I discovered another surfing spot, and it is closer than my usual go-to place in La Union. I was actually surprised that I did not discover this sooner. The place I was talking about is Crystal Beach, in San Narciso, Zambales. It was introduced to me by my friend Vince, who accompanied me on this trip two weeks ago (he was the one who taught me flyboarding and hoverboarding in Subic).
I thought that the surfing trip would not push through, owing to the inclement weather brought about by the habagat. It was raining very hard the night before, until the early morning we set out from Olongapo. Luckily the skies cleared as soon as we got there, and we were able to surf all morning.
Crystal Beach is actually a resort, located in the town of San Narciso in Zambales, with the beach facing the West Philippine Sea. It became a favorite among the locals and out-of-towners alike, and it is easy to sea why. The beach is expansive, with regular peeling waves that can excite the experts and challenging for beginners and newbies. Since I am new to the place and not yet familiar with the surfing conditions I got myself a trainer. Before surfing we were given some pointers, some general and a few on intermediate level, such as how to make turns and do a hang ten. We set out after that.
It took me a while to get used to the conditions, and to the board, which is too slippery for me. I also haven’t surfed for almost a year, and it showed in my balance and stamina. Still, it was great to be able to play again.
There were around eight of us in the surf (it was a Tuesday, so the beach wasn’t crowded), taking turns catching the wave, and we stayed in the water until well past noon. I got a nasty souvenir, a skinned knee, when an errant wave crashed into me and dragged me to the shore. Part of the territory, I shrugged.
After the surfing session we spent some time going around the resort and chatting up with the local surfers and the instructors, with them giving us tips on which months and days are best to visit, and which surfing events not to miss. Surely, I will be back.
Surfboards can be rented for PhP200 an hour. Instructors can also be hired for PhP200/hr. Rooms and cottages are available, if you want to stay overnight, with rates varying from PhP 2400-10,000, depending on the size and amenities.
How to Get There
Crystal Beach is located in Barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales, 191.9 kilometers north of Manila. It will take about 3 hours and 21 minutes to travel via Northern Luzon Expressway. If from Metro Manila you may take a Victory bus from Cubao to Iba, Zambales. Just tell the conductor that you’re getting off in San Narciso. The bus stops near the town hall. Take a tricycle from there to Crystal Beach.
(Kin Enriquez blogs at http://www.boardinggate101.com/)