Bagasbas Beach is just 4 kms and a 30-minute walk from my home in Daet, Camarines Norte. The waves, whose big nice swells are consistent the whole year round, are perfect for surfing. Despite its proximity to our home, I didn’t learn how to swim there because of two things I fear most about it: the undertow and the occasional shark!
I finally conquered my fear last April 20, 2012 by learning how to surf. Hangloose Surf Shop offers surfing for beginners at P400/hour inclusive of long board and one-on-one instruction from certified surfing instructors. The long board is used for beginners because it is more stable than the regular surfboard. The one I used is also a soft board which is more comfortable than fiberglass.
Dan, my surfing instructor, first explained to me parts of the board. Then he discussed about safety procedures and what to do if I fall off the board, called a wipe-out, which is inevitable. Next, he taught me how to balance and how to get up and stand on it. I learned that I was a goofy, one who’s more comfortable with the left foot on the rear of the board.
The sequence includes bending the left foot perpendicular to the hips, pushing with your arms, just like doing push-ups, and placing the right foot in front, and finally standing with arms extending sideways as you get your balance. easy as it sounds on the sand, but in the water it’s different.
It was time to catch some waves. I wasn’t at all scared because of the knowledge that we won’t go beyond chest deep waters and that Dan was just right there to guide me. The first time I wasn’t able to stand and reached the shore still lying face down on the board. During my second attempt, upon hearing his command of push and stand, I was so surprised that I did it! I was standing and riding my first wave which lasted for about 10 seconds. The feeling was one of sheer exhilaration!
I tried several times using the same sequence of paddle, push, and stand but the result were wipe-outs and knee scrapes on sand. It was good Bagasbas has a fine and soft sandy bottom, ideal for beginners and even for professionals. My arms were getting sore because the day before I also tried kneeboarding at the Camarines Sur Wakeboarding Complex (CWC), which also required a lot of arm strength.
I was able to stand for another time but this lasted less than 10 seconds. My brother took pictures using my trustworthy friend during water adventures like this, my Canon D10. I asked Dan if he could show us his surfing skills, to which he eagerly obliged.
The heavens conspired with me that morning: the weather was fine, the tide was just coming in, and the waves came one after the other and rolled to a nice swell. This won’t be the first and last time for me…I’ll definitely do this again. I can now call myself one cool surfer.