Photos From Philippines And Some Surfing Tips From My Trip

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Philippines. Hm :). This time my surf travels have taken me a little further. I felt like I was stuck in the same surf spots and countries. PortugalBali – Indonesia… these places are GREAT, don’t get me wrong, it’s some of the best surfing you can find anywhere! But after a while I start to miss the thrill of unknown, the excitement of discovery, the adrenalin of going out of your comfort zone. Your experiences are more intense, there is more for your brain to process – different country, different nature, different people, animals, smells, traffic, food, waves, prices, bargains, habits, locals… almost an overload for your senses and nerves. This is why, when you go somewhere new (at last for me) – it feels like I was there longer. I stayed and surfed in Philippines for 3 weeks, it felt like 2 months.

So why would you go surfing to Philippines? I did some research, went through s few surfing books and guides, checked out a few websites…looking for an out of the beaten track surf destination with warm water, friendly people and ridiculously low prices. Well…it’s not that simple. All those exotic far away islands in the middle of the Pacific ocean are 1) really really had and expensive to get to, has to do something with the fact that they are far far away from anything 2) are not that cheap when you get there since most of the stuff you find there has to be brought there from…well..far far away and 3) I know that surf guides exaggerate and you can easily surf some so called gnarly pros and kamikazes only surf spots even if you are not a pro surfer but “no easy spots” does not sound that inviting when you are choosing your surf destination.

So the idea of Philippines came up. And I went. A few weeks before departure I started to check the forecasts for waves and that f…ing thing was never above 3ft/1m. What the hell? I was quite depressed going there, I was sure it’s going to be flat. Well…the forecast stayed in the 3ft range the whole time there and I surfed every day waves from chest to overhead high. So why go to Philippines?

Warm water: Water in October/November was ridiculously warm, warmest water I’ve ever been into. It was so warm that my GoPro fogged in 10 minutes and was the reason that this surf trip gallery has no surfing photos.

Friendly people: Philippines are some of the friendliest people out there. Except from the ports and airports where it would be weird not to be hassled a little bit, everybody was sooo nice. Kids smiling and saying hello, adults giving you thumbs up…it’s really cool.

No crowds: Except for the Cloud9 that is also called Crowd9 there are no crowds. There will be at most 5 people in the water, even more often you will be alone.

It’s cheap: It’s not Indo cheap but it’s cheap. A room will cost you from 6$ on a meal will set you back from 2$ on…etc.

Surfing In Philippines

Although surfing in Philippines is not new and the most famous spot Cloud9 is well known in the international surfing community surfing in Philippines is not that popular. There are a few locals everywhere you go and some traveling surfers but apart from Cloud9 the lineups are more or less empty. The center of surfing is Siargao island where the famous Cloud9 spot is located. Even here most of the people hang around the General Luna (GL) and Cloud9. This is the “tourist” part of the island, but it’s still easy going and laid back. Other parts of the island like further up north are almost empty of surfers and other tourists.

The other surf destination in Philippines that we checked out was a small surf town in the Luzon island called Bagasbas. Bagasbas is a beachbreak which means its quite consistent but a bit tricky and it has to be calm or offshore to be really good. While I was there water was not that clean at least compared to Siargao. There are a few other spots in the area like San Jose and Mercedes that you can check out if Bagasbas is to windy and blown out. Anyway – Bagasbas is a really nice town, you should check it out :).

Now these were all the pluses of surfing in the Philippines. What about the downs?

Waves. Sadly :) Don’t get me wrong, surfing is quite good bit still its not in the same league with places like Indonesia. Even though there is almost like endless ocean east of the Philippine islands real groundswells are not that common and quality waves consistent. Luckily there is lots of windswell so you have waves almost every day. Another thing – I couldn’t figure out what is the best season for surfing here. And neither could the locals. Some said September was the best, some said typhoon season which is somewhere from September to December, some said April – May is best. I guess all these times have their ups and downs when it comes to consistency, wind conditions and wave quality.

Anyway . You should go, you won’t be sorry. For me it was a really memorable trip, hope you enjoy the photos:

I might write a longer post about traveling and surfing in Philippines but till then – if you have any questions I’ll gladly answer them. Just put them in the comments.

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