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Cool Chicks Glide on Water
Why surfing is such a great sport and what to expect of it.

What's not to love about it?

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First of all, you're at the beach! Who doesn't like the beach, especially during summer?

Surfing is great exercise. You work our almost all your muscles. Contrary to what most people assume, surfing is not just about balance. Balance is just 20% of it. Paddling is the number one thing, so you tone your arms.

You meet the most diverse group of people. Surfing is the melting pot for all types—professionals & non-professionals, young and the not-so-young... and most of all, they become your friends.

You get to experience nature more. The ocean, the sand, bonfires...

You become more aware of the environment and try to help in reducing pollution. The ocean is your playground. Who would want to surf in all that trash?

Anyone can surf. There are no age/height/weight requirements or limits.

You are driven by your passion or love for the sport. Surfing should not be used as a status symbol or to show others you're cool. Surfers surf because they love to.

I know it's cliché, but only a surfer knows the feeling. So come on and try it! It's an extraordinary high once you glide on water.

A surfer's checklist

You should be comfortable in water. Especially being in saltwater and the ocean. You won't be able your surfing experience if you're worried that you'll drown. You don't have to be a great swimmer or anything, but you have to at least be at ease.

Learn from an instructor. Some people make the mistake of presuming that they can just go to a surf spot, rent a board, and teach themselves. Sure, you'll learn but it will take long. An instructor can teach you proper surfing etiquette. It is important to follow these unwritten surf rules both for safety and to avoid getting on the bad side of more experienced surfers.

Put on sunscreen. Surfers usually stay in the water and under the sun for hours. Although we certainly do not mind the great tan we're getting, it's a totally different thing to get burnt.

Dress appropriately. It depends on whether you are comfortable in just your bikini, or wearing rash guards and board shorts, you should be able to move freely and not think about what you're wearing. It's a hassle if you have to constantly fix/adjust your bikini top, etc. Be sure your surf wear stays in place. Waves are powerful and if your bathing suit isn't tied properly, it might come off.

Use a proper board, meaning the right height and width for your size. Some people think that they can automatically use a small board (shortboard). But they will have a hard time learning on small boards! So use a longboard first, and then eventually, decide on what type of surfing you want to pursue—longboarding or shortboarding, and then go from there. (note: You don't have to buy a board immediately. Boards are available for rent at most surf spots.)

For a wide and complete selection, get your gear at the Aloha Boardsports Store in Powerplant Mall in Rockwell.

Be ready to wipeout. Of course, as in any sport, you have to start somewhere. And when you fall, you may get a few bruises and your muscles will definitely be sore.

We are just visitors in the water. Other creatures live there—like fish, jellyfish, etc. Sure you may get stung a few times, but what's a little scratch right? :)

Be ready to drive. Or take the bus. Unfortunately, if you are from Manila, the nearest surf spot is probably 2-3 hours away. But road trips are fun too especially when you are with friends and family.

Practice makes perfect. First timers and newbies learn to surf on a beach break and on small (say knee to waist high waves). In time, you will be ready to take on bigger waves and eventually get to surf point breaks (point breaks are waves that break over reef.). Don't rush, it'll come.

Enjoy yourself. Don't get too serious and angry if you don't get a wave or you fall off. Surfing is supposed to be fun.

Hope to see you in the water! :)

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Nikki dela Paz
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