Sunday, February 5, 2017

Skimboarding in my neighborhood by the beach in Zambales

Lyric Farala, 10, is top of the grom class in barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales.

Almost everyday since November, I have been watching skimboarders riding the waves close to the shore near my bamboo house by the West Philippine Sea in barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales. They can be as young as five years old or in the early '30s.

Skimboarding is the water sport of choice of the young men in the southern part of the coastal barrio. In the northern part, it is surfing: the local boys teach the neophyte surfers from Metro Manila and other parts of the country the rudiments of this sport at the Crystal Beach Resort.

The skimboarders have shorter boards than the surfers, and they ride the waves or swells nearer the shore, Skimboarding is a fast game on shallow waters. The surfers do the waves farther out, and bigger and finned boards allow them longer and more stable rides on the waves surging to break on the shore..

Both are imported sports: surfing from Hawaii and skimboarding from California.

But both have become native to our provincial haven; hence, we're claiming that San Narciso is the 'surfing and skimboarding capital of Zambales.'

These three A players, Angelo Ceneta, Peter Pagar and Jay Agagas competed in Tiwi, Albay last December.

In a local skimboarding competition event this month, there were competing groups: groms, Class B and Class A.

A grom (derived from grommet) is a skimboarder 14 years old or younger. Their seniors are either B or A, the A being the top players.  Veteran A players did not compete in the recent event, they instead judged in the three categories.

Champion in the groms category was Lyric Farala, a 10-yeat old pupil of the barangay elementary school. His father, uncles and cousins are skimboarders too. One of them teaches surfing at Crystal Beach.

Among those who judged in that January event were the three Class A players who represented the town in the skimboarding competition in Tiwi, Albay last December (2016): Angelo Ceneta, Peter Pagar and Jay Agagas.  Pagar won the top price in the individual category. The two others went into the qualifying rounds but did not make it to the cut for the final rounds.

Pagar has joined the labor force in Manila, and he skimboards when he comes home to take a breath. Ceneta may also give up his boards as soon as he is done with his marine transport education. Agagas does construction jobs to earn his keep, but he's still very much around the beach front with other skimboarders.

Typical skimboarding sights.

All these young sportsmen belong to the San Narciso Shorebreakers Skimboarding Group managed by Mia Casal, who takes time out from her potter's wheel and clay to watch their routines on the surging and swelling waves of the nearby sea.

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