth Brown

TCU_Book-Cover
 
Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.