PRE SURF TRIP FALLACIES – WHY SURF?

by Elaine Abonal

The FIRST time I ever went surfing in La Union in 2002 – and yup, I was the only chick!

         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!

SURF FALLACIES:

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.

Bikini bodies and six-pack abs – don’t worry those are just photoshopped! ;) Haha

 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!! ;)

SURFERS come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, colors and ages. Don’t let the physical stuff prevent you from living your dream!

 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.

Anni from Thailand, Michaela from USA, Kage & me from the Philippines & Philippa from Australia / South Africa – a mix of girls turned friends during a surf event in Siargao. We didn’t care if we were competitors, pros or contest coordinators – we were just surf chicks united by our love for the ocean :)

 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!

Time to get fit!! Stretching during before surf lessons during a Surfista tour in La Union.

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.

John’s first time to go surfing – he was a longboarder on the street and now on the water too!

 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.

Nasty jellyfish… I’ve been stung and it HURT. Be careful! Didn’t stop me from surfing though ;)

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!

Best look!? Big smile!

Everyone starts as a beginner. This is Maddy getting pointers in Baler. There’s something new to learn in every surf session.

Surfista Roma claiming her wave!! Doesn’t matter how big or small those waves are – as long as you’re having 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!

Check out the Thomas family from France surfing together during a private Surfista tour to La Union. A family that surfs together stays together, they say! ;)

 7.      The water is cold and I need a wetsuit. 

Are you sure you’re in the beautiful warm tropical archipelago called the PHILIPPINES? ;) 

We are sooooooo LUCKY and BLESSED to be live in this beautiful country!! Get out there and explore it, please!

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.

One of the most memorable Surfista groups because these Surfistas stayed friends and now go on their own surf trips. They’ve formed their own little surf family and that makes me totally happy :)

 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.

We make the surf lifestyle EASY, FUN and CONVENIENT for YOU at Surfista Travels. :) Ask the past Surfistas!

 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 surfistatravels@yahoo.com.

GET OUT THERE AND SURF!!! :)

JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE SURFISTA TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.

http://www.surfistatravels.com 

 surfistatravels@yahoo.com

http://www.facebook.com/SurfistaTravels

twitter: @SurfistaTravels     instagram: @SurfistaTravels

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1st Trip to Baler with Surfista Travels Philippines, December 2012

Beautiful Baler

Our happy Surfistas wearing their Hurley-Surfista rashguards before their surf lessons.

Surfista Travels Philippines went on our first trip to Baler on the long weekend of November 30 to December 2, 2012. It was a SUCCESSFUL and memorable trip for all the Surfistas who participated! We even had participants who flew in all the way from Malaysia and Bacolod/Australia and one took the bus all the way from Bicol just to join this group! They said that their trips were definitely worth it. The weather and wave conditions were perfect for our Surfistas and they also got to see the beautiful Mother Waterfalls in between surf lessons.

Aliya Surf Camp

Beautiful weather and perfect conditions for our Surfistas

We stayed at the beautiful Aliya Surf Camp and had lessons with the Aliya Surf School. Surfistas also received a lot of freebies from our amazing sponsors: Hurley Philippines, GoPro Philippines, VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines, Lightwater, Vitaminboost, Agos Pilipinas, 7107 Island Travel Magazine, Nalgene Philippines and Sea To Summit Philippines.

There were a lot of laughs, smiles, good vibes, and pictures taken and we couldn’t have asked for a better pioneer Baler Surfista group.

Check out our photos!

Surfistas on this trip actually got a full tube of Armada Face Cover from VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines!

Keeping hydrated with Vitaminboost!

Surfistas showing off their freebies from our awesome sponsors!

Surfista Travels LOVES VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines’ Armada sunscreen!

 

Mother Falls in Baler

Surfistas freezing in the cold waters of the Mother Falls in Baler

Australian volunteer in Bacolod Kerry improving her surf skils while she’s still in tropical waters!

Stacy flew in all the way from Malaysia to join this group! She loved surfing!

Repeat Surfista Roma was just in the La Union with us the week before and came back to Baler. Look at her improve quickly!

Hanz is another loyal Surfista who is really serious about improving his craft.

Madeleine is another repeat Surfista who wanted to discover the beauty of Baler with us!

The pioneer Surfista Travels group to Baler with Roy Angara of Aliya Surf Camp

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Of course we had to pose this way!

Check out more photos from this trip on the SURFISTA TRAVELS FACEBOOK PAGE or click HERE.

Want to read what our Baler Surfistas about this experience? Check out their COMMENTS.

JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.

http://www.surfistatravels.comsurfistatravels@yahoo.com / facebook.com/SurfistaTravels / twitter & instagram: @SurfistaTravels

Hurley – Surfista Rashguards EXCLUSIVELY for Surfista participants

Hurley Philippines is one of Surfista Travels Philippines’ awesome sponsors and they have provided these classy, well – made and customized  rashguards EXCLUSIVELY for Surfista participants. The participants of the Sembreak Surfista Camp 2012 were the first group who used them and they’ve been kind enough to model for us! We must say… they (both them and the rashguards!) look goooood. Thank you Hurley Philippines!

Like them on Facebook: facebook.com/hurleyph or follow them on Twitter: @hurleyph

Behind the Scenes with Ouisurf & Surfista Travels by Elaine Abonal

October 15, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, someone sent a message on the Surfista Travels Facebook page saying that they were producing a French-Canadian TV show showing 2 surfers looking for great spots to surf around Asia. They wanted to meet different and interesting people and that it was off-the-beaten-path kind of travel show. The show was inspired by the awesome surf website www.ouisurf.ca and they were coming to the Philippines. They needed my/Surfista Travels’ help to go around Luzon, help with fixing accommodations and transportation, have the connections to meet the right people, go surf with and have fun.

Check out their website – it’s in French but there’s a lot of good surf action in there!

It was why I created Surfista Travels in the first place – to help surfers and travellers – beginner or advanced – get to where they want to go and be able to share what I know about the beautiful surf spots and culture of the Philippines. So I said YES.

Cockfighting “Training” with Ben and Jean Michel

We were lucky to be allowed IN the cockfighting pit & have real 1st hand experience!

We spent a week filming, surfing and travelling with the crew of Ouisurf to film episodes about surf, people and culture in La Union and Baler, north of the Philippines. The locals in both places were kind enough to give us a portion of their time to share about Filipino culture – from food, cockfighting, skateboarding, secret and private surf spots, and just the beauty of the Philippines and its people. It was an amazing adventure and experience with these hardworking guys. It was really interesting, not just for me but for the locals that we interacted with, how much passion they have for surf, travel and the goodness of the other people. It’s true that the cameras helped (which Filipino doesn’t want to be in front of the camera?) but it was the sincerity and smiles of the entire crew that made filming fun for everyone.

At San Juan Surf Resort – visiting the more popular beach for surfing in Luzon
Ben, Elaine (me), Jean Michel & Luke

Interviewing Philippine surf star & Surfista brother Luke Landrigan

The guys from Ouisurf had a fun skate session with the Baler locals.

I had to be one of the guys & get over being a “princess” to surf Cemento reef!! Good training though and the locals took care of me so well.

Thank you to Roy Angara of Aliya Surf Camp Baler for personally driving us, showing us around & bringing us to the most beautiful surf spots!

It’s been an awesome experience with Ouisurf – behind the camera, in front of the camera, and while we weren’t filming. One great thing about TRAVEL is that even if you go to the same place, it changes depending on the people you are with and how you’ve changed yourself. My boundaries were pushed, I surfed the biggest waves I ever dared to (but won’t have photos til they start editing) and connected with new spots, new locals, and new experiences. I wish I could keep every amazing person I’ve met with me and put them in my pocket but I know our lives will go on and we’ll only get to keep the smiles and the memories.

Behind the scenes in La Union with Benjamin Rochette, Elaine Abonal and Jean Michel Peloquin

I wish I could keep every amazing person I’ve met with me and put them in my pocket but I know our lives will go on and we’ll only get to keep the smiles and the memories. Bon voyage!!

Can’t wait for how it’s going to turn out and I have no doubt that it’ll be great! We wish them luck as they continue their adventure to Siargao and around the world. Check them out at www.ouisurf.ca :)

Check out more Behind The Scenes PHOTOS on the Surfista Facebook page or click HERE.

Want to travel with Surfista and have the same kind of arrangement? We offer private and customized group tours. Click HERE or e-mail surfistatravels@yahoo.com.

September 2012 Surfista Trip by Hanz Cubillan

It didn’t really occur to me to take up surfing. I’ve been watching surfers come and go in my hometown of Siargao, but never really thought of learning it. So how did this start?

I remember just staying at home recovering from a nasty flu. I was checking pictures in Instagram under the hashtag #siargaoisland and came across Elaine Abonal’s profile. Seeing the pictures of my hometown and her riding the waves of Cloud Nine made me realize that, “hey, I should be doing that!” I added her up in Instagram and Facebook. Luckily, an upcoming Surfista trip was scheduled (Sept. 22-23), and I decided to join.

Instagram makes connections! Follow us @SurfistaTravels

I was quite anxious on the day of the trip. I realized I was going alone with no idea if I could do this… Arriving at San Juan Surf School, I was immediately taken by the relaxed atmosphere. At once, the sight of the ocean was welcoming. The sunrise beckoned new beginnings…

Hanz with his instructor, Manong Abe of San Juan Surf School

The moment we started the lessons, all I could think of was “you better stand up on that board!” Luckily, my first instructor, Kuya Abe, was really patient with me. Somehow, his vibe rubbed off on me. The edginess was gone, and voila, I was able to catch a wave…

And I caught another one, and then another one and then another one…It was an incredible feeling!

Documented & dream come true!! Hanz’ first time to ride on a wave!!

Buoyed by the confidence I got from the first day, the lessons the following day were a breeze (hah! Still had some wipeouts!) This time, Kuya Bash was my instructor. He was really “chill” so to speak, and always told me to have proper timing so that I can catch a wave. And catch numerous waves I did!

Towards the end of the trip, I realized that I haven’t felt this happy in a long time : )  Is this what they call “stoked”? I think so, and since everyone was in this state, no one wanted to leave! The bonds that were formed were strong enough to form new friendships!

Zinka fun with Manong Abe

Surfista trips are about new friends and fun!

I highly recommend Surfista trips to those who want to learn surfing. Surfista really watches out for its participants, and it shows in how they arrange everything for you – the transpo, accommodation…and did I mention we had sponsors? Never got thirsty thanks to Lighwater, didn’t get sunburned thanks to VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sun Screen, had a blast painting our faces with Zinka and filmed our stoked moments with GoPro cameras! I really gotta have those bags from Sea to Summit and water bottles from Nalgene in my next surf trip. Not to mention cool stuff to wear from Agos and Hurley!

New memories we’ll never forget

What else can I say? I loved the company I was with, the lessons, the instructors, the organizer (Elaine rocks!) and the whole trip itself.

Finally meeting and hanging out in person after being Instagram & Facebook friends, Hanz with Surfista owner Elaine Abonal

Most of all, I realized , I love surfing.

Thank you, Surfista Travels!

Officially completing a weekend of surf lessons with his fellow Surfistas

Hanz with his team of September 2012 Surfista participants!

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