When she’s not busy doing television/movie projects, Mara Lopez is conquering the beach waves with her surfboard.
Mara, whose dad Hiroshi Yokohama was the one who established the first surfing school in the Philippines in 1996, started surfing when she was just six years old.
She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the launch of Reef’s 2016 collection, “I usually go to Baler more than I go to Makati, that’s how much I go surfing.
“In a month, kunwari may alon ha, now kasi medyo walang alon, pero ‘pag may alon, like noong January, February, March, and itong April siguro, nakaka-fifteen to twenty times na akong balik sa Baler.
“When summer, I go every weekend, minsan five days. Noong Holy Week, I was there for almost one week.”
Since she's been surfing for 18 years now, we asked Mara to share some tips to those who want to try surfing.
1. “Learn how to step out of your comfort zone.”
Mara said, “You’re not gonna get it right away on you first try.
"Well, some people do when they have really good balance, but just keep on trying and trying until you get it.
“It is such a fun sport, it’s a sport for all ages, you can do it if you’re three years old, you can do it. If you’re 70 years old, you can also do it.
“I think it’s never too late to learn a new sport.”
2. Don’t just stick with one type of surfing board.
Mara related, “I started on a long board. I think that’s how everyone, a lot of people starts there, but you can easily start on a short board.
“Ako, like four years na akong nagsho-short board, so I’ve been exploring different types of boards.
“I think it’s good sa surfing parang hindi ka lang ma-obsessed sa one type of style.
“Really explore what you wanna do and just surf different kinds of waves too.”
What kind of surfing board does she use now?
“I use Switcher board, it’s a local brand pero Japanese made siya, and there are different types."
3. It’s better to surf in the morning.
“Ako, I’m known for waking up at like 4 a.m. para 5 a.m., nandun na ako kasi ayoko ng crowded, e.
“I think about waking up early kasi hindi sobrang crowded.
“Pero I do have a lot of secret spots na hindi pa napupuntahan ng maraming tao, so okay rin.”
But of course, there are many factors that you should consider too.
Mara said, “Depende rin sa tides.
“You have the wind, direction of the wind, as well as direction of the tides.
“So sometimes, let’s say sobrang high tide yung certain spots hindi masyadong maganda.
"But ako, personally gusto ko talagang gumising nang maagang-maaga.”
@madeforbikinis waiting for the sun to rise.. I haven't stopped thinking about you since that day. I have been filled with so much guilt cause I wasn't there for you. So much "What ifs" from that day but instead of apologizing, I'll make a promise instead. I promise to watch out for you in and out of the ocean. I am so happy you are alive. I know you'll be stronger than ever Kat! You still have so much to do here for God's purpose! You're a real survivor Kat and you are loved. ???
4. Pick the most comfortable yet stylish surf clothing.
"Whenever I’m in the ocean, kunwari kapag pumili ako ng bikini, gusto ko maganda pero hindi maalis kapag na-wipeout ako.
“Kasi minsan I surf may big waves and kapag straight bikini, madaling maalis, e.
"So pumipili ako nung mga certain clothes na, you know, comfortable sa surfer."
And if you really want to be well-protected from the harmful sunlight, wear rash guard plus a surfing hat.
Mara said, “It’s very helpful kasi like sunblock din, it can protect you up to a certain level lang pero physical protection is the best.
“Ako, I always wear a rash guard kasi I like surfing for like a long time.
“Like, five to six hours, minsan umaabot ako ng seven hours, depende kung gano kaganda yung alon. a
"And sometimes, I even wear a hat.”
Mara recommends Reef, a brand she has been endorsing for a year now.