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The Stormrider Surf Guide: East AsiaThe Stormrider Surf Guide: East Asia

The Stormrider Surf Guide: East Asia

The Stormrider Surf Guide: East Asia - Special

MALAYSIA - Eastern Peninsular, VIETNAM - Da Nang CHINA - Hong Kong and Guangdong, Hainan TAIWAN SOUTH KOREA - Jeju Do JAPAN - Shikoku, Okinawa, Chiba Prefecture, Kyushu, Fukuoka, Tanegashima PHILIPPINES - Siargao, Catanduanes, Eastern Samar, NW Luzon, Eastern Luzon, Northern Mindanao

United Kingdom
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access_time6 min.
northern mindanao

Badjang (ALL PHOTOS JOHN CALLAHAN/TROPICALPIX)Summary+ VARIOUS GOOD SPOTS NEAR LANUZA+ WORLD-CLASS SANDY POINT+ MOSTLY UNCROWDED+ CLOSE TO SIARGAO+ DIRT CHEAP, VIRGIN MINDANAO– INCONSISTENT SWELLS– SHORT SURF SEASON– LACK OF TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE– DIFFICULT ACCESS– UN TRAVEL WARNINGSPunta LeftMindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines, is an enchanting land of volcanic mountains cloaked in exotic tropical plants, leading down to squeaky white and pink sand beaches, where boldly-striped vintas ply the waters between houses perched precariously on stilts. Because wave-rich Siargao island is so close, there is little wonder that intrepid travellers like John Callahan have searched around and discovered some perfect, typhoon swell gems like Jelly’s Point or Lanuza’s Doot Poktoy. Since November 2005, an international longboard contest has been held in Lanuza, attracting some big Aussie names and exposure…

access_time5 min.

Cloud Nine (JOHN CALLAHAN)Summary+ WORLD CLASS REEFS+ PLENTY OF UNCROWDED SPOTS+ TROPICAL CONDITIONS+ CHEAP LIVING COSTS– GENERALLY SMALL SURF– LONG FLAT SPELLS– LONG TRANSFER JOURNEY– POLITICAL INSTABILITYThe 7,107 islands of the Philippines in many ways form a parallel to Indonesia. The quality of the reefs is similar, the climate much the same and the beaches as beautiful. It differs only in swell consistency. The Philippines lie at the west end of the Pacific and relies on E swells, which are generated by typhoons travelling along the East Asian coastline from July to Nov. A deep water trench and a better swell exposure make the south-eastern area of the Philippines the prime wave theatre. Discovered in the early 80’s, it’s a remote place surrounded by many unexplored islands and feels a…

access_time6 min.
eastern samar

Philippine Dream (ALL PHOTOS JOHN CALLAHAN)Summary+ TYPHOONS AND WINDSWELLS+ UNDISCOVERED QUALITY BREAKS+ WARM AND TROPICAL+ CHEAP AND LIVELY– ERRATIC TYPHOON SWELLS– MESSY WINDSWELLS– HEAVY RAINS– NO TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE– TIME CONSUMING TRAVELOut of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines, Samar is the 3rd largest volcanic island. It was once the largest province in the Visayas until it was divided into three provinces: Western, Eastern and Northern Samar. Amongst these provinces of Region VIII, Northern and Eastern Samar boasts some undiscovered surf potential. Eastern Samar itself is 150km (94mi) long and only 40km (25mi) wide. The province has a rough and hilly terrain covered by lush tropical vegetation, with some 200-300m (600-900ft) mountains and a few narrow strips of lowland. Borongan, the provincial capital with 50,000 people, lies some 550km (360mi) east…

access_time5 min.

(ALL PHOTOS JOHN CALLAHAN)Summary+ WORLD CLASS RIGHTHANDER+ EMPTY WAVES+ EXOTIC, TROPICAL PARADISE+ CHEAP AND MELLOW TRIP– LONG FLAT SPELLS– LACK OF QUALITY SPOTS– UNSUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS– WET CLIMATE– DIFFICULT ACCESSAglance at a map of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines could leave you feeling dizzy over the apparent surf possibilities this country offers. Located just off the Bicol region of South Luzon (the main island), Catanduanes Island juts out into the Pacific and appears to be an ideal swell magnet for the NE typhoon swells. The first Philippine surf explorers arrived in the mid 80’s, followed in 1988 by Surfer magazine, who published the story of a trip to Catanduanes. The idyllic photos of a palm fringed, white sand beach with a barrelling righthander just offshore, put the Philippines under…

access_time5 min.
eastern luzon

Cemento (KAGE GOZUN)Summary+ FREQUENT NE MONSOON SWELLS+ VARIETY OF REEFS & BEACHIES+ SCENIC SIERRA MOUNTAINS+ REALLY CHEAP & ENTERTAINING+ PINOY SURF CULTURE– NO WORLD-CLASS WAVES– OCCASIONAL CROWDS– ONSHORE BEACHBREAKS– TOUGH OVERLAND ACCESS– LANDSLIDES, RAINS, ROBBERYThe Philippines are notorious for long, arduous journeys to way out there coastal villages, where fickle reefs await just the right typhoon swell to ignite. Despite being located on the main island of Luzon, the town of Baler is no exception, taking the adventurous over the rolling Sierra Madre mountain range in the province of Aurora. This nerve jangling road trip is a spectacular visual delight passing waterfalls, rivers and a lush cloak of tropical forest full of biodiversity. The surfing scene in Apocalypse Now was filmed in Baler at Charlie’s Point and when the film…

access_time6 min.
north west luzon

Car-rile Point (JOHN CALLAHAN)Summary+ CONSISTENT NE MONSOON SWELL+ OCCASIONAL SW TYPHOON SWELL+ MANY UNCROWDED BREAKS+ CHEAP LIVING COSTS– SMALL SIZE WAVES– SOME MANILA CROWDS– NATURAL AND SOCIAL DISASTERS– SEX TOURISMIt’s commonly thought that surfing in the Philippines started in 1976 after Francis-Ford Coppola shot Apocalypse Now in Baler, Aurora province and left a couple of boards behind for the local Pinoys. However, it’s more likely that US airmen started surfing Mona Liza Point in La Union in the early ‘70s. Relying mainly on NE monsoon wind-driven waves, the focus of east coast surfing in the South China Sea has shifted further north around a trendy surf resort called Badoc Island. Badoc is a true surf paradise with four quality uncrowded reefbreaks nearby and a reliable beachbreak. Being an exclusive private…