Joyous Photos of Haiti’s First-Ever Surf Competition
Contestants and spectators anxious to get back in the water while watching the heats from the beach.
Samuel Jules, Surf Haiti’s top competitor, paddles out in the early stages of the competition.
Another one of Surf Haiti’s top contenders catches a small wave in shallow water.
It’s always amazing to be in the water with surfers, but between heats kids would pour off of the beach to body surf. I was a bit of an anomaly, holding a camera, popping up right as the wave was breaking, trying to capture for a moment the child’s joy of being swept up in the ocean.
Kabic Beach is more often home to an aid worker and tourist crowd fleeing the chaos of Port au Prince, but the day of the competition it seemed like the whole town came out. Between heats and after the competition ended for the day, everyone was in the water.
Papito Santana, representing the Dominican Republic, won the overall competition. He works as an instructor at the Pauhana Surf School on the northern coast of the D.R. and made the most of the weekend’s small waves.
Jules reacts happily as contest winner Papito Santana donates one of his boards to another member of Surf Haiti.
In between sessions, the party moved from the beach and into the water.
A group of girls watch the competition from the beach as concert speakers pump surf tunes spun by DJ Alain Maximilien, better known as “The Haitian Hillbilly.”
Young men heading into the water between heats to catch some waves and keep practicing. Once they’ve been up on a board it seems almost impossible to stay away.