Wakeboarding wasn’t really on my to-do list. The opportunity to try this sport actually came at a very odd time. It was the first weekend since my breakup with the Ex and after days of crying I was determined to stop wallowing. One of my good friends, Beth, came through, sending me a text that she’ll be wakeboarding in Batangas that weekend and if I wanted to come with. I’ve never tried wakeboarding before, but instead of the usual debate with myself and my athletic abilities, I didn’t think twice about this. I immediately said yes.

There are five wakeparks in the Philippines that I know of:

As of writing this, I’ve only been to two: Lago de Oro and CWC.

Pro gear

Pro gear

Lago de Oro Beach Club is about a 2-3 hour drive from Manila. Republ1c Wakepark is actually a closer option, if you want to frequent this sport (it’s also a bit cheaper!), but Rommel picked Lago de Oro because it was a Saturday and based on his experience, the lines at Republ1c can get frustratingly long.

We got to Lago de Oro at around 10:30AM and debated on a half-day session (PHP1,100.00) or a whole day session (PHP1,600.00). (Note: a one hour session costs PHP550.00). The afternoon session starts at 2PM. Rommel, my friend’s boyfriend, who wakeboards about two or three times a week in Republ1c, suggested we get the whole day session, since we wanted to start immediately and he thought I would probably get addicted to it. Beth, who has tried this before, agreed. A whole day session it is! Please click on over to Lago de Oro’s official website for updated rates. Yes, I admit, the rates are quite steep. The advantage though, as Rommel pointed out, was that there actually is a lot less people here compared to Republ1c. He said this should be good for a first timer like me, because I will learn the sport faster as there will be shorter breaks between turns.

Rommel waiting for his turn

Rommel waiting for his turn

After picking up our equipment, we decided to check out the pro course. The pro course was a big course that had different ramps set up for the wakeboarders’ tricks. It was amazing to watch the more experienced wakeboarders at it. They made everything look easy, which, of course, it wasn’t. Everyone of them, doing a jump start and then riding off, sometimes one-handed, going up the ramps and doing spins and tricks. I couldn’t wait to try it. So after a few more minutes of admiring the wakeboarders mad skills, Beth and I headed over to the beginner course.

Jump start

Jump start

The beginner course is a shorter course. There is one line that goes to and from the base point, where you sit on a ramp, with your feet on the wakeboard. The beginner wakeboard was a slip on. None of those cool boards with the shoes on them. Wakeboarding 101: the instructor told me to keep my toes up, my legs bent, a steady grip on the handle and let it pull me. Okay. Sounds easy enough. Not quite!

Ready, set...

Ready, set…

My first try at wakeboarding probably got me three or four feet from the start point. And every time I fell, I became even more determined to reach the end. When we were there, there was only 2 other beginners wakeboarding, so that means after every turn, we waited maybe 5 minutes before our next one. I immediately understood what Rommel and Beth meant about learning the sport more quickly. Since you have a shorter wait time, you easily remember what you did wrong, and a few minutes later, pick up where you left off. Beth said that in Republ1c on a weekend, sometimes because of the line, it would take more than 30 minutes until your next try. By that time, you’ve already lost your momentum and sort of feel like you’re starting over.

at the beginner course

at the beginner course

This was a great idea and I am very grateful that Beth had thought to ask me to join them. It was a great distraction. My only focus that day was to reach my goal and that goal was to go all the way to the end of the beginner course. I was determined; fall after fall, I felt I edged closer and closer to the end of the course.

Thanks for the distraction and the intro to a new sport.

Thanks for the distraction and the intro to a new sport.

We stayed at Lago de Oro all the way til closing, decided on a quick dinner at a roadside diner for some bulalo in Tagaytay, and headed to Manila. It was a fun and tiring day and the perfect distraction for my weary heart and mind. It also rewarded me an introduction to a sport I could actually do.

(This is another retro post. This trip took place September 15, 2012.)

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