A beginners guide to surfing.

Cloud Nine boardwalk Siargao

Surfing Philippines

So suitably stripped (I kept my T-shirt on so my bright white skin didn't dazzle people) I was introduced to my learning board - called a longboard and we headed for the beach beside cloud 9. Dun Dun is my instructor and we chatted as we took the short walk to the beach, he then started wading through the surf and kept talking not anything to do with surfing just general chit chat, I reminded him that I had no idea what to do and he said not to worry when we get into the waves he will show me....

Now I had expected maybe a talk on the beach explaining the principles of surfing and even practicing on solid ground before heading out to sea surf board in tow but it seems that surfers are more of a get on and do it crowd than a stay in the classroom type.

Instructors leading out new victims at Cloud Nine

Surfing Philippines

As the water reached waist deep Dun Dun told me to climb onto the board. Now I know it may look easy but I quickly learnt that you cant go feet first onto the surf board, this results in the board flipping over and catapulting you away - now I know why they tie the board to your ankle - so it cant escape, I also realize that the innocent looking surfboard actually has a life of its own with a mission to tip you off into the water at any signs of weakness or instability ... ok its me vs. the surfboard!

Dun Dun demonstrates the correct way to mount the board, head then belly and then I cautiously stalk the board from behind then seize it in the middle and slide on ... I am aboard Hooray but the board is not so easily taken and as a wave bobs by it casually leans to one side and dumps me back in the water!
As I surface spluttering Dun Dun is laughing and I am sure the board is grinning...
Third try, head, belly then stay in the middle and hold on, bobbing with the board, this time I stay on, round one to me.

Next Dun Dun showed me how to paddle the board while lying down, that I found quite easy, and we made our way into the real waves.

' Now put your feet together toes down onto the board and as you feel the board rise paddle as quickly as you can, then as you gain speed and start to feel the push of the wave push up with your hands like doing a press-up, put your feet on the board, right foot first at the back centre then left foot front centre and keep your legs bent. Now go...'

And he launched me forward and off I went still processing what I should do in which order, the board seized its chance and unceremoniously dumped me into the water before I had gone 2 meteres.
Round 2 to the board.

'What happened' cried Dun Dun ... where do I start? I started paddling then pushed up then splash.

Watching others show me how its done

Surfing Philippines

'Ok ' says Dun Dun ' lets find you a bigger wave it's easier' .... I heard the board chuckle with delight...

So preparing
Lying in the centre of the board .... Check
Shoulders two thirds down .... Check
Feet together toes down Check


picking an approaching wave

Now go ... Paddle, paddle, paddle,
I can hear Dun Dun shouting 'get up get up'

Ok so hands on the board pushing up Check
right foot up Check
left foot up Check
Tossed off again Check

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