Cowabunga! Surf season has recently arrived as the first signs of rain bring in the south swell.
The Philippine archipelago boasts roughly 115 different known and declared surf spots, according to Mapa.ph. While some have become the stomping grounds of advanced surfers, many places serve as ideal training sites for newbie surfers.
“Beginner-friendly depends on the weather forecast, not on the spot and mostly, surf schools on our coastlines are not a problem to find,” explained Alex Pineda, the creator of Mapa.ph, the Philippine surf wiki.
Since go-to surf spots such as La Union and Siargao are already well-known, we enlisted Alex’s help to identify alternative surf spots for those looking for a quick weekend surf getaway.
These places tick off that surf spot bucket list right here on our shores. Because it’s more fun in the Philippines.
Real is the second largest town in Quezon and is very popular amongst backpackers and surfers interested in doing day-trips since it’s relatively close to Manila. Just two hours away from Manila, this is a spot you can reach with zero tollgates involved.
From Manila, the fastest route to go to Real would be through Antipolo cutting through the Quezon Provinces. Another route would be to go through Laguna via SLEX.
When in season, surfers can enjoy beautiful left and right hand fun waves. If you’re a beginner who stand up and catch a few waves, this is an ideal spot to practice.
There are three surf accommodations – RealPH, Magra, and The Park – present in Real for you to choose from, complete with boards and overnight backpacker’s lodging.
Magic Left (Zambales)
Magic Left can be found in Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. Sound familiar? If so, that’s because this is the jump off point of the boat ride going to Anawangin Cove- a surfer favorite due to its beautiful quality left-hand waves and long rides when in season (June to October).
If it’s your first time at Magic Left, make sure to ask a local surf instructor to surf with because the spot has a rocky bottom. Surf instructors from Malong Surf Shop can guide you through the ins and outs of Magic Left.
One of Zambales’ easter eggs, Mags is a relatively upscale alternative from the backpacker surf spots in Zambales. While accomodation at surf spots in Zambales offer nipa huts or single air-conditioned rooms, Capones Vista has a pool, with rooms inclusive of breakfast, and fairly decent beds. It also offers a full range of hotel amenities for guests looking for a little more luxury during their surf trip.
This spot boasts beautiful glassy waves that come in fast. Don’t be afraid to wipe out because this break has a sandy bottom. If you want a break from surfing, jump on a boat and island hop to Camara Island or Capones Island or take a quick trip to Anawangin Cove for a short day hike. This surf spot can be found in the coasts of Capones Vista Resort, also in Pundaquit
Nirad Point (San Juan)
There are spots aplenty further down the coast of San Juan: one of which is Nirad. This spot is often frequented by seasoned surfers. But if you’re a newbie, fear not – San Juan Surf School, the Number 1 surf school in the Philippines, is situated right in front of the break. You might even catch a glimpse of Billabong Pro Bali Longboard 2013 Champion, Luke Landrigan, owner of San Juan Surf Resort. Nirad rolls right hand barrels in season from September to February.
A couple of minutes away from Sabang Beach in Baler, Dipaculao is an alternative with its less crowded line-up that’s available for those surfers that wish for solitude in the water. It’s for those that prefer the waves all to themselves. Make sure to request for help from surf instructors familiar with this area to guide you through channels and coach you through waves. Dipaculao also offers a white sand shoreline for those that want to lounge around the beach to get that #BeachImFabulous or #VitaminSea Instagram post.
So pack those bags and try surfing out. After all, we have 115 known surf spots in the country with a lot more secret spots to discover.
Mapa.ph Surf Maps are available in Mad Kahuna and San Juan Surf Resort.