TJ’s prologue (co’z he is talkative like that)
There are two windows of good surf time in Baler – early morning and mid afternoon. In between onshore winds begin to blow out the sets and that’s practically about the right time to paddle in to have your lunch and a power nap or maybe a beer if you are me. Hey no judging. But last Saturday me and my friends were so stoked surfing peelers we still waited for good sets to come even though the wind is already messing up the waves. Apparently it was already noon that time.
Conditions were getting crappier but we still sat in the lineup trying to be optimistic like fools. Traits of a Manila surfer. We will milk it for a long as we can, right? But after a while it got really frustrating and I decided to end my morning sesh. And as I was about to paddle back I saw someone land an aerial on the break next to our spot. What the? I remember telling myself, “I think that’s Saddam”. Then I saw a long floater, “The hell that’s Neil!” Then I saw another do a nasty floater on a dumpy wave, “Ok, I don’t know who that is but I will get my camera because now is probably the best time to make proper use of that freaking camera I just bought and I will take action shots of these awesome Baler locals!”
the Gallery (finally)
So I got my SLR out of my backpack, put on 70 – 300mm lens and found a good spot. Ahhhh locals. Just when you thought the waves are too ugly to surf they give you a smack in the face via floaters, cutback and aerials.
that’s Wilson “Saddam” Faraon alright, long time rider for Alohaboardsports.
and this is what he’s known for. i remember a conversation i had with Saddam years ago, about him not advancing in this local competition. he told me, “it’s ok kap, i won best in aerial. and that’s all that matters…”
here’s Neil Sanchez. once supergrom look how this kid has grown. we are big fans of this kid as there are only few as exciting to watch in the water.
one thing that stands out with Neil, who is currently and fittingly sponsored by O’neill Philippines, is his form. long arms and legs that he uses really well on pivotal turns. also a good kid in and out of the water, the future in competitive surfing is bright for this kid.
also an O”Neill boy, Gregie Dela Torre plays with this spoon looking shortie. and even if the waves were super crap this time you can see him work this stick and do magic with it.
here’s another shot. how he went vertical in this i cannot fathom. Gregie’s surfing is new skool with a bit of style and whole lot of that Dela Torre lineage of high performance surfing.
and speaking of Dela Torre, here is elder Jayson aka Balat. aggressive as hell, i’ve always thought of Balat as a rockstar. i mean he surfs in a way that Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All album should be playing constantly in the background. here he is on a sketchy shore break floater.
Jayson is really competitive too. he surfs with his heart on his sleeves and goes all or nothing.
here’s one photo i really like. Gregie on the outside and a grom on the inside. these groms are basically unknown in national surfing community for now, but judging from the next photo pretty sure the next Baler phenom is just around the corner.
this Baler kid, like the other kids before him.
< end >
What is the lesson in all of this? Mushy, mildly blown out Sabang waves at noon are great for pulling out floaters. Also, when you see Baler surfers getting airs, you go get your camera and take photos so that you will have something to write about on your blog that hasn’t been updated for so long. Hey dear reader, thank you for stopping by LokalSoul.com.
Holy week is coming up! I’ll be surfing Baler once again. Early in the morning and about 3 in the afternoon. And if you see me with my camera at the beach front, come join me. It’s a good show were gonna see.
photo and words by TJ LokalSoul