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Lessons from the line-up

I very recently saw this quote “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” 

Over a weekend surfing in La Union maybe a month ago, I got tips on how to be a better logger from many different sources. Some them were much younger surfers who have only been surfing for a fraction of the time I have. And if I had a chip on my shoulder, I would have taken umbrage at the thought of these young pups trying to teach this cranky b*tch something new. But here’s the thing. These young’uns? They really know more than I do. In the few years they’ve been surfing, they’ve become incredibly skilled and understand logging in way I am only beginning to. And the tips they had for me? Super helpful. 

So yeah, take help when it is offered, and be thankful there are people who are looking out for you. And then, when a opportunity to pay it forward appears, take it.

"Knees together like a good Catholic girl." Photo by Allen Aligam. 

From the archives: Wahines in the Water: full version

Originally published in 2007. I submitted this article to Elev8 Magazine’s second issue. The last few paragraphs didn’t come out due to a printing glitch. So here is the full article in all its unedited self just in time for the 2nd Philippine Wahine Classic. 

Photo: My friend Pia, learning the basics with PSA at a spot in Bataan. 

There was a time that the idea of women surfing brought to mind Gidget, the Hollywood Beach Blanket icon. While cute and perky, she didn’t quite portray the most empowering image of female surfers.

In recent years, the presence big-wave riders such as Layne Beachley, Malia Kamisugi, power wahines the likes of Sofia Mulanovich, Keala Kennely and new talents like Chelsea Georgeson have made it quite clear that there is room for bikinis in the land of boardshorts. Whether it is in Australia, Hawaii or as far south as Brasil, women are definitely holding their own in the liquid arena.

Here in our neck of the world, more and more women are paddling out and taking waves in a sport more often than not designated for men. Point in case – the Philippine Surf Federation’s 2005 Circuit included an all-women’s surf competition was held at Siargao island’s Cloud 9, a right hander famous for its hollow barrels.

Anyone who watched these Filipinas charge Cloud 9 that year came away with much respect for them. These girls grew up in a line-up peppered with boys. This is especially the case for Nildie Blancada and Manet Alcala (Siargao) and Mocca Edusma (Daet) where they are often the only females out with the boys.

The event was seen as a gigantic step forward in the arena of women’s surfing. This year, the competition saw an even larger contingent of participants, including Australian pro surfers Sheridan Shields, Lyndsay Noyes as well as local wahines hailing from all over the country. The ripple effect of seeing women taking on monster waves has inspired a younger set of girls to get on a board and get in there. Only months after the comp girls as young as 6 began paddling out with Siargao’s normally all-male grommet posse.

Even back in Manila, the number of wahine weekend warriors has tripled in the last two years. The membership roster of the Manila Surfers’ Association has a nearly equal number of men and women.

On a personal level, it is not only empowering to see more girls in the line-up. It is, quite simply, more enjoyable. I am no longer the only girl on a weekend road trip, having to put up with pranks, fart jokes or actual farts. Now, there is always at least one other female to talk to about the more substantial aspects of life, namely: shopping, shoes and spas.

Photo: Carla Sebastian, charging Eastern Samar in 2012

I am not a professional surfer. I am not even an intermediate level surfer. What I am is a chick with a waxed stick that enjoys every wave that she gets, whether it’s a wall that just keeps going and going or a party wave shared with four other friends. And it’s just fun that now, the chances are higher that those friends I share that one ride with are also fellow females.

From observations and conversations with other female surfers (and yes, even in the line-up, we girls like to yack it up), it seems that The Philippines is among the best places to be a chick in the line-up. The boys are less aggressive, more accommodating and actually quite encouraging. I don’t know if it is the way that Filipinos are raised to respect women, if it is the intrinsically mellow personality of Filipinos in general or a combination of both that makes these local line-ups a good place to be a woman surfer. Granted each line-up will have its fair share of macho men that will never see women as equals in the water. But they are, thankfully, the exception and not the norm.

My good friend Mille Fairhall is a free surfer who surfed competitively in her teen years. She shuttles back and forth between her two homelands of Australia and the Philippines. We were talking once about the state of women’s surfing in the Philippines and she said “There have been a few women who have dared to challenge the stereotype (that surfing is for boys). And I think that gender has no relevance on a wave. If women can get past that intimidation factor, the old guard thoughts and physical inhibitions there would be a lot more of us out there… enjoying surfing for what it is.”

By the way, Millie charges and rips so if you happen to be one of the rare aggro boys, don’t even think about asking her to move to the shoulder.

Press Release: Drama, Dreams and a Fairytale Ending to the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang 2014.

2014 Rip Curl Cup Champion Garut Widiarta  - Photo Credit : Mick Curley 

Dreams do come true and they certainly did today for Bali’s Garut Widiarta in the most spectacular waves seen in the Rip Curl Cup’s 11 year history. 

Dawn revealed corduroy lines stretching to the horizon of the Indian Ocean as a field of surfers that had waited 5 weeks finally witnessed the glory of the fearsome Padang Padang reef as good as it gets. With solid 6-8 feet bombs raging in against fierce tradewind conditions, it was an all Indonesian affair by the time the finals arrived. International surfers such as California’s Chris Ward, Hawaii’s Kekoa Bacalso and on form juniors Luke Hynd and Jacob Willcox were felled by local knowledge as cousins Garut Widiarta and Raditya Rondi stampeded into the final with grace and guts. Padang Padang at this size and power is not to be taken lightly, with giant sets closing out the channel, it was these two cousins who paddled out into the afternoon glare and did epic battle in career defining waves that set a new standard of performance in Indonesian Surfing. 

It has been a long road for Bali’s favourite son, Garut Widiarta, whose flamboyant style has taken him close to the most prestigious winners dias in Indonesia but has never afforded him the win. Today, surfing with the confidence that only destiny can bring, Garut charged every gun nest and rifled his way through impossible barrel after barrel to ride to a convincing win. The Rip Curl Cup certainly lived up to it’s name as the world’s Ultimate Tuberiding Contest as a multi-national crowd lined the cliffs and flooded the beach to witness the phenomenon of Padang Padang’s rolling thunder. It was a breathless audience who watched on as the live broadcast brought all the action to an eager surfing world on what was the best surf on the planet for the day. 

Photo Credit : Mick Curley

The Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang has built a proud heritage for over a decade, spectacular waves, sensational location and a fitting champion. 

2014 Rip curl Cup Champion Garut Widiarta  - Photo Credit : Hamish 


1st Place: Garut Widiarta 
2nd Place: Raditya Rondi 
Equal 3rd: Lee Wilson 
Equal 3rd: Mustofa Jeksen 

- Text and photos care of Tim Hain and the ASC

Press Release: Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang is ON !!!

It’s ON NOW! Round 2 commences this morning with another pumping Padang Padang swell ! 

Watch it Live - 

Round 2 match ups are as follows: 

Heat 1:  Lee Wilson (Indonesia) - Raditya Rondi (Indonesia) - Bruno Santos ( Brazil ) - Ricardo Christie ( Nez zealand) 

Heat 2:  Made Adi Putra (Indonesia) - Dede Suryana (Indonesia) - Kekoa Bacalso (Hawaii) - (Jacob Willcox (Australia) 

Heat 3:  Mega Semadhi (Indonesia) - Garut Widiarta (Indonesia) - Mustofa Jekson (Indonesia) - Elliot Paeata-Reid (New Zealand) 

Heat 4:  Chris Ward (USA) - Luke Hynd (Australia) - Jack Robinson (Australia) - Koki Hendrawan (Indonesia) 

Main Event Day 1 Highlights : 

Main Event Day 1 Highlights - Part 2 : 

More High Res Pictures & Info : 

Watch all the action Live : 


Betthany Hamilton 

August 4, 2014 - Padang Padang Beach, Bali Indonesia - It’s almost on! 

The brightest stars of the 11th annual Rip Curl Cup took the field in smallish, but perfect Padang Padang barrels today to the backdrop of a picture perfect sunset. Luminaries such as Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Bethany Hamilton and the great Rizal Tandjung traded waves with such rookies as Jacob Wilcox and Jack Robinson as the sun dipped near the horizon at one of the most spectacular surf spots in the world. The fearsome Padang Padang reef, the inspiration for the world’s ultimate tuberiding event. 

If today was any indication of the performances ahead, then tomorrow’s anticipated swell is sure to provide the perfect canvas for some of the best tuberiders in the world to strut their stuff. With an approaching swell that can already be heard crashing on the outer reef, it looks like Surfline - the official Event forecaster’s patience has paid off. After over 4 weeks of waiting, with waves that have been on the radar for over ten days, the mood here in Bali is electric. 

Raditya Rondi 

More than contest, the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang has always been more of a gladiatorial feat. Pitting 12 of the world’s finest tuberiders against 12 of Indonesia’s best locals. Locals who have literally grown within the shadows of  Padang Padang’s howling barrels. As always, the visiting surfers will have their work cut out for them, but with emerging young talents like western Australia’s Jacob Wilcox and seasoned veterans like Chris Ward and Anthony Walsh, sparks are sure to fly. 

And let us not forget Bethany Hamilton, whose performance today was only a hint at what she will be capable of tomorrow. In 2012, her stunning performance earned her a second round slot, sending more than one male competitor to the beach to reconsider their abilities. 

With a first round heat featuring Hawaiian Pipeline Master Kalani Chapman, Java’s goofy foot sensation Mustofa Jeksen and Bali’s new young lion Koki Hendrawan, this multi-national competition rings more like a summit meeting than a contest, a showcase to the surfing world of not only incredible tuberiding performance, but a gathering of our international tribe that is not to be missed. 

Watch all the action starting at 6.45am Bali time  - 

For one day, let your Search end here, in the best waves on the planet  —It’s On When its On! 

Text and photos care of Tim Hain of the ASC

Press Release: ASP announces Cloud 9 Philippines event

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 July, 2014 - The 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup will be an historic event as it will be the first time this world renowned surf break will offer ASP Qualifying Series points. This year the event is co-sanctioned with both ASP QS and Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) points on offer for those who can master the pristine barrels on offer.

Putra Hermawan (IDN) took out this event last year and is looking forward to returning this year for an even bigger and better event and the unique opportunity to compete for both ASP QS and ASC points in the one event.

"That wave at Cloud 9 is really good," Hermawan said. "Surfing Cloud 9 is like surfing my homebreak, Lacerations in Nusa Lembongan. Last year was my first time to surf at Cloud 9 and I’m so stoked to win the event in really fun barrels. I’m so excited to go back there again!"

Osot Alcala (PHI) is one of the most skilled local Cloud 9 tube riders and a former Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup event champion and will be looking to put on a show in front of a crop of the world’s best surfers.
"The locals here are super excited to have the ASP and ASC here at Cloud 9," Alcala said. "We want our chance to surf against some of the best and can’t wait until September!"

Siargao Governor, the Honourable Francisco T. Matugas has been a driving force behind getting this event on the world stage. Governor Matugas is proud of this event and the chance to show the world the surf and the surfing talent that the Philippines have to offer.

"Siargao Island has been dubbed as one of the top 10 best surf sites in the world by CNN and is ready for the next big international competition, the Siargao International Surfing Cup on September 25 - 30, 2014 at Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island," Governor Matugas said. 

"This year’s event will be highlighted by the presence of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, as the Guest of Honor in the Opening Ceremonies for the 20th conduct of the Siargao International Surfing Cup," Governor Matugas added. "The ASP which is the governing body for professional surfers and the ASC which has been enthusiastic in promoting the sport of surfing in Asia will sanction the momentous event. Come follow the surfing champs, chase the waves, encounter the must experience surfing destination in the Asia Pacific region, and experience life on board with the big waves of Siargao Island."

Dane Jordan, ASP Australasia General Manager is proud to be continuing the ASP’s vision of putting the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves even at a QS level. This year the event will offer an ASP 1-Star rating.

"I’ve been lucky enough to see Cloud 9 first hand and it truly is one of the world’s best waves," Jordan said. "It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make these events happen so I’d like to thank the people of the Philippines and everyone who’s involved. I’m really looking forward to this historic event."

Tim Hain, General Manager of the ASC has been instrumental in the co-sanctioning of this historic event, woking closely with the local government and surfing community to make the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup the biggest and best yet.

"When the ASC first sanctioned an event here at Cloud 9 in 2012, it was our goal to see a dual sanctioned ASP-ASC event here one day," Hain said. "We had such amazing waves last year at the 19th Annual Siargao International Surfing Cup, some of the best contest waves I’ve ever seen, so it’s very gratifying  that with the support of people here like Mayor Rusillon, Gerry Degan, the Matugas family, the PSF, and the local crew of surfers, the event is now part of the ASP Qualifying Series. Our ASC surfers are frothing to get back to Siargao and compete against both the local talent and the QS crew in those sick Cloud 9 pits!"

The 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup will run from September 24-29, 2014, and has been slotted into the calendar to allow competitors enough time to transit to Japan for the 4-Star QS Chiba Open.

- Release courtesy of the ASP; Photos: Tim Hain/ASC

About the ASC

The Asian Surfing Championships began in 2011 with the mission of growing the sport of surfing in South East Asia from the grassroots level by assisting each country in organizing professional surfing events that will develop the skills of their surfers in healthy competition as well as to draw attention to their area for the progression of surfing locally, nationally, and throughout the SEA area.

Organized surfing competitions have historically been the best medium for the development of surfers and for the sport of surfing, where learning how to compete fairly and to being disciplined in training and competition are key skills needed not only for surfing but also for life.

The ASC works with the local, national and multinational event sponsors and organizers to maximize the results of these competitive surfing events towards accomplishing the goals of sharing the sport of surfing and bringing positive economic, social, and environmental benefits to the people in these South East Asian countries.

 See more at


DC Skater Nyjah Huston Wins Best Male Actions Sports Athlete at ESPYS 2014

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – July 17, 2014 –– DC skater Nyjah Huston has just won his second consecutive ESPY award for Best Male Action Sports Athlete. This win solidifies Huston as a top Action Sports competitor and comes in the middle of his skateboarding season.


"I’m so stoked to have won the ESPY again this year!” said Nyjah Huston.  “It feels awesome to be recognized at an event this big.  I really couldn’t have done it without all the fans, everyone that voted, and the support of my sponsors.  Thanks so much!"

In one of Huston’s most successful years yet, he has already been crowned champion of two Street League events, X Games Austin and the Tampa Pro. 

On top of being an incredibly successful skateboarder, Huston has been dedicated to launching his latest pro model shoe, the Nyjah Vulc, which he can be seen wearing at the ESPYS.   Visit for Huston’s full line of pro model shoes.

— Release care of the Primer Group of Companies 

About DC:

Founded in 1994, DC quickly grew to be a leader in performance skateboarding shoes and a renowned action sports brand.  Today DC Shoes stands as a global brand whose product line has expanded to include men’s, women’s and kids’ skateboarding and lifestyle shoes, apparel, snowboards, snowboard boots, outerwear and accessories. 

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