Carhartt WIP's Team Takes on Cuba's Rugged and Virtually Nonexistent Skate Scene

“La Fruta Bomba.”

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Courtesy of Thrasher Magazine, we get a look at Carhartt WIP skaters Max Palmer, Chris Milic and Andrew Wilson, along with Nolan Benfield and Cocho, as they shred through Havana, Cuba in a seven-minute, Sean Dahlberg-directed video dubbed “La Fruta Bomba.” As with any once forbidden city, skaters are typically among the first tourists to investigate its streets, hoping to find the next killer spot before anyone else does. Unfortunately, this crew was in for a bittersweet surprise. Here’s an excerpt from Dahlberg’s first-person account on Thrasher:

First and foremost there is little to no skate culture in Cuba. Many kids aspire to ride a skateboard, but the country just doesn’t have the means to support that yet. There are no skate shops on the island and almost no access to the Internet, so getting a board is extremely difficult. Orly, a local who was showing us around, said that if he breaks a board he might not skate for three months, maybe more. All of the spots were rugged too. We would see a bank to ledge or a handrail from a distance and skate over excitedly—only to find out that there was a huge crack or the ledge was chunked out beyond belief. Actually, most of the streets and sidewalks were difficult just to roll on.

The director then praised Havana’s locals for their hospitality as well as the young generation of determined skaters.

And the skateboarders that live in Cuba, they’re the ones with the biggest hearts and courage. It humbled me and the rest of the group to see a bunch of kids who literally have almost nothing yet are making the best out of their situation. When they don’t have actual decks they make their own out of wooden planks. When they don’t have grip tape they use sand and varnish. These kids skate some of the roughest spots I’ve ever seen on makeshift equipment. And you know what? They don’t complain about any of it: not the spots, not their boards, not the negative public sentiment towards skating, nothing. All they want to do is skate and they find a way to make it happen. It’s refreshing to know there are people in this world who aren’t caught up in the bullshit minutia of life, people that just want to enjoy the freedom that skateboarding brings. You can find those people in Havana, Cuba.

If you’re having trouble viewing the video, watch “La Fruta Bomba” on thrashermagazine.com.

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