A few weeks ago Rusty Del Mar held a screening of On Surfari's two most recent episodes, Haiti and Liberia, and fans came from all over San Diego to catch the show. Shayne and Shannon McIntyre, hosts of the show and Rusty team riders, raffled off prizes and hung out after the episodes to chat it up and answer questions. After the show Shayne and Shannon were introduced to a special group of audience members who felt a personal connection to the Liberia episode.
These audience members were from various countries in Africa and they are with a group called the International Rescue Committee; The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. These young individuals from Africa were so enthused seeing the Liberians surfing that they wanted to try surfing themselves. Being the kind-hearted people they are, Shayne and Shannon gladly offered to arrange a surf lesson for them on the following Monday.
With only a few days notice and through a series of emails the amount of support and gear that was rallied to teach 25+ African refugees to surf was amazing. South Coast Surf Shop donated boards and wetsuits to use, Sambazon was there handing out Acai smoothies, Surf Resource Network helped rally a handful of instructors to help out for the day, and a ton of other individuals took it upon themselves to get involved. With a ratio of nearly one surf instructor to one student and plenty of boards to go around it turned out to be an unforgettable day for everyone who participated. We would like to offer a huge thank you to all of you who rallied your support, time, and energy to make this happen. Check out some images from the day below:
Text and Photography by: Brody
Shayne and his apprentice head for the water
First day and already throwing grab rail cutbacks
She was really stoked on surfing
Shannon lends a helping hand
Kahana Kalama takes a grom out for a few waves
To learn more about the International Rescue Committee check out their website.
To learn more about the Surf Resource Network click here.