Surfing’s transformative powers have become somewhat of a well-worn cliche in the west. However, sometimes, we’re offered a window into a community where it’s undeniable that participation in the sport has made a real material difference in transforming young lives for the better.
In a new documentary from Vans, we meet Trinidad and Tobago surf champ Chris Dennis who, after travelling the world competing on the QS, returned home to embark on a mission to teach local kids to surf and ended up creating a mentor programme that passed on much more than just a love of riding waves.
However, with limited access to equipment, there were only so many people Chris could welcome into the fold. Enter ‘The Positive Vibe Warriors’, an organisation set up by Dane Gudauskas and his brothers that encourages emerging surf cultures by delivering donated sleds! (and much more).
Since their Board Drive, the interest in surfing has soared throughout the community, giving kids the chance to express themselves positively and creatively, while keeping them out of trouble.
“At its core, Breaking Boundaries is about connection, within the global surf community and humanity as a whole,” says Vans of the film’s release. “It is the hope that all involved in these board drives that they trigger a domino effect, encouraging surfers the world over to contribute to foundations like the Positive Vibe Warriors, Waves for Change and Waves for Hope, and launch socially beneficial initiatives of their own. By connecting surf scenes across the planet, and the individuals who drive them, we can affect much greater societal change. It’s an ethos that Chris’ believes can ripple far beyond the world of surfing. “It’s more than surfboards, and it’s more than a board drive to us,” Chris affirms. “It’s a human thing. If we share, and really care for each other, a lot of our problems will be solvable. So, it means the world.””
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