adventures

Surf’s up

12:00:00 AM

Way back August 2014, Franco celebrated his birthday in Zambales and I got to tag along with him, his girlfriend Reese, and his brother JR. That was my first attempt at surfing, and as they say - you never forget your first, either because it’s so good or it’s so bad. In that case, it was the latter - the brothers already knew how to surf, and they tried to teach me how. I just ended up hurting myself with the board. The trauma of that experience stayed with me for so long that I lost interest to try it again. 

When Hannah and I were in Siargao the following year (as part of #MindaNOWorNever), I did everything except to try surfing. Two reasons: I had to stay behind at the hostel because of an urgent deliverable for work, and my wrist had been hurting for weeks before the trip so I didn’t want to push it. And after a great time surfing in Sabang Beach, Baler (also with Hannah and her friend Prisa), a part of me regrets not surfing in Siargao. But then again, I can always go back! :)

My instructor, Bongkee (real name: Alexis), started with a brief orientation - on the sand, of course. He taught me the parts of the board, where my body ought to be, where I should hold on to, and most importantly, how to stand up. In Zambales, Franco and JR kept telling me that all I had to do was “just stand up.” In essence, yes, that’s all I really had to do. But there was a technique to make it a little bit easier, and it starts by finding out if I were goofy or natural-footed.
Tita surfs!

I’m natural, which means I put my left foot forward on the board. To make it easier to stand, I can bend my right leg as I prepare to push off the board. When standing, both my feet should be pointing at the rail of the board, not at the nose (front foot) or the tail (back foot). To facilitate balancing, I need to stand upright first, and then bend my knees and use my body to steer the board. It’s not nearly as easy as I made it sound; it takes a few tries before I got it right.

After my first successful attempt to ride a wave, all the trauma from my Zambales experience just melted away. I fell off the board on my first two tries, but the third one was the charm! It was a pretty long ride (by beginner standards) - I made it all the way back to the shore so the board stopped when it hit the sand, at which point I just had to step off it. 
Collision! Haha!
It wasn’t perfectly smooth after: I slipped twice; I fell off the board maybe five or six more times; I got hit on the chest by the board when a wave came crashing in as I tried to lift it up; and I smacked my forehead on the deck when I tried to keep water from getting into my eyes. Haha! But I had a number of good rides, and I enjoyed every second! <3

For the record, I don’t think I’m going to become an all-out surfer like Hannah. But after that Baler weekend, I’m definitely more motivated to say yes the next time she invites me to tag along. :)


isawisay

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