Frank is the best surfer in Cuba. He’s the type of athlete that you feel would, under different circumstances, be a professional at whatever sport he set his mind to. He epitomizes the widespread Cuban passion of pursuit—doing anything and everything he can to get into the water.
He made his very first board when he was a young boy, using a piece of insulation stolen off of the roof of an abandoned building down the street.
Yaya is one of very few female surfers in the entire country. In fact, for a long time, she thought she was the only girl in Cuba chasing waves—that is, until she met a 13-year-old girl on the opposite end of the island whose father claims surfing saved their family.
While Yaya is, admittedly, not the greatest surfer, her passion is to empower the women of Cuba, and to show them what is possible in their country.
Rodney and I met at two in the morning on the streets of Old Havana. I was jamming on a guitar in a group of a dozen or so Cubans drinking rum out of a hollowed-out bull horn, when Rodney walked into our circle wearing a bandana around his head, cowboy boots, and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He asked if he could play for a minute, and proceeded to play some of the most beautifully intricate and nuanced guitar I’ve seen.