Disclaimer: I am no surfer so the tips written here are purely based on my beginner ‘surfer’ experience.
October is one of the surfing seasons in the Philippines and not being a fan of surfing (before), when a friend invited me to the 7th La Union Surfing Break Festival (Oct. 26-28), I said yes, mainly because I haven’t been there yet – ever – and I’ve been wanting to for the longest time, and it’s a beach and I need a break from work and I want to spend it with friends. In short, surfing wasn’t really my priority or my purpose of going there. So, I packed the usual beach outfit.
Lesson No 1: Familiarize yourself with Rashguard
Since my mindset is on beach mode, I packed maxi dresses and casual dresses on a tote bag. When I saw my friends, they are carrying backpacks.
When we get there in La Union, it’s very laidback. Guys are just wearing shirts and board shorts while girls are wearing just shorts and sleeveless or tank tops or shirts. Good thing, I really am more comfortable wearing the same thing while traveling so I almost passed on this one (except for the scarf around my neck).
In the beach area, you’ll see a warning sign that the beach is not for swimming. You can hardly see someone wearing just two-piece. In fact, I never saw one the whole time we were there, except at night, at the resort’s pool area, when we were all just chillaxing. So, for you to really enjoy the place and to share that wonderful experience with your friends, decide that you will try surfing.
And when you’re ready to ‘play’, rashguard is a must have for girls while some guys prefer just wearing their board shorts. Rash what? Yeah.
Waves can get really pretty playful so to avoid having a nip slip while you’re there trying to catch some waves, you must have a rashguard or anything on top of your two-piece. (P.S. String bikini is acceptable but bandeau is a no-no. Right, Moe? *wink).
Lesson No. 2: Get yourself ‘Some’ Surfing Lesson
Five minutes of land lesson:
And before you know it, your instructor’s already attaching the surfboard’s leash to your leg and you two are already heading where the waves at. Whoah! (P.S. Ask him to carry the board for you, trust me, it’s heavy.)
Lesson No. 3: Play!
‘Laro’. This is the term they all use when they are referring to the act of surfing. You’ll often hear them say ‘Kailan ka maglalaro?’ or ‘Nakapaglaro ka na?’ . I was honestly wondering if the term actually meant playing with the waves. Oh well.
Lesson No. 4: Ride
So, before you play, you must also know how to ride. Here’s a very inspiring and helpful tip for girls from one of the surfers of First Wave: Riding a surfboard is like riding a boyfriend. You have to be rough at first. Once you get your spot, then you can go slow and just be smooth. Meaty, huh?
Lesson No. 5: Breast Out!
Literally! (if you’re not wearing the proper surfing outfit). But, practically speaking, this is how you will manage not to be washed out by the waves coming at you while you’re paddling your way to the waves. But, if it’s a really big wave, let your instructor maneuver you to the same direction where the waves are going and just hold tightly to your board while he tilts your surf board upward so you will stay in your place while the waves hit.
Lesson No. 6: Ready … Stand!
When your instructor tells you to get ready, expect the push in five seconds and when your glide is getting faster and faster, all you need to think of is to stand (or just try to) and just let the waves do the works. Sounds easy? Nooooo. It took me more than an hour before I can manage to stand.
Lesson No. 7: Prepare to be ‘Stoked’.
A hundred times of getting washed out is nothing once you get to actually experience what it really meant to actually play with the waves. Trust me, it’s ‘solid’ and ‘steady’, if you know what I mean J Bonus in this experience aside from meeting new friends and ‘playmates’, are the surfing jargons you’ll learn as you go through the whole thing. So, what are you waiting for? Save P3,500 (with buffer already) and you’re good for a 3-day 2-night surfing sesh in LU. Want to know other details? Ask me. Love, Rikki.