Although I can’t say i’m a professional, I love surfing as much as they do, and I would even try out other sports similar to it. So, last week, as a birthday gift to myself, I took advantage of my days off of work to try something new. I checked the forecast and I saw that the swell was gonna be good in all surf spots within 5 to 6 hour travel time. I knew it was gonna be a rainy vacation, but it didn’t matter. I decided to learn bodyboarding. I connected with a friend of mine who was the only bodyboarder I knew, and I asked for advice about basics and equipment. I also searched the internet for instructions on bodyboarding 101. I asked our manager at Decathlon for permission to take the Tribord bodyboard for beginners, along with the basic neoprene wetsuit and a pair of fins. As I had everything I needed for the trip, I went off to explore!
I bought the 5am bus ticket from Cubao, and it took around 5 hours for me to arrive at San Felipe, Zambales. Going off the bus, I then rode a tricycle to the surf spot which only took around 10mins. The driver helped me find a nice private room for the night that only cost 600 pesos. There are also other cheaper options you could get for a bunk bed or a nipa hut by the shore. All things in place, I then checked the beach. The waves weren’t the best for surfing, but it was good enough to learn bodyboarding.
I went back to my room and dressed up for the session. The wetsuit perfectly fit, bodyboard with leash stuck to my left arm, and the fins I carried with my right hand. Of course, I also brought along my waterproof camera for documentation!
I got to the spot, ecstatic about this new sport, and a big smile on my face (which, for the record, lasted for the rest of the trip…so you can imagine this smile all throughout my story ;P). Since I personally did not like to wear fins for starting, I decided to go barefoot. I brought the board to the water and recalled what I learned from the internet—walk on the water until it was knee-high, lay on the board, start paddling the feet, and head towards the wave. A 2-feet wave was what I got. Just when I was about 5 meters from it, I twisted my body to turn around—my back to the wave, just like I do when surfing. My hands gripped on the nose of the board (the front tip), and I started paddling my feet. As I continued paddling towards the direction of the wave, I felt it lift the board from the back, and pushed me forward. I tilted the board a bit upwards, and started gliding with the wave. I did the same steps a couple of rounds more until I decided to take the fins. At first it was a bit of a struggle to get through the water, but as I started paddling, I noticed the big difference. Then I understood why the fins were a big factor. I felt more power in paddling and I moved faster. As the next wave headed towards me, I turned around, paddled, and there I was, riding the wave…bodyboarding.
Two friends who I just met were also there and they took some pictures. One of them even tried the board too. We paddled, rode, smiled, laughed, and just enjoyed. No formal lessons, nor any good waves, but it was a great experience. I will be riding more waves with Tribord.