Prior to my arrival on Bali, the so called island of gods, I had arranged a one week stay at Stormrider Surfcamp. My goal was to completely focus on surfing and hopefully take it to the next level. The professional setup of the camp, its nice facilities as well as its prime location in the heart of tranquil Canggu made the decision an easy one. I arrived at Denpasar Airport around midday and went outside the airport to get a taxi. It is usually way cheaper outside than within the airport premises. After a bit of haggling I got a good price and off I was for a week of surfing, eating, sleeping and several repetitions of that routine. I was excited. Continue reading
After I had split with Dolf and Chris, I decided to extend my stay in the Philippines and go back to Gubat, Sorsogon. During our stay there for Holy Week I had made good friends who were proposing to host me for a while. Life in Gubat is relaxed and laid back and the best about it is that you can surf a good variety of surf breaks. And that is exactly what we extensively did for the following few days after my return. We surfed the local reefs in the mornings and the beach break in the afternoon or vice versa. So good to get that needed water time and practice after not having surfed for quiet a while. However, after a while the waves slowly got smaller and smaller and the so called flat spell was starting to take its toll on us. Everyone was getting nervous and imbalanced, anxiously awaiting the next swell. So what to do? Continue reading
My local friends from Gubat took me on a surfing trip to the island of Catanduanes, part of the Bicol Region in Luzon. Catanduanes features one of the best breaks of the Philippines, the infamous surfspot called “Majestic”. Since it was flat on the mainland, we wanted to hit Majestic and try our luck. Unfortunately even that swell magnet was not working when we made it there. What to do? Thanks to a hint of some local surfers, we chartered a boat to a hidden spot not too far away. With rather low expectations we were greeted by clean, shoulder high sets rolling in over a stone / coral reef. It was unbelievable. I think the whole country was flat during that time but this spot was working flawlessly. We surfed there for the next three days and had so much fun. It was just us and some local surfers who tagged along. No crowds, just friendship, great waves and great rides. In the picture you can see local surfer Jomarie Tanael setting up one of his aggressive bottom turns. The guys there are so good. An article about the trip will follow soon.
After our two rather mediocre experiences at Mount Pinatubo and the CWC in Naga, we were really hoping for our luck to improve. Thanks to a recommendation by a friend from Manila, we planned to go to the little seaside town of Gubat in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. The local surfer crew, the Gubat Bay Surfers (GBS), was supposed to host an Easter Surf Camp right at the beach with lots of fun, sun and surfing. This and the fact that the spot is still unknown to the crowds inspired us to check it out and spend Holy Week in Gubat. We soon realized that this would not only more than compensate for all the mess before, but actually be our best travel experience so far. Continue reading
Surf Travel……. plane flights, barrels, tropical weather, passports, boardies, epic food, getting pitted, overseas sickness, overhead frothing, new places, faces, people, and life-experience. I think being a surfer and traveling for the purpose of chasing what you love is one of the pinnacles of surfing.
Getting to travel and surf some epic waves is one of my drivers in life. Being able to experience new cultures, get into new foods, surf points you’ve seen on youtube and read about, hot hot hot weather, coconuts post-surf, getting out of your comfort zone, surfing some solid reef breaks… it’s the life!!
I’ve been fortunate over the last few years to be able to travel pretty extensively to chase some surf. There’s still loads of places I still want to go, but I would consider myself to have a decent “handle” on how to travel for surfing…. but as in life, there’s always a bit more to learn.
One thing I’ve come to especially value over the years is being fit and prepared for finally getting back into some good surf after you haven’t really had to “push” yourself in some decent swells. A few other key points in my eyes while on a surf holiday is staying healthy and injury free so you can keep on getting in the water, and also keeping your immune system strong to ward off those vicious stomach viruses.
Coming Up To The Trip
I tend to focus on endurance, paddle strength and shoulder health, and making sure I’m dynamically flexible. Building up some work capacity, which is essentially your ability to paddle around for extended periods of time is pretty essential. Continue reading