In the next instalment of our Breo Hero interviews we talk to Philippines based Elaine Abonal about her love of surfing, how she started, her tips for anyone wanting to begin surfing, and how she’s managed to turn it into her livelihood with her Surfista Travels business.
How long have you been surfing?
I first started in 2002 so that’s 13 years!
How did you get involved?
I was studying in the US as an exhange student and my host family took me to Florida where there were a lot of surfers and the surf culture was very strong. When I went back home to the Philippines, I researched online if there were any surf lessons and found one! I went on my first trip with 4 other boys to La Union and kept going back since.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement so far is creating my own surf tour company – Surfista Travels. It has done well in the last 3 years and has been a reason why a lot of girls surf in the Philippines now. It has also become an inspiration for both boys and girls around the world to just get out there, travel and surf!
What motivates you?
Knowing that I can make a difference to someone’s life and my own country motivates me. Also making my parents proud.
Who’s your hero?
My Mama and Papa because they can make ANYTHING happen if they know that it will make me happy or make my dreams come true.
What are your hopes for the future?
My hopes aren’t fame or a lot of money actually. At the end of the day I want to have my own family, live a simple happy life and know that I have made a positive impact on the Philippines and the world.
Any tips for aspiring surfers?
Just do it. No excuses! If you really want to learn something, you just have to start and keep doing it. It’s so easy to LOOK like a surfer but to really be able to understand the ocean and the waves takes time. Realize that there is something to learn everyday. No matter how good you get.
How would you spend £1 million?
I would save some of it, donate to a charity I believe in then travel to my dream surf destinations with people that I love.
Follow Elaine on Twitter on @elaineabonal
Find out more about Surfista Travels at the website.