“Get ready,” my surfing instructor told me as he held my board waiting for that big dose of wave. “Stand!” he added as he released the board with the immense wave. For some, I found myself standing exhilaratingly on the surfboard and for some, having some spins on the ocean floor.
Surfing in Baler was one of our goals in visiting this quaint town in Aurora. Afternoon of our first day was occupied by the activity except for those few hours spent sleeping on the comforts of our bed at Las Olas Inn. An alarm from one phone was our lucky sign to experience the waves of Baler.
Looking for a spot to park the van, we unexpectedly made our way to Aliya Surf Resort. As you know, this is a leading resort and surf school in town. We were hesitant at first because we might be charged higher than the normal one but we even got a Php50 discount for the Php350 surfing rate due to our number.
The lady in-charged obliged us all to sign for the waivers and at the same time collecting the fees for the one hour board rental with surfing lesson. It started to drizzle when the friendly surf guides gave us a crash course on surfing.
“Prone flat on the board, put your legs into a “4” position, your hands just below your chest and when I say stand, leap and balance yourself on the board.“ I seriously memorized his tips as it was my first time to try surfing. He also added that whenever I make a successful transition to stand on the board, “Don’t make your legs stiff, just relax and look straight for you to balance perfectly.”
After the two-minute super crash course on surfing, he already secured the leash on my left ankle and in the water we went. There were a couple of waves but he tried to check some normal ones for a first timer like me. I was on the board, and he immediately shouted signaling me to get ready. With the tips he told me, I stood and fell instantly. That was my first ever ride, if you’ll consider it.
We continued to wait for waves as it grew larger and the rain pouring a bit harder. Two or more downs, my leg cramped. I created a T sign using my hands and we headed back to the shore. That time, his friend just finished using a long board, he exchanged it with the one I was using and after a few seconds, when he confirmed comforts on my leg, we found ourselves back to the water. He made an assurance that I will get to stand because the new board was longer, wider, and easier to balance.
To my surprise, on the maiden ride of the new board, I saw myself surfing the waves to the shore. Excitement got in and I went back few meters out of the shore. For a couple of times, I was able to enjoy the perks of riding the waves and it was really true that it brings an unexplainable feeling to whoever is standing on that board, joining the waves to the shore.
I was lucky to get a surfing instructor who, at every ride, tries to correct the things that have gone wrong for you to stand the waves and avoid being startled by them. Some of the instructions he gave were to fall on your back not to jump in front, not to hold the board itself when you’re in the water but the leash instead because the board might hit you.
An instruction I usually forget that led to a contraction of an index finger and a contusion on my left arm. It resulted when the board hit me. Fortunately, the guide was able to notify me before the incident because the board would’ve hit me in the head, from the back.
Waves started to get crazy when the instructor said “Last 2 waves!” I know that the fee we paid was for an hour and it seems that I’ve just been surfing for less than 45-minutes. I didn’t oppose his statement as I already enjoyed the activity for the numerous times of successfully standing on the surf board.
The vanishing under the waves, rolling and scraping on the ocean floor with salt water and even sand making their way to your throat, and some injuries, were worthless compared to the delight it brings every time you make a triumphant surf. It was my first time to get stoked, and I now believe what my friends usually tell me, you will be hooked the first time you try it.