Shama is from Jamaica. He has style and this short film highlights his upbringing and roots growing up on the island. He found surfing and it has taken him to new places with new friends. He continues to share his smile, flow, and wisdom wherever he may go. This piece above puts this into motion. We had a moment to catch up with Shama and talk about some of his past, present, and future. Check it.
How old were when you started surfing and skating? I started skateboarding when I was four, and then started surfing at six. I have been doing both ever since.
What’s the skate scene like in Jamaica? The skate scene in Jamaica is a small community of about 30 skaters. Our crew from Bull Bay is called Sk876, which was founded by myself, Ivah Wilmot and Giovanni Malcolm and we are responsible for building the only skatepark in Jamaica which is a DIY skatepark. We call it The Gully. The Gully was a failed sewage project that was abandoned by the government and had the perfect terrain for skateboarding so we decided to transform the space into a park. All the obstacles were built by members of SK876, who all became self-taught masons, and it is currently the only place on the island skaters can skate without being harassed. The Gully walls were painted by some of the most talented muralists in Jamaica. Gully has become a staple of Jamaican skate culture.
How was surfing at the Surf Ranch? Seeing the wave for the first time in person is mind-blowing. It’s easy to get overly excited and to try to do too much on the wave, but after getting the first two rides out the way, you’re able to figure out the pace. Completing a ride is such a fulfilling feeling. One of the coolest parts of the whole experience was telling the boys back home all about it in detail. It differs a lot from an ocean wave and that was interesting to calculate the different lines to draw.
Do you have any mentors?
One of my earliest mentors
What music do you like listening to? My taste in music is broad. I appreciate the classics, I love 80’s music, 90’s rap music, modern dancehall
Do you like doing contests or focus on free surfing? I love free surfing and creating cool and unique content. But I also enjoy many aspects of competitive surfing and see it as a way to further my career, especially with the possibility of Olympic qualifications.
Are there unique challenges living in Jamaica? There is no surf or skate industry there, so access to
How long have you been working on your film and what was your favorite part about creating it? We have always spoken about telling the story, and this is just an introduction to what the culture embodies. We shot this piece over the course of eight days and it was one of the most memorable experiences up to this point. Being able to share the atmosphere and energy of home was the most exciting part.
What are some future things that you have in the coming year? We start training with our team coach next month for the upcoming ISA events, which is part of the Olympic qualification process. Definitely hoping to be in Japan next year.
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