August 28, 2014

Surfing in San Juan

June 7, 2014. A few minutes drive away from Thunderbird Poro Point is San Juan beach. Famous for its soft-peeling waves and short rides -- the place is just perfect for surfing beginners like ourselves.

San Juan Surf School is arguably the most popular surf school in the area. With Filipino-Australian surfer Luke Landrigan at the helm, they boast of an internationally-accredited surf training program and the use of soft boards -- all true to their commitment of offering fun, friendly and safe surfing experience.

Each of us get our own instructor. Our lesson started with a briefing about safety and standing techniques. After which, it was time to pick up our boards, run to the shore and paddle into the ocean.

Waiting for the wave.
The first ones to go were my daughter and my husband and they were able to stand on their first ride! Okay, so it kinda made me more nervous and excited and it added more to the pressure. Haha. 

Next up is my son and I. We were told to get ready as our instructors pushed our boards in time with the wave. I carefully tried to find my balance, stood up and rode the wave as far as I can and hopped off my board before it hits the sand. I might also have screamed a little during the ride as the speed took me by surprise. It was exciting, it was exhilarating and I love it!   

Surfs Up!

And so the cycle begins, we wait for the wave, we try to ride the wave and we paddle back to our spot. There are moments when we immediately flop, moments when we get to stand a little on our board before we lose our balance, and sweet moments when we get to ride the wave to the shore. We got wiped out, we got pounded by the waves, we got hit by our surf boards, my son even fell face first on the sand. It was one of the craziest and most fun we had. 

The hour sped by really fast -- too fast actually especially for the kids who insisted on surfing until closing hours! We were lucky it wasn't that hot even though it was middle of the day when we had our lessons.

To cap off our fun and tiring activity, we had lunch at the resort. They serve really good food that's reasonably priced. 

Rates start at P400 for an hour of surfing lessons and includes use of a soft surfboard and rash guard. They also offer packages that include accommodation at the resort.

A few things you need to know if you want to try this activity:

1. You should know how to swim (I think this one's a given). Although the water's not really that deep (instructors need to be able to stand on water), this is still a must. 
2. There's no minimum age. As long as the kid knows how to swim, is not afraid of the water, and can handle himself if he gets wiped out and gets pounded under water. This happened to us a couple of times. My son even hit the shore and ate sand on one of his rides (he said he enjoyed the ride so much he didn't want to jump when he reached the shore).
3. The surf school is open all year round. Surfing is possible any time of the year but the best season is in October to April.
4. You can wear a two-piece suit under your rash guard and board shorts. But I  suggest you wear a one piece to avoid any wardrobe malfunction especially if you get wiped out. 

Surfing is definitely one awesome experience. It's an activity that is fun, exciting and anyone up for it can try it! 

San Juan Surf School
Urbiztondo, San Juan
La Union
Tel: +6372 687 9990
Mobile: +63 917 800 8004 / +63 917 744 2229