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Land Surfing: Searching for Stoke in the City

Land Surfing: Searching for Stoke in the City

It’s no secret that after six to seven months of chasing waves there comes that point where there are no more waves to chase for next half of the year. The infamous flat season or south swell for the Mindanao east coast that doesn’t get as much swell to generate waves around mid-year up until the end of the year. 

This leaves surfers to venture out of their usual breaks especially if their home break only works during the Amihan season. Others resort to other activities that still provide them the daily stoke they're looking for. Fortunately for me, learning to enjoy land surfing was the best thing I’ve ever done next to learning how to surf.

Land surfing is basically the closest imitation of surfing in the water. Done with also on a board, more known as either a skateboard or a longboard skate, in my case I prefer the latter. I never thought I’d ever resort to learning how to skateboard just to feel the stoke but I did.

 I finally found the perfect balance on surfing in the water and on land. No waves? No problem.

I finally found the perfect balance on surfing in the water and on land. No waves? No problem.

I used to play around with skateboards back in high school and there was an incident where I was in my school uniform (yes, in a skirt!) and I fell with a graceful thud, and a girly shriek. I never felt shame for being such a klutz on land that I never played with a four-wheeled board on land ever again.

I never imagined I’d be truly desperate to feel the stoke again when I got stuck in the city for a month. As the natural flow of balance, I sought out in search of stoke and found the best way to remedy the itch was through learning to skateboard.

I’d owe a lot to my good friend and neighbor, Teddy, who let me borrow his extra board and even gave me and a group of friends introduction lessons at the old airport’s parking space. It had a great concrete pavement and had lots of space. Unfortunately for me, I was too scared to have a real go at it and ended up just skateboarding just a few inches by myself.

Desperate to really feel the thrill and stoke again, I knew that I had to stop allowing fear to paralyze me. Falling in the water is one thing I’m not so afraid of that falling hard on the concrete surface is another thing I’m totally unprepared for. I knew I had to go my own pace and just try.

 Kids have it so easy. Start them young and they'll learn every trick there is before I could even learn to slide. Photo by Cheen.

Kids have it so easy. Start them young and they'll learn every trick there is before I could even learn to slide. Photo by Cheen.

The learning experience was humbling. I was a person of awful balance and coordination on land. This all changed when I started becoming more comfortable on top of the board, practicing every day at our village basketball court and learning to absorb the thuds as the wheels skittered across uneven pavement.

My balance greatly improved when I started to surf skate and I never realized how fun it still is! Oh and the stoke? Yes, it’s real! It’s the only thing so similar to surfing, especially if you could start carving and trimming ‘down the line’ on a board and you could feel your legs burning. What a wonderful sensation!

 The best skating experience is on a semi-deserted coastal road where you could still see the waves.

The best skating experience is on a semi-deserted coastal road where you could still see the waves.

The only thing that I find I couldn’t still get used to was being super sweaty and you could feel your body overheating. If this was surfing, being in the water instantly cooled your body down if you took a quick break to dive underneath the water’s surface. Having been part of the athletic swimming team back in my grade school years, I never really got used to physical sports on land. 

Up until now, I’m still adjusting and learning how to get more comfortable with extreme physical activities on land, it may seem that the mermaid has actually a lot to catch up. Next week, I’ll be sharing the benefits one could reap from learning to skateboard (aka surf skate) and if this is a good way to learn how to surf! 
 

An Interview with Mermaid Amarie of Mermaids PH

An Interview with Mermaid Amarie of Mermaids PH