Mothers Who Surf
Verity Wigley and her surf crew
Experience is life’s greatest teacher, but before we ventured into the world on our own, we first listened to our mothers. From saying our first words, to waiting for our turn, and to saying sorry, the most important life lessons were learned at home.
What if our mothers also taught us how to do a proper cutback or duck dive? Next-generation surfers like 7-year old Kai Alcala and 9-year old Alana Blancada Rietenbach have their moms to thank for more than just the alphabet.
We caught up with some of these stylish surfer moms and learned what they thought of surfing, motherhood, and all the joys in between.
Nildie Espejon Blancada
Family time is better when you surf
When Nildie is not managing Siargao Inn Resort or spraying buckets in Cloud 9, she spends quality time with her 9-year old daughter, Alana Samica, and 5-year old son, Leo Franz. On smaller days, she can be seen pushing her children into waves, the stoke evident on the bright smiles on their faces.
Nildie’s grace in the water is reflective of her great sense of balance in life. “I know being a mom isn’t easy,” she ponders. “But at the same time, life is full of surprises [that could] bring pure happiness.” Nildie believes that being a mother helps her be a better surfer because it teaches her the value of hard work and balance.
With a confident smile, she says: “Being a mom and a surfer is the perfect balance for me.”
Stoked to be with you, Ma
Manette’s full blown support for her son, Kai, is well-known not just in our country. She has traveled to different surf destinations with Kai and Kyron Rathbone to continue Kai’s surf education in and out of the water. When Manette isn’t making Philippine women’s history in international surf competitions, she shows her motherly dedication by surfing with Kai everyday.
When asked whether being a mother helped her become a better surfer, she answered with a resounding yes!
"Surfing is when I can just be me."
Jaz’s inspiring energy can be felt the moment you step inside Yay Lodge, which she owns and manages. Her 4-year old son Noa has the same good-looking smile and they’re both happily waiting for the newest addition to their family, as Jaz is 5 months pregnant.
“Being a mother makes me a more careful and sensitive surfer,” Jaz muses. She has adjusted her surfing style to her pregnancy and she is looking forward to the longboard days ahead.
Jaz also emphasizes how surfing is the key to her inner self. “I love being a mother, but I’m also a father, a carpenter, a doctor, a manager, all at the same time!” Despite her busy days, she finds time to surf. “Surfing is the time [when] I can shut down and just be me [while] enjoying the peace of the ocean.”
Nina moved to the island to surf everyday, and before she became a mother, she thought that surfing was everything. When she had her son, Lucas, she realized the real meaning of balance.
“Now, I don’t get to surf everyday, but playing at the beach and having a swim with my son gives me a different kind of stoke,” Nina shares. Aside from getting mommy muscles, which are toned arms that help in paddling, she believes that this balance is what makes her a better surfer and mother.
Although she now has less time to surf since 8-month old Marley came into her life, Cecile has noticed that she’s been catching more waves despite the decrease in water time. Surfing has been integral to keeping fit, which is essential in keeping up with her daughter’s endless energy.
“As a stay-at-home mum, surfing helps keep me sane.” Cecile is thankful to her supportive husband, Mark, for giving her this time for herself. “Surfing makes me happy, [and] a happy mama equals a happy baby and a happy family.”
"My children inspire me!"
La Union’s main wahine was recently in Siargao to compete in the 9th Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup and she is proud to say that her 11-year old son, Ton-Ton, and 7-year old daughter, Kaila Jane, are her surf inspirations.
“Being a mother helps me become a better surfer because my children inspire me,” says Daisy. She believes that surfing has helped her be a better provider for her children. Back in La Union, she runs DJ Surf School with her partner, Jefferson, and together, they join surf competitions to support their family.
The gift of surfing
“Life is better when you surf because you pass on the stoke to everyone, and to everything you do,” shares surfer-mom Nina. “Aside from being a happy mom, the gift of surfing is one of the best things I can give my son.”
To celebrate our surfer moms and their pack of groms, Kudo Surf apparel takes care of basic surf wear needs so our surf families can continue to do what they do best—sharing the stoke! Check out Greenhouse Siargao or head on over to the online store to pick out a present for your surfer mom or mama-to-be.
Photos by Sabs Bengzon | Words by Camille Pilar
All Kudo Surf apparel available at Greenhouse, Siargao.