Conquering Wake Boarding

The Philippines, Travel Anecdotes and Then Some

Admittedly, I’m not  buff (as some of my pictures have earlier shown, hehehe) but I really enjoy some active sports. And if you will ask me, one of the best adrenaline-pumping sports out there is wake boarding.

Wake boarding is fast gaining popularity in Asia and the Philippines has embraced the sport wholeheartedly. Celebrities, sports junkies and the average Filipino have all trooped to wake board centers to experience this exhilarating activity that mixes speed, balance and love for water.

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In the Philippines, the demand for wake boarding from both locals and international sports enthusiasts has prompted the establishment of several centers including the Lago de Oro Cable Ski Park and Resort in Batangas, the Clark Wakeboard Park in Pampanga, the DECA Wakeboard Park in Davao City and the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) in Camarines Sur.

Of all the available wake boarding centers in the country, CWC remains the most popular due to its strategic location, as well as good planning from its owners and the local government.

You can go there by land via a 12-hour roadtrip to Naga City from Manila or you can try the 45-minute plane ride. I suggest you take the place and reserve your energy for the sport.

I liked CWC because you see, while people troop to the center for wake boarding, the developers of CWC realizes that the complex also has to cater to the families of the athletes. When athletes go weary after a whole day of surfing, then they can try parasailing and  other water sports also inside the complex.

a lifeguard saving me after my embarrassing first try

CWC also offers a host of other amenities like billiards, a zoo and a botanical garden for people to unwind after the competitiveness of wake boarding.

Inside the complex, athletes and their families can stay in various accommodations available ranging from the very utilitarian trailers to the posh and cozy cabanas. Of course, I stayed in one of the cabanas.

Wake boarding is very addicting sport. Once you’ve experienced it, then there’s really no looking back.

In the past three years, I have visited CWC for at least 12 times and I think I have improved my balance and  ability to stay on top of the board.

You are actually encouraged to try knee boarding first and if you complete three revolutions without crashing into the water, that’s the ideal time for you to elevate into wake boarding. This is to get acquainted with the course and steady your balance. I know this now, but on my very first try some three years ago, I merely dismissed the suggestion and bravely tried wake boarding.

cwc (photo from cwcwaketv.com)

I managed to stay on board for only five seconds and then I crashed into the water much to my embarassment and to the delight of the crowd.

What’s even more embarrassing was the fact that a life guard actually had to swim to me and accompany to the banks of the man-made lake, to avoid being hit by professionals using the course after me. In my defense, the board is actually tied to your feet, so it’s really difficult to swim back on your own.

I went back to my camp and I was welcomed by the jeering laughter of my friends.

But rather than sulking, I put on a brave face and tried doing the knee boarding and when finally I managed to complete five revolutions, I again tried to wake board and I managed to stay 12 seconds. I tried for five more tries and on my last attempt, I finally managed to stay on board for the entire revolution.

Granted, I never tried doing the obstacles and the aerial acrobatics but completing one round is just too great.

cabana (photo from cwcwaketv.com)

The lifeguard who had to save me during my first try, gave me a pat in the back and congratulated for braving the course. Apparently, many first timers who end up crashing, got too embarrassed and did not attempt a second go until another visit.

I managed to complete 13 revolutions during my first day and I just had that feeling of accomplishing something not many people can.

The next day, I was cursing the course, not because I didn’t enjoy wake boarding, but because nobody told me that doing it for the first time, without enough prior exercise would make arms so sore, you can hardly raise them.

But even with my sore arms, I still hit the course in the next two days, on a limited time period, managing another 8 revolutions.

At the end of our three-day first visit, I packed my back, got on our private van and waved to the course, knowing that it’s only a matter of time before I come back and finally master the course.

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