Surfing in Baler’s Sabang Beach is one exciting recreation in the Aurora province. In fact, surfing is the reason why there’s an influx of tourists in the region in the past few years. Our guide “Leandro” told us that based on his observation; Baler’s tourism got boosted after its surfing spots were featured in the Philippine television program Kris TV in 2014.
We also learned from our guide that surfing in Baler started with the American soldiers that used to have a base in Subic, Olongapo. After they left, some locals who use to observe them tried building their own surfboards. They self-learned how to surf and it later became a popular sport in the area.
On top of surfing the internet, it was our first time to try real surfing. I felt that I have an edge to learn it quicker compared to my wife Juliet because I know how to roller skate and she doesn’t. She ended up doing it right ahead of me after just five attempts. It took me seven. At least we found out that it can be learned by anyone who doesn’t have any background in balancing.
Getting a Surfing Instructor
To save money on your surfing lesson, avoid getting a surfing instructor from the resort. There are roaming locals who would offer to teach you how to surf at a lower price. We can see in the picture below that Nalu Surf Camp’s rate is 350.00/hour with free picture & beer. We ended up learning how to surf for 150.00 pesos per person only.
It’s because a local offered to teach us for 300.00/hour including surfboard rental. He was flexible enough to let us divide it for the two of us. Each one of us practiced for 30 minutes at 150.00 each. It felt that the 30 minutes was very long because I didn’t expect that surfing is tremendously tiring. Juliet didn’t even spend her full 30 minutes after learning how to surf in five attempts. Forget the price, we’re just glad that we were spared from an exhausting 1-hour surfing.
Learning How to Surf
I won’t go about the details regarding your body position because it’s best taught and demonstrated by a surfing instructor. What I’ll be mentioning here are just general concepts that I learned from my experience that wasn’t taught by our instructor.
Look far ahead. Once you’re getting ready to stand up on the board, look far ahead to where you’re going instead of looking too much on the board. This concept worked for me as well when I was learning how to ride a bike.
Kneel on one foot first. This would actually depend on the length of your feet. Our trainer taught us a step that requires you to immediately stand up on the board but one of my knees kept on hitting the board in the process. I eventually stopped following his instructions on that and started trying to kneel on one foot first before standing up and it worked for me. It’s really important that you’re sensitive to your instincts on what will work best for you. I found out later that some surfers in Australia kneel first as well when we went to Bondi Beach.
Have fun. After I stopped getting frustrated and started to enjoy and have fun like it’s a game, that’s when I was able to do it. I was surprised because at the back of my mind I was thinking “here goes nothing again but I’ll just enjoy it.” I guess paralysis by analysis caught me in my early attempts.
I hope that these three tips will help you quickly learn how to surf during your visit to Baler. But beyond surfing, there’s so much more to enjoy in Baler. Please check out our guide below if you want to learn more.
Enjoy Surfing in Baler!