For someone who panics on deep water, going surfing is the last thing I would do. But despite my slight agoraphobia, I really wanted to do it. The fact that you are default “cool” if you surf (at least I think), I just couldn’t pass out an opportunity of increasing my cool points.
So, I and my friends went to the surfing town of San Juan, La Union – a six-hour bus ride from Manila.
San Juan’s part of the major surfing circuit area in the Philippines and to is next to Siargao as a well-known surfing destination. April’s a surfing low season and the small & gentle waves were perfect for beginner surfers. The water’s also only six feet deep, and that helped me eased up.
We took our lessons with Sebay Surf Central, one of the well- known surf resorts and school in San Juan.
The lessons started on the ground with the parts of the surfboard, techniques falling properly (so the board doesn’t hit you), finding your balance and paddling out.
But the fun starts when we went on water. The instructor finds a good wave, shouts “READY!”, and I’m expects me to stand-up.
I remained unsuccessful on the first waves while my friends already managed to stand up. In between my failures, my instructor would drag me back and correct my mistakes.
“You need to bend your knees”
“You need to step into the middle of the board”
“ Do not kneel down when you stand”
“ Smile and look cool”
He said it was all about following the right position, striking the perfect balance on the board and knowing which wave to catch. And now, you ask, WAS I ABLE TO STAND-UP?
I’m not the most athletic person and definitely far from the stereotype surfer but I didn’t need any of that as by the middle of the lesson, I STOOD UP!
And after a few more attempts, I stood-up longer! And finally, I got to surf until the beach!
There are no words really to describe the feeling of standing up and actually surfing the waves!
The unfortunate part though was there were no photos of me surfing. No one took photos as we all went for the lessons. For now, you just have to take my word for it.
I must say that this experience made me want to go and surf again – maybe in Siargao or even go to Bali or Hawaii. And definitely, I would recommend the Sebay instructors as they made someone as awkward as me to actually surf.
I was impressed with my instructor, who patiently taught and got me to surf on the better waves for a better experience. He’s very passionate about surfing and you can never go wrong with a person who loves what he is teaching.
Surfing for beginners is not as tough as it looks. THINK that if penguins or mutant turtles can do it, then seriously what’s stopping us from doing it, right? Okay, they ARE cartoons but I must say that I find learning how to surf easier than I expected.