Surf Instructors are My Surf Heroes by Elaine Abonal

I just want to say that the real HEROES are the SURF INSTRUCTORS. I’ve seen some of them grow from surf bum kids to responsible hard working men and women who really LOVE their job, their students, and the ocean. They SMILE and push – not only themselves but their students – to stand up, SURF, and HAVE FUN – despite being tired or hungry because of many eager students, despite being under the hot blazing sun, despite being stung by jellyfish, despite shaking in the cold during sunset surf lessons, and despite watching beautiful waves break as they teach. I know many of them have SAVED SO MANY LIVES – children being caught in currents, panic-stricken surfers who lose their boards (like me), non-thinking drunk men who think swimming in their jeans would be cool. They are my heroes.


Me (Elaine) in the white Hurley shirt with the instructors of the San Juan Surf School in La Union, Philippines

“One more, one more.” It takes a lot of encouragement and patience to be an instructor in the water.


When you go take your surf lesson, please know the name of your surf instructor, talk to them, and thank them. They are people with names, lives, and surf dreams – just like you. Be thankful to the person who pushed you into your very first wave because you never know – they could already be changing your life.


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I feel honored to be working with you guys and see how professional – in surfing and in instructing – so many of you have become. Let’s keep it up, we’re changing the Philippine surf world. ♥ – Elaine Abonal


All photos by Nikka Corsino and Owen Ballesteros of

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