COOL RIPPINGS

posted by / News / March 23, 2004

Pro surfer Dan Malloy didn’t leave Jamaica on a good note last year. Visiting the island along with cinematographer/artist Thomas Campbell, Malloy came down with dengue fever toward the end of the trip and spent six days in and out of the hospital. He was so sick by the time he left, he barely even got to say goodbye and thanks to reggae singer Billy Mystic and his family, who opened their doors and showed him their breaks.Which is why, when Malloy was looking at his schedule a month ago and noticed an opening in late March, he decided to give his Caribbean friends a call. “Hey, Billy,” he said. “When are the ISA Games in Ecuador again? Because I think I can make it down there and help coach.”Billy happened to be running a surf contest in Kingston at the time of the call, so he asked Dan to hold on. “Ladies and gentleman, can I have your attention please,” he announced over the loudspeaker. “I just got word that your friend and professional surfer Dan Malloy will be with us in Ecuador, helping coach the Jamaican team!”Dan said all he could hear was hoots and hollers and cheers over the phone. “Seriously, the best call I’ve had in my life,” he said.Now, before you start claiming red, green and gold medals for Jamaica, realize this: surfing is still in its beginning stages in Jamaica. According to Dan, there’s about 10 kids who surf the same spot in Kingston, and most of them have been doing it for two years or less. They’re all poverty stricken, and are riding third-hand boards that have been broken and repaired at least two times. But Mystic’s older sons, Icah and Inie, are both good surfers, and chances are if any Jamaican makes a heat or two at the World Games, it’ll be these guys.Malloy called last Friday en route to Ecuador, saying he had his playbook ready. While he wouldn’t tell us exactly what wisdom he’d pass on to his Jamaican brethren, he did offer this: “I’m just going to tell them to keep smiling and keep having fun. Because no one’s more stoked than these kids.” – Evan Slater

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