by Elaine Abonal
You’ve always wanted to learn how to surf and watching those movies or photos of those carefree-always-happy-ocean-lovers has once made you say, “Someday I’m going to try that. I’m gonna surf.” So why haven’t you? What is stopping YOU from going on that first surf trip, first surf ride or first surf experience?
You may say you’re shy, scared, or are just hesitant to try it. I get it. I was in your position once upon a time but after a lot of surf trips, wipe outs and islands visited, I guess I could say I’ve learned a thing or two about the truths and fallacies when it comes to this whole world of surfing. Here are some statements – mostly fallacies – broken down and explained to tell you what it’s REALLY like – and hopefully will give you a better picture and make you actually GET OUT THERE and SURF with us!
1. I need to have 6 pack abs, beautiful tanned skin and sun-kissed golden hair before I can start surfing.
NO you don’t. You don’t HAVE TO be anything but YOURSELF. There is no weight, body type nor age requirement before you could start surfing. The beauty in surfing is that you get to meet so many DIFFERENT kinds of people from all over the world in ALL shapes, sizes, colors, styles, nationalities and ages. All you really need is a positive attitude, good vibes and a hunger to learn.
But I have to say – because surfing is really good exercise for your body and you ARE exposed to a beautiful amount of sunshine, you may eventually end up being more fit, ending up with sun-kissed hair and skin and looking and feeling better both on the inside and out. Just BE YOURSELF and have fun! I heard the happier and more fun you’re having, the HOTTER you actually end up being!! ;)
2. Surfers are scary and cliquish!
Yup, surfers bite. Haha kidding, it MAY seem that way in the beginning. Because of all the time surfers spend together in AND out of the water, we end up becoming really good friends. That should ENCOURAGE you because you know that you’ll be making a new set of buddies (even a crush or a boyfriend / girlfriend oooh la la!! ;) once you start surfing or join a Surfista group.
You’ll see – once you’ve laughed about each other’s wipeouts, accidental wardrobe malfunction anecdotes, and shared more than a couple of hours in a van, plane or boat together, you’ll be forging bonds and making new sets of friends. Plus, being in a Surfista group feels like being in a family or a barkada each time. Ask the past Surfistas! ;)
3. I’ve never tried a sport before.
Well then, NOW is the perfect time to start! Remember, surfing isn’t just a sport. It’s a LIFESTYLE. It’s the road trip, hanging out with friends, getting in the water, sharing stories on the beach with a beer or two and doing that every single time you go on a trip. It’s not just a “scary” sport, it’s also a FUN and life-changing (should we say enhancing?) lifestyle!
Surfing can be tiring and requires a lot of energy. It helps a lot to be fit and to be a good swimmer especially when you’re taking on the big waves. But if we’re talking about just TRYING it and getting started, then I promise that it won’t feel like those boring treadmill walks at the gym. Standing up for the first few times and riding your own waves is going to be SO MUCH fun, you’ll forget about the jelly arms that you’ll feel at night.
4. There are sharks and monsters in the water.
There ARE creatures in the ocean (besides that freaky guy who keeps dropping in on you or staring at your bikini bottom). Remember, WE are the ones who borrowing water space from other ocean creatures so we should respect them. Being in the water a lot exposes you to Mother Nature and it’s a beautiful thing! There’s nothing more peaceful than seeing fish, sea turtles, dolphins, birds and even butterflies (yep I have proof!) out there while you’re on your board.
There are NO recorded shark attacks in the Philippines (that I know of!!) and we don’t have Great White Sharks like in other colder countries. There ARE definitely jellyfish, nikniks, sea urchins, etc. once in a while – some that sting a bit, some that sting a LOT, so it’s best be aware of the conditions and always ask the locals what’s out there. Nothing someone’s pee can’t handle. (Just kidding.)
It’s normal – we have to deal with these things as surfers!
5. I’m going to look stupid and look like a beginner!
OF COURSE you’re going to look like a beginner because you ARE one! Everyone starts somewhere and there’s no shame in that. It’s actually the most exciting part because you’ll be going from having no surf experience at all to riding waves in no time. And who cares about you looking stupid? The best surfers are the ones having the biggest smiles and having the most fun!
Those graceful and kickass photos you see of surfers from all over the country and the world are just a split second glance of what they really look like out in the water. Our hair gets all over our faces, our tongues are out when we paddle for a wave, our wipeouts are hilarious – and that’s what makes it all fun!
6. I have no time, no money and no permission from my parents.
I believe that if there’s a WILL, there’s always a WAY. If there’s something you REALLY want to do in this life, you’ll work harder to earn that extra cash so you can do it. When I will still studying in university, I saved allowance money and studied for my Philosophy classes at the beach just so I could surf as much as I wanted to. And not only did I pass, I aced those tests if you were wondering. Must’ve been all the adrenaline and stoke in my brain! And as for parents (which is a common concern I get from students) – well why don’t you bring your mom and dad with you on a surf trip and see how happy it makes you and how fun it actually is? That’s what I did with my family and as soon as they saw that it was a beautiful surf world and my Surf Camp family kept me safe, they were less worried. Who knows? Your mom or dad might even want to try it!
7. The water is cold and I need a wetsuit.
Are you sure you’re in the beautiful warm tropical archipelago called the PHILIPPINES? ;)
8. I need to be with my entire group of friends or family.
No, you don’t. The only thing you need to start surfing is the ocean, waves, a surfboard and your COURAGEOUS SELF. Not everyone wants to try the same thing or people have conflicting schedules. Fortunately for you, groups were created like SURFISTA TRAVELS PHILIPPINES so that you can try surfing with other lone travellers/adventurers so that you can still be independent but have fun with other people. The surf barkadas (group of friends in Tagalog) you see on Facebook are actually composed of different individuals united by their new love – surfing! You’ll make your own new surf family (I love mine a lot – and it keeps growing) soon enough.
9. I have no way to do it and nobody is going to help me!
What are you talking about!? This is why I started Surfista Travels Philippines!!
SURFISTA TRAVELS PHILIPPINES offers surf tour groups and packages which include transportation, accommodation, surf lessons, and board rentals. It is perfect for people who live in Manila who would like to get away and try something new for the weekend or for tourists who want to explore and see the Philippines in a different way! We work with the best surf resorts and surf schools so that you will have the most amazing experience.
So what are you waiting for? Get rid of your doubts, let your experience speak for itself and just HAVE FUN, make new friends, explore the Philippines and SURF with us. If you have other questions or concerns, you may check out our FAQ page or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE SURFISTA TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.