SURFING: PROS & CONS

by JJ Ferrer

JJ is coming with Surfista Travels to Siargao this August!

Thinking of taking a crack at SURFING? This sport is continuing to grow around the world and for folks who are looking into beginning an affair with surfing, it’s worthwhile to explore its pros and cons.

 You will surely find plenty of reasons to go surfing. To know how it could benefit you, let’s look at the awesome side of this sport.

 PROS:

Surfing is a GREAT workout. Fact: Surfers, especially the long-time ones, have flash-worthy bodies and it’s no wonder. From paddling out to the ocean, to popping up, to riding a wave, surfing works out different areas of your body. You exercise your arms, shoulders and back when paddling. You utilize your core and upper body when you pop up on your surfboard. And when you’re already standing, your leg strength and sense of balance keeps you up. So get ready to be fit because there are heaps of physical benefits that surfing could offer.

Manette Alcala from Siargao island is a tiny girl but very powerful!
Photo by Geoffrey White

The OCEAN is your playground. If you’re my kind and water is your happy place then just the thought of getting to play with Mother Ocean would be reason enough for you to go for a surf. Catching some waves is a good way to just take it easy and enjoy water time. It also takes you closer to nature and in the process, furthers your motivation in protecting the ocean.

These surfers from Siargao live right next to the Pacific ocean and they get to play in it almost every single day.

Feed your WANDERLUST. Unless you live right by the coast (lucky you!), you wouldn’t just simply go around the corner and drop by a neighborhood surf spot. You need to go to places where you can surf and the trip would be an adventure in itself. As a city girl, I always look forward to surf trips. Traveling is an enriching experience and a lot of surfers are embracing this truth. As you get so immersed into surfing, you will want to travel a lot to go to wherever there is a wave to catch.

Surfing means getting to travel to exotic islands, locations and countries!

Catch the STOKE. Surfing not only benefits your body, but also your mind. You hear surfers getting stoked all the time and you wonder what it means. It’s the rush that you get when you catch a wave. It’s the thrill you have when you know you’re being one with the ocean. It’s like fiesta in your head. And to better understand it, you need to experience it yourself.

Surfing brings out a different kind of “high” called STOKE – every time you catch a wave!

You don’t just do the sport, you live the LIFESTYLE. Surfing doesn’t stop when you get out of the water. It’s the road trip, the meals you have with your friends, the conversation you have about your stoked surf sessions over a couple of beers or dinner. You meet so many different kinds of people from all walks of life from around the world – all united by this lifestyle called surfing! It’s a relaxed and chill lifestyle filled with good vibes that you take that with you even when you go home.

Surfing brings an entire new world and lifestyle to your being once you immerse yourself in it. Prepare to have bigger, better, more open world.

 Are you convinced to go surfing yet? Good. Get ready to pack your bags and go for that surf trip. But to make sure you are completely geared up for it, you should know that surfing, with all the good stuff that it presents, also has another side.

 

Mike Escoltura of Siargao Island
Photo by Geoffrey White

CONS:

As like any other physical activity, there are risks. We all love the ocean but there are dangers out there. Surfboard injuries, drowning, hitting the sandbanks or the reefs and collisions on large crowds are only some of the hazards surfers face. Add to that a bunch of menacing sea creatures (eeek!) that none of us intend to have an encounter with. All these risks, however, are avertable if you come prepared. Take surfing lessons. Your instructors will give you pointers not only on surfing but also water safety. And always be attentive of your surroundings and fellow surfers.  Remember to surf only the waves that suit your ability. Best to listen to the locals, they will surely know if it’s alright to go out there or sit some waves out.

Boards and bones can possibly get broken in this sport – that’s a fact. But if you’re careful and take the necessary precautions, you can prevent yourself from unnecessary injuries.

 Surfing ain’t cheap. There’s a price to pay to enjoy this sport. But if you have a strategy, it wouldn’t be that expensive either. If you are to begin surfing, you can’t just show up by the beach and magically know how to surf. You need to take lessons. Good for you if you could score that for free but if you are to spend cash, make sure you hand over your precious money to reputable instructors. You’ll know it’s worth it. Also, because of the travel factor involved, you would need to spend to conquer your next waves. And when you are ready to buy your first surfboard, prepare yourself for some more money-spending. Again, it’s all a matter of creating a good financial arrangement that would suit your surfing fancy.

Brand new and custom made surfboards can get pretty expensive. But if you’re just beginning, there are many 2nd hand surfboards for sale out there.

Surfers have plenty of sun exposure. When surfing, you’ll be out in the sun for a long time and you are in great risk of getting sun-damaged skin especially your face. Protect yourself by finding the right sunscreen for you. Make sure you put it on properly and frequently. And while on the beach, wear hats and sunnies. Or seek some shade.  Make sure that you also look after your eyes and not just your skin. Sun rays could be really harmful but you can always take preventive measures to avoid the damages it could give.

Gotta protect your skin and use the proper sunscreen! Our recommended sunscreen: VMV’s Armada Sport.

Flat season is a sad season. For most surfers, absence of waves could mean gloom. But it could actually be a good time to learn and get involved with other fun pursuits.

It’s a bummer when the waves are flat but you can still get to do other fun things on the ocean.

One thing is for sure though, PROS definitely outweigh the cons. ;) Life is short, you have to live your dream and you really won’t get to experience anything new – especially surfing – if you get out of your comfort zone.

If you really are itching for some surf action though, how about you make it a quest to go where the waves are? Travel! Take a trip to find the waters that could wash away that gloom. Even more awesome if you let Surfista Travels arrange the trip for you! With the Philippines being surrounded with bodies of water, Surfista Travels could certainly take you to the best places to catch waves. 

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