The Locals Project


Art Direction
Web Design


Jacob Oster
Will Saunders

Giving Cuba’s unique surf culture a distinctive voice.

Cuba is home to one of the smallest but most passionate communities of surfers in the world. With less than 150 surfers in the entire country, they have faced many challenges, including a lack of governmental support and tough economic conditions.

Surf Cuba was an effort to rally the global surf community to support these surfers and provide them with additional resources. We spent a month in Cuba living with the surfers so that we could document their stories and share them with the world. As a result of our efforts, we produced a short documentary film, built an immersive digital experience, wrote articles for major publications, produced custom merchandise and threw multiple launch events around the country.


Create a social movement.

Beyond the logistical planning, translation, and execution, we knew we had to capture people’s attention and imagination. We needed to tell a story so compelling that it would stop people in their tracks and make them listen to our message. And not only that, we needed to inspire them to take action and help improve the situation for Cuban surfers.


Provide authentic story-driven content.

We wanted to document the story in a way that would immerse our audience in the experience of Cuban surfing. We wanted them to feel the raw passion of the surfers and the challenges they face just to catch a wave.

We achieved this by creating a variety of different content formats, including a documentary film, an immersive digital story experience, social media posts, behind-the-scenes footage, and posters. We also held launch events around the country to engage with people in person.

Our goal was to show the world that there is more to Cuba than baseball and boxing. We wanted to introduce people to the vibrant and passionate community of Cuban surfers and to inspire them to get involved.


We created a wave of global support.

Our work resulted in a short documentary that was featured in film festivals around the world. Our story was also featured in a full-length article in The Surfers Journal, one of the most prominent and respected surf publications in the world.

The Cuban surfers were ecstatic to see themselves recognized by the global surf community. We partnered with various surf brands to throw a series of launch events in Los Angeles, Portland, and Denver. These events helped us collect new and used gear, donations, and other resources to send to Cuban surfers.

Most importantly, we helped give Cuban surfers a voice and raise awareness of the challenges they face in pursuing their passion.