Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stoked in La Union

Stoked, in surfing, is an adjective that means to be completely and intensely enthusiastic, exhilirated or excited about something. If you've surfed in La Union, you might be able to relate to this banner.

Personally, this is what stoked looks like.

The trip I made with friends last weekend was a surprising self-discovery: I love balancing on boards and riding (baby) waves. Let's see if I will pursue my surfer chic dreams once I try the real waves.

With zero board-balancing and wave-riding experience, I started the journey by going with a bonafide surfer dude friend for a weekend surf trip turned despedida activity for another friend.

Once in La Union, the beach is hard to ignore, that's what water babies usually say. Scattered on the short stretch of beach are surf schools which offer board rentals (PhP 200) and instructor fees (at PhP 200)/ hr. Once you have decided to give it a try, surfing starts on the beach - literally surfing on the sand.

La Union instructors teach you:

1. The basic parts of the board: nose, tail, rail and leash. Never go out without your leash on.
2. How to wait out for the waves.
3. How to pop-up: standing on the board.
4. How to stay balanced.
5. How to get-off the board safely.

Don't worry, I forgot all of them once I was on prone position on the board.

Because I love the water, I hardly fear the waves, falling off the board and I just did what I am supposed to do. Pop-up has been the hardest for me as you need arm and core strength to stand up while the board is riding the wave. Once you get the hang of it, especially in quickly popping up, you start riding waves.

Start with the baby ones.

Then determination kicks in. 

At this point, I hit the beach at 6:30 AM to have the surf to myself and simply ride waves. Woohoo! 

Please take note of the expression on my instructor's face. Proud moment, eh?

Don't be fooled, it's not all glamorous. You have to tow your board back...

... And you fall...

You'll get bruises and body aches. I am nursing body malaise and cough which I might have gotten from a bug but progressed to an illness due to lack of sleep and intense activity.

The beach gets crowded so be prepared to share waves with beginners like you.

I find surfing fun because it gives me the right amount of adrenaline rush plus it's a very good work out for all the muscles that matter: arms, abs, butt and legs. And I got to do it in the water and get some good tan! What more can I ask for?

It's also fun because I got to get to know a few more people in this weekend trip.

We stayed at Sebay Hotel and it's decent enough and spent our meal times at Kahuna Hotel - where food and service are much better.

If you are planning a trip to La Union, please be ready for an additional 2 hours of travel time due to the road works done in Pangasinan.

I think I have found a new sport, I already cancelled my planned (learning to) dive trip next month and booked another surfing trip with friends this time in Baler.

I'll update you where this interest will lead us and to Glenn, all the best my dear! -(",)-*wink*

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