My first time in Carille was just last year. It was December 31st, the end of 2012 where me and a handful of Manila surfers and La Union locals were surfing offshore, glassy, chest to overhead sets at Carille. It was peeling perfect, like a wave machine but not as big as this epic session. Pretty stoked though. Apparently it’s been a yearly thing where my friend (and idol) Buji of Coast Thru Life and some other folks spend the New Year weekend surfing at Carille as it is really, really good. So I welcomed 2013 surfing there and I vowed to also make it my yearly session. I swear, surfing on a New Year’s day is an amazing feeling.
Last last week I was back in Carille. It was working because of the storm swell which lit up some of the other spots in La Union as well. I couldn’t be more excited when I saw that the waves were big! But looking closely, the “Jesus Point” wasn’t as pretty as it can be. Heavy waves were closing out fast, swell direction’s a mess, lots of foam to get thru to paddle out. I gave my longboard Abraxas a look and stroked his open wounds and shattered fiberglass and said: “We’re in this together bro, we’ll stick through this together.” Yes my friends, I am weird in the brain like that.
It’s quite a long paddle out to the peak at Carille. You got to walk it out first. A bit rocky though and there are holes you’d sink into. There are two ways I try to reach the promised land. One is to paddle wide – paddle out almost near the rivermouth or Two, wait for set interval and paddle out a bit to the right where the statue of Jesus is. I did the second and on my way out I saw that the waves were serious and there are surfers wiping out. Intense man!
I sat at the first peak waiting for the big ones. I just came from an epic Puraran surf trip (of which I am writing about soon) and surfed 8ft bombs with a longboard. I almost got barreled! (my friend Ezra of Puraran Surf Beach Resort can attest to this). Haha. Anyway, I thought if I surfed Majestics then I can surf anything. Wrong! My first wave I wiped out, side first. Felt the pain on my liver! My second wave I dropped on a heavy 2nd set wave and realized it was closing fast. I tried to carve and trim to get to the next section but I was just gliding down fast. I tried to bottom turn but wasn’t able to gain re-entry. Fail.
I said in my Instagram post that the problem with it was using a single fin which is not really known for its maneuverability. Even Bongga Perkins got beat up using Single Fin Yellow at Pipe. But looking back it was all about timing and placing yourself at the right spot. Plus, I wouldn’t have loved to be riding anything but a single fin.
Anyway, just really bums me out I missed this wave. Would’ve been perfect in the photo if I was in the section. I caught many other big waves that rode till the rivermouth but I don’t know. This one really bums me out. It’s good though. Every time I look at this it reminds me of what I need to improve on, and that every wave is different and I must focus first on understanding the conditions of the whole setting rather than just going nuts whenever I see big waves. Treat each spot with respect. Lesson learned.
This guy above is looking pretty comfy though. He is a foreigner who’s a bit senior. I haven’t seen him in La Union before but I can tell he has surfed Carille before. He sits at the 2nd peak where the waves doesn’t close out and gets great long rides all the time. Thank you kind sir, for reminding me again where to sit at the lineup. Another lesson learned.
La Union local Benito Nerida or Benits is simply amazing. Hands down one of the best. He has his own style to when he does things and it’s great to be with him in and out of the water. Last year we went to the CSI mall to play arcade at World’s of Fun. Benits even beat me at Gran Turismo or whatever that driving game is called. What the hell. Can’t get no love in this place!
Well there’s some love after all. Carille is one of the sweetest right hander point breaks around and it’s the perfect spot for cross stepping and noseriding. That’s probably why the CTL folks love surfing here. I’m still working my cross stepping and hopefully get to noseriding soon. When? No rush but I wouldn’t mind if it happens here in Carille on New Year’s day!
And so that ends my early Carille session this September. I’m sure many surfers have said “Thank you Jesus” to the statue after a good day of surfing. This day I had a lot to thank for. Good rides, bad rides, for mistakes and realizations. I don’t believe in religion anymore, but surfing is a spiritual experience for me. So thank you Jesus. Thank you for this spot, thank you for the lessons. I’ll soon be back on a Sunday and I hope next time I’ll get into the sections of your church much more.
Photos by Isai Martinez. Aling Norma is waiting for our return. Thanks to my friends Waxx and Paolo for an awesome LU weekend. We thought we got skunked, but we got blessed after all. Thank you Jesus!
– TJ Lokalsoul