Romancing the allure of the seas is just getting better and better.
Riding the crest of tide and making waves is a sweet escape for twenty-something events organizer, the smart and lovely Nicole Wuthrich who not only excelled in sports but finished Cum Laude in UP Diliman.
Nicole’s fascination for the waves have gone overboard – taking her surfing skills to next level minus the soft caress of the waters – but the challenges of tough surfaces, and that is perfecting the longboarding.
“It was 2004 when one of my Human Kinetics Class in UP Diliman brought us to La Union on our field trip. The place is known as a surf spot. Since I still don’t know how to surf, for me this is a new sport to try,” the rest is Nicole’s sports story.
“Definitely, I’m excited to learn! The first time I learned how to surf was also the first time I was able to ride a wave. I got so stoked that I just wanted to surf and surf,” she exclaims.
“From then on, I started surfing with friends but not religiously because of school, taekwondo, climbing and frisbee. I was doing a lot of sports at the same time. After graduating, I started surfing again usually every weekend if I don’t have work,” notes Nicole.
No Stopping Longboarding
“I started with longboarding in 2008 and mostly guys are the ones you see doing it. But I just wanted to try it and do what they can do. After nailing some tricks on the board, the same feeling of wanting to know more and to get even better sets in me. That’s why I couldn’t stop,” she stresses.
Despite her hectic routine, Nicole manages to push herself learning fighting sports Muay Thai and jujitsu.
“Surfing requires going to beaches which I really, really love – and the waves. I heard that there are waves outside Iloilo but I don’t know where exactly, I’d love to try it though,” she enthuses.
“Spot hunting, that’s what we should do! When surfing, you need to wear rash guard, and of course – the long board or short board of your preference. Surfing requires balance and good paddling skills for you to catch waves!” Nicole advises.
Surfing Even without Waves
“Longboarding is an offshoot of surfing – it’s like riding in a concrete wave. When there are no waves, longboarding is the way to go!” she says.
In Iloilo, longboarding is now growing in popularity, Nicole says citing a national downhill and push race competition held during Dinagyang in January.
Long Way to Go Iloilo
“It was a successful event, people in Manila are asking for more competitions in Iloilo because of the great course! I can say that it’s pretty much picking up. Iloilo is becoming a tourist spot for longboarders because of the roads and hills that they can ride on,” she declares.
There are so many things that longboarding can contribute to Iloilo’s growth in sports and tourism, she adds.
How to get started? Longboarding requires you to have a board longer than the usual skateboard, usually ranges from 35inches and longer.
“Always wear helmet and pads when skating. It is important to be safe at all times. Riding a longboard requires balance, if you have centered in already, you can ride it, do tricks and go downhill if you like,” Nicole says.
“The thrill that I get from surfing and longboarding is unimaginably great, the rush and the stoke are totally different from other sports! You really have to try and experience it! It’s all about sharing the stoke that you have,” she states.
“There are a lot of benefits that I get from these sports. It keeps me physically fit and healthy. It develops my endurance, muscle toning and most of all – it serves as a stress reliever!” Nicole affirms.
“I garnered a lot of sports awards because of the hard work that I put in. I was even nominated in the Gawad Chancellor award in UP Diliman because of all the sports I’ve tried and excelled in. One thing that I’m really proud of – is representing the Philippines – and I’m very much proud to say that I represented our country well,” she stresses.
“Good thing about my family is that they are into sports too and being so supportive in what I do and to what sports I get myself into. They pretty much gets surprised by my new activities,” says Nicole.
“Time management is very essential in everything that I do. It’s a matter of being responsible of my time in work and to my activities. I see to it that I don’t take things for granted,” she adds.
“We Ilonggas should not be intimidated by these sports because this is what makes us standout from the rest. What boys can do, we definitely can do it too! We can’t just let all the boys have most of the fun. Surfing and longboarding are for everyone to try and enjoy!” Nicole encourages.
Just Do It
“The greatest pleasure in life is doing the things that people say you cannot do. This is very much applicable to me. I always hear people say that I can’t do this or that, but instead of making those comments affect me, it even makes me strive more to become better and to prove them wrong. I always have a mindset that no one should dictate what I can’t and can do,” she asserts.
“To be honest, I’m really grateful that I’m into sports – it led me to the right path. It helped me travel, paid for my education, instilled discipline and shaped my over all character,” Nicole avers.
“Sports does not only benefit me but also my family. It’s because of striving hard and doing my best in what I do that have me sponsored. Right now, I’m happy that I’m endorsing Billabong Girls, Sector 9 from Aloha Boardsports, Freesurf Inc and DC Shoes,” she adds.
“Putting your mind to something that you are passionate about will surely get you far and become successful,” says Nicole.
Check out the photos here: http://alohaboardsports.com/site/?p=5217
(This sports story first appeared in Mezzo Magazine March-April 2011)