Surfing adventure in La Union

I have always loved water sports. If I remember it well, I was around 12 when I first went to a water park and that is where I had my first experience with water (in a way different than usual). Rides, waves, fountains and it was all great fun. But I consider water parks to be an indoor and closed place. Sporting out in the open water is much more than that. I got the first opportunity when I was an exchange student in Taiwan. Since this is an island, there are a lot of places which offer water sports. I had gone to the place called Kenting and had my first adventure with water sports. There is a thing about water sports. It takes courage to do them. I have fear of water and I can not swim so I always make sure that either I have a life jacket or I do not go in depths more than my throat. Once these conditions are settled, the time spent in water is worth remembering. I overcome my fear and challenge myself to do the things I have not yet done in my life.

La Union is a province in Luzon, Philippines. It is mainly known for surfing because the waves in San Juan (a city in La Union) are very ideal for surfers, at least for beginners. There are a lot of beach resorts and surf lesson providers on the main beach of San Juan.

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Morning view of the beach. The surf lessons usually start from 7. So I made sure that I am before that to capture some silent shots. I was expecting to see the sunrise but I should have carried a compass to realize that I was in a wrong direction LOL
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You can see these huts and that is where you can find a lot of instructors sitting around. For every resort, there are particular instructors. They all should be equally capable as they have grown up between these waves.
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Ah! This girl loves surfing too. Well, who would not? Everyone in San Juan loves to surf. Once you go there, you will fall in love as well.

I reached the beach around 10 in the morning. One of my friend from La Union had already told me about two instructors, Royd and Ray, who can be found in Sebay. I started looking for Royd after reaching and he was there in some time. It costed us 200 PHP per hour for the board (It is 500 PHP for half day and 800 PHP for whole day) and another 200 PHP per hour for the instructor. In all, I took lesson for two hours so all the surfing for me was covered in 800 PHP. At the beginning, Royd taught me few basic positions about how to get on and lay down on the board.

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This is the normal position where the board is balanced in water by our body itself. You can see Royd in the picture. Can you?

The next step is when you will stand on the board. Usually the surfers paddle by themselves to get some speed. But in my case, Royd used to give my board a push before the wave strikes and I had around 2-3 seconds to stand up on the board. This is one of the difficult tasks as new surfers usually fall before they even begin to stand. However, after (not) a lot of trials, I managed to just stand on the board. But the thing was not yet over!

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Trying to get hold on the board without falling. A guy can be seen at my back who is about to stand. Royd told me some useful points about the body posture which really helped me to avoid the instant fall.

But even after managing to stand on the board, the chaos of the wave behind me always got me falling again. I remember Royd telling me that don’t let the water get you off the board so easily, fight to stand. And it really inspired me at that time and that is when I learned to balance myself while standing on the board.

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Hell yeah! The boy is in full flow. I do not have the video but I was moving my body as per the direction the wave was trying to move me. And this is the moment it felt absolutely wonderful and my trip to La Union really paid off.
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And every fall tells you to get up again. But time’s up LOL. My surfing hour was over with this last ride. I can not wait to have the board under my feet again.

By the time I had taken shower, I was extremely hungry and therefore walked to the nearby restaurant called Surf Shack and ate like anything. This is a good place to eat, I will recommend it well. Apart from La Union, there are other places to surf in Philippines. But if you are in Luzon, do not forget to either go to San Juan or Baler as they offer you an experience worth remembering.

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