Friday, November 25, 2011

Learning to Surf in Baler, Aurora Province



I grew up in New Guinlo, Taytay, Palawan where I kiss the shallow, brackish water of Malampaya Sound good morning! 

Swimming from New Guinlo's shore to the little island back and forth was our daily routine.

Paddling while the sun sets at the back of Mount Kapoas was a splendid memory of my childhood.

'twas my recreational activities everyday rather than of surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, jet-skiing. These are rich kids activities, I thought.

The idea of surfing in my sports activities during my younger days was not in my sport category. I do not consider surfing as a sport rather than of a recreational activity. 

Paddling a surfboard, waiting for the perfect wave for 10 minutes and stand up and ride it for less than 1 minute. is the surfer's idea of "enjoyment" 

I didn't get it. It was boring...

until my cousin, Mike, invited us in Baler for a short vacation.....




Fearful,

I braved the waves of Pacific Ocean with my instructor.

Standing upright on a surfboard was my ultimate challenge.

Before jumping into surfing and get your feet wet, there are many things to learn starting out, like equipment,  terminology, safety precautions and surfing etiquette.

Essential equipment that you need are surfboard with surfboard leash, 

one piece suit or wet suit, surfing wetsuits are very important.

sunblock,

and the most important... perseverance.

Longboard is the ideal surfboard for beginners because it has more paddling speed and stability than shorter boards. 

Midsize or funboards are also a popular shape for beginners as they combine the volume and stability of the longboard with the manageable size of a smaller surfboard.




There are different types of surfboards for rent in Sabang Beach ranging from PhP 350/hour to PhP 1000/day including basic surfing instruction and a buddy surfer.

Surfing lessons started on the beach, like Make Up Tutorials it was really easy.

It can be broken into several skills: paddling, duck diving/eskimo roll, drop in positioning to catch the wave, the pop-up, and positioning on the wave.



Have you learned to ride a bicycle when you were a kid? 

If yes, you might understand a little bit about what it takes to learn to surf.

Biking involves an awkward combination of pushing off while trying to balance and steering wildly before falling over. 

Eventually, you will get it. 

Surfing is almost the same. It requires balance and coordination.

Like the first moment of balancing on two wheels after a series of falls,

maneuvering upright on a surfboard was incredible!

Just like applying Make Up through the guide of some  Cosmetics Tips. Below are the Surfing tips I've found online to help you out.




Surfing begins when the surfer paddles toward shore in an attempt to match the speed of the wave. Do not forget to put your leash on your back leg.

Paddling - requires strength but also the mastery of techniques to break through oncoming waves (duck diving, eskimo roll). Raise your chest up with your arms so that the water passes between you and the board.

Duck diving/eskimo roll - Just as the wave is about to hit you, roll over on your back (roll the board too), and pull the nose of the board down. Then roll back up. Duck-diving is a technique to allow you to pass under breaking waves when paddling out, rather than getting hammered by each breaking wave.  



Drop in positioning to catch the wave - Catching the wave, can be tricky, and it requires significant upper-body strength. Pick a wave that has not broken and be sure to sit far enough out among the sloping swells, not where the waves are standing up straight. 

Lean forward but raise your chest so that your weight is just above the centre of the board.   You should now be sliding down into the trough of the wave.  

 The first phase of surfing will entail that you wait until you are in the flat water in front of the wave before you stand up.   However, the ideal is to begin standing just as you feel the pull of the wave. 




Positioning on the wave - Paddle for a wave and just as you feel the momentum of the surfboard flow faster than your paddling speed, you are ready to hop up.

With your hands firmly grasping each rail push up quickly.

Simultaneously, extend your arms completely and pull your knees quickly up to your chest.   Be sure to keep your weight centred with just a little slant forward.





Place your feet firmly on your board, one foot near the tail and one foot just above the midpoint of the board.

Don't stand up completely erect.   Keep a low centre of gravity by crouching down and focusing your weight on the midpoint of the board.   Keep your arms out, your eyes looking forward and balance.






Surfing could be a little intimidating if you don't know important things about it. The local surfers out on the waves can lose their patience with newbies who don't know the rules and big surfing no-no's.


Surfing tends to be pretty free form but there are certain accepted rules, mostly based on safety and common sense.

Wave Ownership (The My Wave Rule)

The person closest to the breaking part of the wave has the right of way. Be aware of other surfers and water users, of the surf conditions, and of where you are surfing. Also, make sure you are not taking anyone else's wave. If someone is up and riding, paddling into the wave behind them does not give you the wave. In many low-key breaks, the first person paddling for the wave owns it. Do not expect this to apply in crowded conditions.

Dropping In (The Thou Shalt Not Rule)

Dropping in is taking off on a wave in front of someone who is already up and riding. Don't do this. Ever. No exceptions.

Paddling Out (The Eat It Rule)

When paddling out, if you must get over a wave that someone is riding, paddle behind them (On the white water side). This generally means getting stuffed for the sake of someone else's ride. Take comfort in the hope that they would do the same for you. Do not paddle in front of someone unless you are so sure that you will be 20 feet in front of them that you are willing to bet the well-being of your board/car/nose on it.



--oo--0--oo--



My impression about surfing totally changed with my challenging experience. 

Now I understands why surfers love this sport,

It was really addicting,

Reliever from stress somehow,

I will definitely try again in Baler,

where I learned,

SURFING IS FREEDOM.