Lessons from Kuya Pipay: Baler Surfing 101
Travel Philippines

Lessons from Kuya Pipay: Baler Surfing 101

This is Kuya Pipay – electrical lineman on the weekdays and surf instructor on the weekends. What I thought would be a typical surfing lesson turned out to be a great learning experience because of this super cool surf coach! I wasn’t expecting much from my surfing lessons in Baler since a lot of the surfing instructors I met from other surfsites always teach the basics –find your balance, push yourself up and bend your knees. But my perception changed after just one surfing session with Kuya Pipay. When he found out that I am already familiar with the basics of surfing, he immediately told me that he will be giving me advance surfing lessons – and I was definitely up for the challenge! 🙂

Sharing with you these super useful tips (and tricks) that I learned from Kuya Pipay:


1. Properly position your body on the board
Make sure that you are positioned in the middle of the board and that you are centered to avoid tipping off to one side.
Kuya Pipay’s insider tip: Align your chest with the line that runs in the middle of the board, that way, you will know you are in the center.


2. Improve your  paddling technique
Tighten your core, slightly raise you chest, keep your legs close together and alternate your hands in between paddles. Remember to dig deep with your paddles and try to grab as much water as possible.
Kuya Pipay’s insider tip: Exert force when you paddle and stop paddling once you feel that the wave is already pushing you – this is the cue for you to push yourself to stand up.


3. Master the art of pop-up
After paddling hard, position your hands of the side of the board nearest to your chest area, slightly raise your chest, pop-up (stand up on your board) and position your dominant foot on the middle of the board. Stay low, bend your knees and make sure your feet is shoulder width apart.
Kuya Pipay’s insider tip: To know your dominant foot, ask someone to push you from behind and see which foot goes forward (sounds funny but it works! :)). Take note that there’s no right or wrong foot, it depends on your natural balance.

You can maintain balance by extending your hands to the sides.


4. Gather momentum to direct the board
Use your heels and toes alternately to gather momentum.
Kuya Pipay’s insider tip: If you are natural footed (left foot forward), putting the weight on your toes will direct the board to the right while putting the weight on your heels will direct it to the left. Everything is opposite if you are goofy footed (right foot forward). By using this heel and toe technique, you will be able to maneuver the board and avoid crashing to other surfers or in Baler’s case, other people swimming near the shoreline. 🙂

That’s me on the left. 🙂 I’m natural footed that’s why I’m leaning towards the right because I placed the weight on my toes.

The two days of surfing lessons from Kuya Pipay is definitely one for the books! I’ve learned a LOT of new techniques from him and I will definitely come back to Baler and catch some more waves with Kuya Pipay. 🙂

Best time to surf at Baler: September to February
Cost of surfing lessons: Php 350 per hour inclusive of board and surf instructor while board rentals start at Php 200 per hour

Now pack your rash guard, ready your sunblock, muster your guts and ride the waves of Baler! Have fun surfing!

Special thanks to Oppo’s A39 smartphone for capturing the photos! Follow Oppo Philippines on
 Facebook and Instagram for more updates on their latest gadgets and promos.

For initial impressions of A39, read this article from Gadget Pilipinas.


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WanderJan is a travel blogger who shares her personal adventures from tips, guides, photos and food reviews down to the must-buy products and must-try activities. Follow her in her quest for once-in-a-lifetime experiences as she gets lost in the most fascinating places in the world.