What it takes to ride the thrilling waves of the country’s surfing capital

Photo from Josh Austria

If surfing is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of La Union, you’re one to something. It is, after all, the surfing capital of the Philippines. So when we went to the north on a recent NLEX Lakbay Norte trip to experience what makes the waves there so special, we knew we were in for a thrilling experience.

We met Marven Abat, a surfing enthusiast and instructor, who graciously shared insights and tips for both beginners and seasoned surfers. As the president of the La Union Surfing Club, Abat knew what he was talking about.

Abat emphasized the importance of being physically fit for surfing. The sport demands strength, balance, and endurance. Additionally, he urged beginners to learn how to swim beforehand, underscoring the fact that swimming skills are crucial for a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.

La Union’s prime surfing season, he said, spans from October to February, when the waves are at their best. During these months, enthusiasts can expect the perfect combination of swell and wind, creating ideal conditions for an exhilarating ride. While summer surfing may not be ideal, Abat said surfers continue to come all year round.

Photo from Josh Austria

Surfing knows no age limits

Surfing extends to individuals of all ages. As an instructor, Abat said he has taught individuals as young as six years old, to as old as 77. This is proof of the inclusive and age-defying nature of this exciting water sport.

Beyond the adrenaline rush, surfing provides a comprehensive, full-body workout. The constant paddling, balancing on the board, and navigating the waves engage various muscle groups, making it an enjoyable way to stay in shape.

For those looking to dive into the world of surfing, lessons at San Juan Beach are at P600 per hour. This fee covers not only the expertise of an experienced instructor but also includes the rental of a longboard.

So whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned rider, La Union’s shores promise an unforgettable surfing adventure.

Photo from Josh Austria

For more information, contact La Union Surf Club, Inc. on Facebook.


Kenneth M. del Rosario
Kenneth has been writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer for more than 17 years, covering travel, food, motoring, technology, real estate, and business, among others.