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6 Things to You Need to Know If You're a First-Time Surfer

Catch that wave!
6 Things to You Need to Know If You're a First-Time Surfer
IMAGE BJ Pascual
Catch that wave!

Nina Santamaria of Coast Thru Life gives us the highs and lows—but mostly the highs—of surfing in local seas.

1. Starter Pack

IMAGE BJ Pascual

"A rashguard, a foam board or any longboard, a good instructor, and lots of sunblock!"

2. When and Where

IMAGE BJ Pascual

"La Union, Pagudpod (Ilocos Norte), and Siargao—La Union and Pagudpud's waters are part of the South China Sea, while Siargao is along the Pacific Ocean. On the South China Sea side, one can surf in Zambales, Pagudpud, Bataan, even Batangas. On the Pacific Ocean side, there's Baler, Eastern Samar, and Davao. Always check wave conditions before going so you're sure there's surf waiting for you. Surf season comes when the rains start, as early as late June or July and lasts until February."

3. Surf Spots

"The good thing about surf spots is that you can just spread a blankie on the beach and chill out with friends and it's an automatic hangout joint for everybody, dogs and humans alike."

"In La Union, El Union Coffee is popular for its coffee and location. For pizza and after-surf drinks and lounging, Flotsam and Jetsam is best. We also like the local Ilocano cuisine at Angel and Marie's"

4. Lodging

"For La Union, I can recommend San Juan Surf Resort, Flotsam & Jetsam, and Kahuna Resort. For Pagudpud, there's only Kapuluan Vista Resort—they use their own organically grown ingredients in their meals. For Zambales, there's Circle Hostel. If it's just a day trip, sometimes we don't need to rent a room because we just keep everything in the car or board bag. In Baler, our favorite is Aliya Surf Camp; it's right across the surf spot; they have good food, and sometimes jamming at night. In Siargao, check out Siargao Inn—cool surf-family vibe!—or Kalinaw Resort."

5. A Typical Day

IMAGE BJ Pascual

"It's ideal to wake up at 6am to check out wave conditions. We like to surf all throughout morning until lunchtime. Siesta follows. At 4pm, we get back in the water and surf until sundown, then shower and dinner, and maybe a drink or two to cap off the night. All surfers are usually dead-tired and ready to hit the sack by 10pm."

6. Do's and Don'ts

IMAGE BJ Pascual

DO respect other surfers in the water, especially the locals.

DON'T forget to put fresh wax on your surfboard before every session.

DO get an instructor first if you are a beginner.

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DON'T forget to wear sunblock all the time.

DO take care of your mind and body's health and have fun! 

*This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of Preview Magazine.

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