I met Aping and Ikit at the start of the year but I’ve been following them on Instagram for much longer. Their pictures were magnetizing. Everything always looked so effortless, not a hair out of place. When they visited La Union, I was most excited to meet them.
There was a big and almost blown out swell that day and the odds didn’t look favorable at the popular Point break. Surfers scurried around in tricycles and motorbikes, looking for cleaner waves. I—along with fifty other people—waited for set waves at a world-class right-hander that stretched on beyond 100 meters if you made all the sections.
In the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a slender figure making her way to the nose of her longboard— but instead of cross-stepping, she did what looked like a pirouette. It was a full 360-degree turn with her board under her feet, not once missing a beat. It was Ikit! She wore an all black long-sleeved surf suit that made her look even taller. Sitting on the inside in a short-sleeved version of the surf suit was Aping, and she caught my eye and smiled. I paddled over to say hi, and when Ikit paddled back, we were all introduced.