Beginner's Guide to Surfing in Siargao

Beginner's Guide to Surfing in Siargao

So you just landed in the Surfing Capital of the Philippines!!! CONGRATS! I know it can seem a bit intimidating so I made this little guide to help you cross Surfing off your bucket list.


Follow these steps to have the most amazing time out on the water:

  1. Meet with a Guide - take a tricycle to Jacking Horse (beginner surf spot right beside Cloud 9) and find a Guide/instructor. I recommend instructors at Oh Wow Surf or Surf Spider! Double check to make sure that they are licensed surf instructors. You do not want to entrust your life to some random person hanging out at the beach.

    • Tips: Usually legit instructors will have you sign a waiver before beginning the lesson.
  2. Instructor Rates - The rates for surf lessons are pretty standard and actually very affordable! Keep in mind that you are supporting local Siargao businesses. Instructors always appreciate tips!

    • 1 Hour Surf Lesson with a Board + Instructor - 500 Php (200 for the board rental and 300 for the instructor)

If you would like to surf in another location that is far from the Jacking Horse/Cloud 9 area they usually require a 2 hour minimum. (Ex: Surf spots like Cemetery, Stimpy’s, Pesangan, Dako, Rock Island etc.)

  1. Rent a board - If you would like to rent a board for the whole day, I recommend renting it from Jose’s Surf Shop.

    • Whole Day Board Rentals - 350 Php

    • Shops like Jose’s or Fat Lips and most resorts have rental boards, so ask around and find the best price! Tips: Be aware that if you decide to rent a board elsewhere you are liable if your board is damaged. If you want to play it safe, just rent one from your instructor.

  2. Be honest- Describe your level of surfing and swimming so they know what to focus on when instructing you. Now is the time to tell them if the open water kind of scares you. Don’t worry! That’s what the instructor is there for, you will never be forced to do something you aren’t comfortable with

  3. The Tides - Ask your instructor when the best time to surf is or check online at You want to make sure the conditions are suitable for your level of surfing. Click here for a helpful Surf Spot Guide by Fat Lips.

  4. Proper Attire - Wear a rash guard and aqua socks. Rash guards prevent you from having bikini mishaps (nip slips) and also protect your skin from cuts and scratches. Aqua socks are great for walking along rocky parts when it’s low tide. Some even prefer to wear them while surfing. This of course is based on what you feel comfortable with. I prefer to surf barefooted and in a bikini, but to each her own.

  5. Lockers - Oh Wow Surf has small lockers available for 50 pesos just in case you have any valuables you would like to keep stored.

  6. Stay Hydrated - Bring your own reusable water bottle and stay hydrated. Trust me your body will thank you later

  7. Be Patient and Prepared - Surfing can sometimes be frustrating but keep practicing and don’t give up. Be prepared to fall A LOT, but that’s alright. That feeling when you catch a wave is worth all the struggle and frustration you feel when you’re first starting out.

  8. Listen and Ride - Follow your instructors and listen to all of their comments. They will first give you basic training on how to stand on the board and will teach you how to paddle for a wave. Instructors will assist you in catching a wave by pushing your board, you can always request for them not to push you when you are confident enough. The guides are there to help you, so make them your friends and learn from them

  9. Have Fun - Surfing is all about patience and progress. Don’t forget to enjoy your ride and make sure to smile, it helps you balance! (;


  • Wear sunblock and apply Zinc on the parts of your face that are most exposed in the sun.

  • Bring a GoPro. Some boards for rent even have mounts for your GoPro, so you can get cool footage!! Do it for the ‘gram!

I hope you channel that nervous energy into excitement, because surfing is such a beautiful sport to experience. If you are planning a trip to Siargao and have any questions, don’t hesistate to comment below or send me a DM on instagram (@summerislive_).

Always, Walk in Love


Summer Digital Creator, Musician, Host, and Gamer
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