Ras (11) & Menelik (8) - Vegan Surfing Champs

One of my favourite things about working at Vivo Life is how we get to use our work to make a difference in the world. 

It’s the reason we’re all here. Whether it is planting trees, donating to charity, reducing carbon emissions or creating the healthiest plant based products… we’re always searching for the little ways that we can make a difference, no matter how small. 

Which is why, when we were given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of two very special young people… there was no way any of us could refuse! 

A few years ago, on holiday in Barbados, I met two tiny humans who took up a very big space in my heart. Their names are Ras and Menelik, and they’ve taught me more about surfing (and life) than most adults ever could. 

Never before have I encountered two people with a deeper connection to the ocean than these guys. Their skills on a board are one thing, but if you saw the way that they squeal in delight as a sea turtle swims beneath their feet, or how they swim the entire length of the beach to pull out a mislaid plastic bag… that’s where the real lessons are to be had. 

It might not surprise you, therefore, that Ras and Menelik also follow a plant based diet! Their father, Wayne, is a lifelong vegetarian, and the thought of eating fish is as alien to them as a life without a longboard. 

Over the past few years I’ve kept in touch with the boys and been to visit them at least once each year. I’ve watched them grow tremendously as surfers and as people. And this brings me nicely to the reason for my email today… 

After gaining more and more recognition as two of the sharpest young surfers in the ocean, Ras and Menelik have been invited to some of the best known summer surf contests in North America. And Vivo are going to sponsor them to get there! 

Growing up on a tiny island like Barbados, opportunities to show their talents on the bigger stage don’t come around very often. So when their Dad called me and told me about the opportunity, we knew exactly what we had to do. 

Throughout the years at Vivo we’ve been lucky to work with some amazing athletes to help spread our message around the world. And now, as our business continues to grow, we have the opportunity to use our platform to give two boys a shot at the thing they love the most. 

This might be a once in a lifetime journey for them, or it might be the start of something bigger. Either way, as long as they have a fun time along the way we’ll all be happy. 

And at the same time, we hope that by working with them we can raise awareness of a plant-based diet and the importance of keeping our oceans clean. I struggle to think of two better ambassadors for either. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be keeping you updated with the boys’ progress in America via email and our social media accounts. 

In the meantime, if you want to see why they deserve a shot at the bigger stage… watch this video! 


Thank you for your support that has made Ras and Menelik’s dreams come true. We couldn’t have done it without you! 

Talk soon,