The scenic oceans that surround the Philippines offer some of the finest opportunities in the world for surfboarders of all skill levels, and each year countless athletes from around the globe visit its shores to pay tribute and experience the waves for themselves. Even so, few seem to understand just how unique the Philippines is when it comes to its surfing opportunities, and even fewer appreciate just how seriously 2017 was a landmark year for Philippines surfing.
So what made 2017 stand out, and, more importantly, why does the Philippines remain a hotspot amongst surfboarders dying to experience epic waves crashing into rolling beaches? A deep dive into the scene on the shore shows that, when it comes to surfing, nowhere else can match the majesty of the Pearl of the Orient Seas.
Taking a dive into the Philippines
An expansive archipelago with well over 7,000 islands, the Philippines offers a little bit of something for everyone. The island nation offers more and greater opportunities to surfers than anyone else, however, a fact that’s not hard to understand once you realize how serene its beaches and waters are. There are countless places in the Philippines that you need to explore if you’re dying to achieve an authentic and epic surfing experience, and 2017 in particular shows what you’ve missed out on if you haven’t yet visited.
For instance, the first-ever Philippines surfing championship took place in 2017, showing that, when it comes to embracing international surfboarders and fostering better tourism on the islands, the Philippines are only just getting started. Local surf legends and international surfing giants alike met on the shores to display their skills, with many tasting the surf of the Philippines for the first time, thus ensuring they’ll be back in the future.
For surfers looking for a great time or for eager industry investors dying to scope out the next big surf-hotspot, the Philippines is looking increasingly enticing. The clean wavers offered by the Philippines will fast become internationally-renown, so if you want to get in for some early surfing before a more established tourism industry comes into its own, you’d best book your trip now.
For local surfers in particular, 2017 represented a mammoth opportunity that they couldn’t afford to miss out on. Last year and its debut championship saw the establishment of greater interest in surfing from local and international media outlets alike, and in the future, those trying to make a name for themselves in the archipelago can likely do so by becoming talented at dazzling a crowd on the shores with their surfing skills.
Building a surfing community
Perhaps the most important aspect of 2017 when it comes to Philippines surfing, however, is the sense of community that it helped establish. Previously, surfers in the Philippines had to battle it out for local prestige and rewards, and seldom if ever had any opportunities to make a national or international name for themselves by remaining in their local waters. Now, however, the future of Philippines surfing will be defined by greater international interest, and by a larger national community of surfers that pools together the best talent the island nation has to offer.
A surfing community – and the astonishing competitions, prizes, and media attention that helps expand such a community – can’t come into its own overnight. 2017 helped establish the foundations of a local industry that will continue to grow for years, and hopefully decades, to come. It was the ideal crash course that helped local event organizers determine what areas were good and bad for surfing events, and will go a long way towards ironing out any kinks in the competitive surfing regime that’s likely to form in the Philippines in the coming years.
The Philippines’ spotlight in the international media ecosystem may have been dominated by the relationship between its president and that of the United States recently, but now onlookers everywhere have a different reason to pay attention to the disparate islands that make up the nation. A growing economy and lower crime rates are both assured to foster greater tourism in the region, which will directly help the budding surfing community grow.
Looking back a few years from now, and especially decades on when today’s surfing legends have retired, it’s likely that it won’t be unfair to call 2017 the landmark year in which Philippines surfing came into its own. As more sponsors pour in from the international community and local governments embrace surfing with greater gusto, expect surfing to grow more popular in the Philippines. An epic wave of potential is forming, and if the country plays its cards right, it could ride it to international fame and prestige for years to come.