Windsurfing in the Philippines
Sun-and-fun tourists flock to the Philippines for the country’s hundreds of miles of picturesque beaches, crystal-clear seas and fruity tropical libations.
Windsurfers, however, are more interested in the stiff breezes than the stiff drinks, as a couple of the beaches in the Philippines are top-notch windsurfing destinations. While you’re there, keep an eye out for famous faces: You might just convince one to sign your board.
Boracay Island’s Bulabog Beach is by far the most popular destination for windsurfing in the Philippines, so it’s not surprising that the International Windsurfing Association regularly holds major competitions at the site. The main attractions are the beach’s consistent wind conditions and moderate swell.
Students head to the adjacent lagoon, where hip-deep water smooths the learning curve. Advanced practitioners and competitors head for the passages through the delimiting reef and into the choppy seas outside the lagoon. There, hotshots jump as high as their skills will let them.
Cuyo Island’s little resort hamlet of Victoria Beach, located in Palawan, supports a handful of boutique-style windsurfing and kitesurfing schools. Learners choose Victoria Beach for its quiet atmosphere, shallow lagoon and close-by activities for nonkiting friends and family. Experts venture out of the lagoon for the high-flying and much more dangerous open-sea surfing.
Tucked away in a remote coastal corner of Pagudpud, the diminutive resort at Kingfisher Beach caters specifically to the windsurfing and kitesurfing crowd. Walk-ins are not accepted. Athletes are housed on-site in rooms ranging from economical thatch-roofed huts to fully equipped cabanas. The result is a pleasantly uncrowded site with shallow, flat water, predictable wind conditions and excellent consistency.
Windsurfers find the best conditions for their sport in the Philippines between the months of October and March, when the winds average 15 to 20 knots. The season’s strongest days peak at around 35 knots.
Windsurfing requires the athlete to accept a moderate level of personal risk. At windsurfing sites in the Philippines, rescue equipment is limited. At low tide, the sharp surface of the submerged reef can be very close to the water’s surface.
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