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Surfing (in the Philippines) has become a culture, a way of life
Why surf in the Philippines ?
It is about the love of surfing, the hunt for great waves and the freedom of the ocean.
Today, surfers come from all walks of life. All looking for that one perfect wave.
Why the Philippines.
With 7,107 islands, the roaring Pacific Ocean bordering the eastern coastline and the South China Sea on the western coastline and attracting more typhoons than most neighboring countries, Philippines surfing is alive and well.
Not long ago, Philippine coasts were basically fishing villages characterized with strips of rugged and untouched beaches covered with rolling waves roughly sweeping its coastlines. When surfing came into daily activities of villagers, the sport became a hype; pushing more juveniles to partake into it. Major destinations like Siargao pulled surfers from around the globe, but, undiscovered coasts where there are even bigger surfs like Samar, remained unpacked by visiting surfers.
The Philippines, although known for its enormous waves brought by its
tropical winds, remained an unpopulated yet an exciting surfing
destination in the world.
With the arrival of this sport and the excitement it brings, locals are adapting fast on advance styles and techniques. Before heading to these surfing destinations, be aware that most of these places might not have equipments or boards for rent. When to go.
Philippines surfing can be both temperamental and seasonal, it is important to know when the best time to come is or you may be disappointed. And it varies depending on the location. However, the best time would be from July to November, when surfing competitions across the archipelago are mostly held You can either surf the east coast or the west coast. The east coast probably gets the better surf.
How do I get started.
For beginners, surf lessons are available in limited locations. Please take note that certain locations only have locals to serve as instructors. They would not be that fluent in English but they can easily converse in that language.
For surfers, you have two options. The first would be to go to the established surfing destinations wherein there are surf shops operating in that area. Surfboards and other proper facilities are available. Your choices include La Union, Baler Bay, Siargao Island, Samar and Zambales.
The next option, and more adventurous one would be to go to the newly discovered surfing hotspots. Here, roads and infrastructures would be underdeveloped and possible accommodations would be away from the beach. Surf guides would be needed to bring you to surf spots but waves could be awesome. Choices include: Catanduanes, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Samar, Vigan and Camarines Norte.
The Philippines is a perfect location for surfing, whether you want a full on surfing trip or casual fun on the beach. Surfing is the ideal hobby, it gives your body an all over workout, is inexpensive compared to other adventure sports, and gives you a real thrill. The Philippines is ideal for surfing holidays as it is still a relatively well kept secret. Although surfers have been visiting its warm seas since the 60`s, it is not overcrowded like some surfing spots. One of the bonuses of surfing in the Philippines is it is an ideal location for any level of surfer.
Beginners are well catered for in the Philippines, the lack of crowds means surfers won`t have to be aggressive when it comes to chasing the big waves and you have more space to try yourself without fear of embarrassment. You should be careful to choose a good location, for beginners sandier and flatter beaches are ideal. When getting on to your surfboard make sure it lies flat, if it points downwards it will be much more difficult to surf. Don`t try to stand straight away, it is easier to crouch, as you have a larger center of gravity making it much easier to balance on the board.
More advanced surfers are likely to want to try more tricks. These require more practice but are highly impressive to watch and thrilling to perform. One of the most popular current tricks is the frontside air. This is very challenging, you should ensure you have a solid surfing style before attempting this trick and you should be able to perform cutbacks and floaters confidently. Firstly you should carry as much speed as possible towards the curling lip. Try to aim your board in the air, in the direction of the part of the lip from which you wish to launch off. Build up momentum and launch your board off the lip by making sure you push off the tail of your board. Once you are in the air push your back leg out and pull your knees right into your chest. Ensure you are still over the top of the board, then focus on the space below, locating where you wish to land. Make sure you bend your knees when the board hits the water so as to absorb the impact. Finally, ride away! This takes a lot of practice to make perfect but is worth the hard work.
When you are surfing it is important to have the correct gear. There are some companies which sell both clothing and accessories particularly to suit the tastes and lifestyle of surfers. Clothing can be worn for a day on the beach, and as general summer casual wear. Popular surfing brands include animal surf and Roxy. These top brands also sell a range of good quality surfing accessories including surfboards, leashes and repair kits.