Everyday We’re Shufflin’! Surfcuit Training Day 5

I can say Day 5 is the most fun so far, since we were taught how to cross step! I’ve always been amazed how longboarders do it, because I myself couldn’t even get the stance right (my feet being too far apart).  They effortlessly work their way up to the nose, do hang fives or hang tens. If it were myself, I would have connected with the water in the most ungraceful way, with my board hitting me on the head. This day gave me a fighting chance to do it in the ocean!

Cross stepping apparently is more than just working your way to and from the nose of the board. You have to get the timing right, and you have to be in the right angle in the wave. On Day 3 we were taught about timing and placing to catch a wave but this day gave me an idea of what I can do when I’m already on one. And, though I don’t have a photo or video here of overcoming this in the wave pool, I was able to do it. Yes!!!  Okay fine, there were a couple of unflattering crashes because my feet were scampering all over the place. I would get too excited and rush towards the nose (or back to the tail). This day taught me to be more patient and take a bit more control of my body.  It was really great that the instructors were telling me what I was doing wrong, so I would try my best not to do it once I’m on a wave again. Finally when I was able to pleasantly cross step (*insert happy dance*), one said, “Tsamba ka lang ata eh! Isa pa at maniniwala ako!”. In my head I was yelling, “Oh no you didn’t! It’s on Kuya!” Haha! I am a bit competitive and with that challenge, I got even more driven to prove I can really do it, no tsamba added. And, I did. After a couple of tries, turning at the right part of the pool and positioning the board as they explained, led me to doing 2-3 steps forward and back without falling on my butt or face. I was able to do that a good number of times. So Kuya, you just got served! (And THANK YOU for your very “encouraging and supportive” remarks! It really did push me!)

In a week will be Day 6 of the program, the LAST day for Batch 2! Time flies by so fast! Hopefully nothing comes up so I won’t miss it. Please join me as I pray to graduate on time!

Here are some photos I took. I know there are not too many action shots, and obviously I couldn’t take photos of myself in action. But PSA did take some and I’ll share a link to that album once it’s out :)

Some yoga to warm up. Thanks Rozie for correcting our form!

Why are we doing different poses? We were doing self-practice. First time I did this with other people around too!

Cross stepping 101

Very attentive students. We were only 6 that day. A lot were sick due to the weather, even Coach Pao. :(

This should say “Caution: Karla in the pool, PLEASE GET OUT” :)

Waiting for waves to come



Look at A go! Cross stepping like a boss!

Good job!


Want to learn more about PSA or interested to join the Surfcuit Intensive Training Program? Check out the contacts and links below:

Tel: (+632) 631 28 05
Mobile: (+63917) 582 78 78
Website: http://philippinesurfingacademy.com/



How about having your very own customized board? Click here for Skwala! And if you want  to see a sample, here’s my Cookie. <3

Take your friends and family to Club Manila East Resort in Taytay, Rizal too! Share the stoke!


Be at the right place, at the right time. Surfcuit Training Day 3


(Updated! Yey I have photos!!!)

The 3rd day of training was about timing and placing. How do I know where and when pop-up? Of course waves in the pool are a bit different, but the principle is the same. Find the right spot, paddle with the right amount of effort, at the right time. I remember how I’d paddle before I started Surfcuit training… I just paddle – FOR MY LIFE. That’s it. I think just do more work and I’ll catch the wave. I learned that that’s not practical. Well to start it off, I’m a little girl with not-so-strong guns so it takes me a lot of paddling to even just go out to sea. By the time I’m in the line up, my arms would feel weak already. Then I’d start paddling like a zombie surfer is chasing me even when the wave is still far away. When it’s right behind me, I run out of juice and my arms turn to jello. What happens? I miss the wave, turn back around and wait for another one. It’s the same EVERY TIME I go out. Surfcuit is training me to not waste so much energy at times that I don’t really have to exert so much. They would say “relax”… I’d whisper to myself “Chill ka lang.” Then when the wave’s near I’d shout in my head (and sometimes, embarrassingly out loud) “You better paddle the sh*t out of you woman! Crank it!”.

One thing I know I’m getting better at is turning. I can’t do maneuvers like Piso or Nilvie, but I can turn enough to not smack my face onto the wall. The pool’s design makes the lip/peak be on the left-most side, where a concrete wall decided to exist. So how do you catch the wave and get a long ride? Hug the wall. Well fine, of course not literally hug it, but try your best to stay near that side. It was scary at first but the instructors had a way to make you stay there and face your fear. They stood at the right side, formed a wall of yelling military officers telling you where to turn and correcting your form. You either do what they say or hit them and kill your ride. Kind of funny but it did work.

To end the sesh, we did cool drills. You know that scene in Blue Crush where they were training for the competition? Yes, that scene where they were at the bottom of the ocean, walking with a rock? We did that… I DID THAT. Haha! Fine, it was in a pool, and we used a big %^$ mineral water bottle filled with sand (the one for dispensers). Man, it was HEAVY even under water! We walked back and forth carrying that while holding our breath. I felt like such a pro even when I had to come up a couple of times for air!

So the question is – did I get to catch my own wave? Answer: No..not yet. It is a lot more difficult to get one in the pool, since the waves don’t have that much power, which means I really have to compensate with my paddling “prowess”. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so… because when I am able to catch a wave in that pool, even once, it will be a lot easier in the ocean. This is a theory I have and my goal now is to be a lot stronger for the real thing. Wish me luck :)

I got a hold of the photos from Day 3 :) Thank you PSA and Soul Purpose Media, Inc.!

Poi drills before yoga. Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


It looks like I know what I’m doing… emphasis on the “looks like”.  Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


Triangle poses :) Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


Waiting for waves.  Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


This pool churned out higher waves! Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


Go Earl! Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


Paddle and pop-up drills. Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


Nice one Randel!  Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


I was uhm… hmmm… about to do a cat pose!? (yeah, right…) Photo c/o Soul Purpose Media, Inc.


This was just released: Sharing with you this cool video of the Surcuiteers in action from Day 2. I’m in the purple rash guard. Hehe.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!! I want you to get jealous that we got not one, but TWO free class cards for Capoeira!!! I’ve always been curious and now I have the chance to try it! I already went to one class, and I can’t wait to write about it here! Oh my goodness it was fun! For now, check out the Escola Brasileira de Capoeira – Philippines Facebook page or their website for more information. Thank you PSA! So many freebies! <3


Want to learn more about PSA or interested to join the Surfcuit Intensive Training Program? Check out the contacts and links below:

Tel: (+632) 631 28 05
Mobile: (+63917) 582 78 78
Website: http://philippinesurfingacademy.com/



How about having your very own customized board? Click here for Skwala! And if you want  to see a sample, here’s my Cookie. <3

Take your friends and family to Club Manila East Resort in Taytay, Rizal too! Share the stoke!

Surf…Like a Sir. Surfcuit Training Day 2 (Surf Etiquette)

Day 2 of Surfcuit! And oh what a day it was!

Who signs up for a 10k run the same day as a 4-hour surf training session? Ehem, ehem. When I registered for that run, I already knew I had Surfcuit in the afternoon thinking that “Hey, I’m going to work my legs in the morning and I won’t really need them in surfing that much.” I was right since I survived it… barely. My arms were working, but my brain I think decided to go on strike. Driving home required extra effort to stay up, since I’ve been up since 4 am that day! So note to self: “Di ka si Darna.”

Now here’s my WOD for my arms, after the brave bahala na si batman run.

It is the day when I got introduced to poi. It was training, as I see it, for control, timing and flow. I thought it was easy to do whenever I see performers at the beach or in events. I told myself, “How hard could it be to swing a ball tied to a string?” The balls answered that question quite quickly and clearly…on my face…three times. We were taught basic turns and switching, both I found really hard! But a few hits won’t stop me… When I got home I picked MY FREE poi up and tried again. And yes, I got the same answer the fourth time. :) Where do I get to buy hand-eye coordination please?

YEY FREE!!!! :) (photo c/o Bianca Cueva the “Poi Warrior”)

And then we were off to yoga. At the start of every Surfcuit day, we do this to stretch and warm our bodies up. A couple of sun salutations really did the trick to get us ready to paddle hard. Namaste.

Say hello to my monster back muscles. Guys, please put a bit more power on my paddles!

The Main Event.

Day 2’s focus was Surf Etiquette. Paolo sat us down and shared what kind of mindset and attitude we should bring with our board as we paddle out. With all the surf lessons I’ve had in the past, instructors always teach some pointers before we head out to the open sea. But then again, those are just snippets of what’s what. The good thing about the Surfcuit program is there is a set agenda for the day, for 4 hours each session. Students would have more time to understand the lesson, apply it and ask the coaches.

Check out the photo below. I just Googled “surf etiquette” (you can say I tried to do some homework after the session that day) and saw this. It basically summarizes the do’s and don’ts, plus information on priority in the water.

I will not go through each one here, but I do want to talk about 2: Do not drop in/snake, and Respect. I thought I knew these do’s and don’ts, but after Surfcuit Training Day 2, I realized that I knew so little about them. I have been making a fool of myself in the ocean all this time. Really.

Why am I saying this? For example: the drop/snake in. I knew what they meant, but I just learned what are the different ways to actually execute them, and I’ve been doing both unintentionally every time I’m in the water. When I’m in the line up all I would think of is, “I paddled so hard to get here, so I have to catch a wave… there’s one now! Go paddle!”. So easy to forget too when you’re used to having an instructor with you to just tell you what to do, without you having to look around if you’re about to be a jerk to someone. When Coach Paolo explained details on who gets priority in the line up, I wanted to disintegrate in my seat. I thought I was doing fine out there as long as I catch waves at the side wherein only a few people stay, but apparently I’ve understood it wrong. What I do is I’d keep on paddling for a wave even when I’m not in position, and someone else is. I would hang out at the shoulder and wait. Then I’d TRY to catch a wave without even looking if someone else has it already from the peak. I just realized that I have been cutting and dropping in all the time on surfers riding a wave. I feel very thankful that it was explained to us in detail so we stop making such ignorant mistakes. I don’t want to piss off other surfers. I guess I’m lucky enough that people I’ve been with are very, very nice… or they do realize that I am a complete idiot and left it to the sea to get back at me… Yes, I think all is fair considering the wipe outs I got the last trip in La Union.

Another vital lesson every surfer should have at heart is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Well for this, EVERYONE should be able to practice it, surfers or non-surfers alike. For surfing specifically, there is a hierarchy.

  1. The locals – born in the area and lived there all their lives
  2. The regulars – those that moved in the area and been there for a long time.
  3. The visitors – really good surfers like the pros, then followed by the intermediate ones
  4. Buoys / Logs

By the way, I’m under number four. I didn’t want to feel left out so I made my own category. :) Although I know based from experience what’s the hierarchy, Coach Paolo’s story of a surf trip abroad made it even clearer. It was awesome to find out those that’s been surfing a long time are still humbled by other surfers, give proper respect towards them and then get respect back.

Don’t forget Mother Nature! She’s one woman I would not want to annoy.

From our butts to our bellies… it’s surf time! This round I used a smaller board – an 8’0. Much closer to my board Cookie (7’8″), so I was happy I can practice with it the whole afternoon :) We tried catching waves by ourselves in the pool and it was really tough! They said it’s harder to catch one there, so I’m thinking if by the end of the program I get one, I’ll be okay out in the open sea! *crossing fingers*.

Yuan. The youngest in the class… and the best too! He has awesome parents that signed him up for this!

Cheerleader knees finding it soooo hard to bend! Sorry, I was trained for years to keep them locked to balance :(

Get back on your board and try again. PADDLE!!! :)

There ya go. I know I’m not the best person riding a wave, and could even be the worst, but I feel I’m a better surfer already than other beginners with what I learned on Day 2. With that, I’m soooo thankful!

Another tiring but fulfilling session.

Let’s now surf, like a sir…shall we?

Photos taken by Earl Calunsod


Want to learn more about PSA or interested to join the Surfcuit Intensive Training Program? Check out the contacts and links below:

Tel: (+632) 631 28 05
Mobile: (+63917) 582 78 78
Website: http://philippinesurfingacademy.com/



How about having your very own customized board? Click here for Skwala! And if you want  to see a sample, here’s my Cookie. <3

Take your friends and family to Club Manila East Resort in Taytay, Rizal too! Share the stoke!

Guns of Steel to Guns of Goo: Surfcuit Training Day 1

I was up extra early last Sunday even if I went out the night before. I’m blaming it on excitement  – if you have the chance to get better at something you love doing, who would not be ecstatic? And definitely my Skwala board, Wacks a.k.a. “Cookie”, staring at me in my room helped in the insomnia attack, as I hear it telling me “You HAVE to get better”. I do work well under pressure, though I did not expect it from an inanimate object.

I got out of bed after 2 hours of staring into space trying to calm my nerves down about the day ahead, and got ready for my first day of Surfcuit training with the Philippine Surfing Academy. I knew I had to leave ASAP because I never fail in getting lost anywhere. And as expected, I missed Club Manila East Taytay even with a GPS and map, already heading towards Angono. Good thing I stopped and asked, I would have paid a SURPRISE visit to my grandparents if I didn’t. :)

As Ms. U-turn, I found my way to the resort just on time – I’d like to think of it that way since they didn’t start yet… or they were really nice enough to wait for me. Hehe Thank you PSA!

First thing’s first – the Warm Up. What’s the best way to stretch my Saturday Mojito-filled muscles and brain? Yoga! I am in love with it! The 30-minute practice outside was not only fun and relaxing, but hit all those spots you’d need for surfing: Planks for your abs, Chaturanggas for your paddling arms and balance poses to perfect your stance on the board. Tip: Bring your water bottle, and a towel if you sweat a lot. I left mine in my bag, thinking it will only be more than half the time I usually practice. Doing sun salutations literally under the sun will make you sweat, and balancing with a drop inching towards your eye makes it even more difficult.

Warrior Ones from the Batch 2 warriors!

Briefing on parts of the board, safety, paddling tips, and a bit of surf etiquette came next. I’ve listened many times about these from past lessons in San Juan, La Union and Baler – awesome spots to learn the sport. I thought I would be bored but to my surprise, I wasn’t at all. Maybe I was just distracted before with everything happening at the beach or maybe knowing I only had 1 hour to surf brings down my attention to zero. I mean I’d think “Yeah, yeah I know that already so tara na!!!”, instead of actually listening. Knowing the session is in total 4 hours, and we will not run out of waves helped my forever wandering eyes and ears to focus.

My tiny self somewhere there. I swear I was listening. :)

Finally, water playtime… if you put it that way. We practiced our paddling and riding the waves, with our coaches helping us fix our form. I  paddled… and paddled… and $#%^&* paddled. Chest high, paddle long and deep, point toes, stay center! Quite a lot to absorb but it really helped having our PSA coaches around the pool reminding us of the right way to do it. Coach Paolo lied, he said we’ll paddle straight for 2 hours. It felt like forever – and I LOVED IT. :) I knew I was going to be sore the following day but it didn’t matter. What mattered is getting the arm, shoulder and back strength to have more power for catching waves. He did say that surfing is 90% paddling and 10% actually riding a wave, and I do need to work on that big piece of the pie.

Water chaos

One of my favorites was having to save my life from the concrete wall on my left. Being a goofy footer, it’s way easier for me to head towards that side than the other. Okay fine, I can just jump off the board whenever I go closer to the wall. Being my tiny self though, I prefer stepping off at the shallower part of the pool. So that would mean I have to dodge that wall, boards and other people until I reach the midget-friendly side, to be “vertically” comfortable in the water. I want to even thank Larry, one of the instructors who was helping the students by pushing the boards. At the start I’d tell him my stance, asking him to NOT push me towards the left – for chances are I will just ram into it. Yes, VERY chicken of me. After a couple of tries though, he’d intentionally direct the board there, telling me first of course, so I would already start maneuvering the board to the other side. I was able to, and I’m looking forward to having more control of my board and my body with more practice.

check out the really bad front foot, and awkward stance.

Did we have time to rest? Of course we did! Every 15 to 20 minutes the waves subside giving us a calm playground to hang out, chat and relax in – NOT! During these “breaks” we still practiced paddling drills, learning how to turn our boards, and how to balance on them. What else? We were doing push ups on our boards while in the water! I should’ve read the fine print… I think I signed up for military training and not surfing. :) Don’t be scared though, if you do need to take a breather you can paddle out the pool and compose yourself, or run away… whichever you prefer. I’m just a really hyper camper that I didn’t get out of the water until the very end… which cost me an order of Fillet O’ Fish, large fries, juice and hot fudge sundae on my way home (I rarely eat fast food!). I was just HUNGRY and Mcdonald’s was the most convenient place I saw while driving. Another tip: Eat a bit more than what you usually have for breakfast. I only had salad and an apple that morning, and I’m still surprised I was able to walk out of the resort after 4 hours of nonstop burning!

What “break”?

To summarize Day 1: INTENSE(intensive nga diba?!) and very informative for beginners like me. :) More experienced surfers might say you won’t get stoked in a wave pool and they are right. I remember what Coach Paolo said this at the very start. It’s a definitely different experience riding in the ocean compared to anything artificial. The purpose of the training is to equip oneself when you’re doing the “real” thing. For city people like me, we don’t have the benefit of living near the sea to surf (though that is my retirement plan). This is practice. This is training. This is working on getting better to REALLY enjoy those long trips to surf spots. Who wants to travel for hours, be welcomed by great swells and just get washing-machined every time you head out? Not me. And I know that any surfer or surfing enthusiast doesn’t either.

Special thanks to Earl of PSA for taking photos while the other coaches were kicking our butts!


Want to learn more about PSA or interested to join the Surfcuit Intensive Training Program? Check out the links below:




How about having your very own customized board? Click here for Skwala!

Project Starfish: Operation Boyfriend

So it was my first time to visit my soon-to-be H2O partner since I inquired. I just had to see it ASAP when the shaper texted me he’s already doing finishing touches of, I guess, the first phase of the process. And as promised, I brought donuts!

Here are photos of my custom funboard (actually, my first board ever) after being shaped by the awesome Din Litangan of Skwala (photo of whom I am yet to take and share here haha!). I’m still a baby when in comes to surfing, but I keep on falling in love with it every time I’m in the water. In a way, “nagdadalaga” na ata ako, kinikilig like a girl in her teens. I may get pounded by waves or get beat up by my own board – okay lang! The plan is to have more water time so I can practice. The goal is to get better, so I can have more enjoyable and fun rides. Quality!

Now check out Din’s work for Carlito Nogalo, one of, or maybe the best local pro surfer we have as of yet (hey, he’s the champ of the latest National Surfing Cup in Siargao). Someday I will get to use something as small as this!

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

I know I mentioned I’ll post the design here when it gets finalized. Well it is, but I thought a photo of the finished product is better!

Anyway, I’m supercalifragilisticexpialidociously excited to use my own board! He said it’ll be ready in about 2-3 weeks. WOOOHOOO!!!

PS: Check out and like Skwala’s facebook page :) Skwala – http://www.facebook.com/Skwalasurfindustries