What is it like to be a Surfer from Siargao?
I have travelled to a lot of places with my surfboard, and I have gotten the chance to explore a lot of different waves in different countries. It is interesting to see how many similarities and differences there are surfing in different places in the world.
Two years ago I travelled to the Philippines. I went to a remote Island called Siargao. It was there that I met Jasmin, a girl from germany, who choose to move away from home for the waves.
So lets see what its like to be a surfer that has spent so much time in Siargao!
Can you introduce yourself? Whats your name? How old are you?
"My Name is Jasmin Schröter, I am 34 Years young and originally from Germany. Grown up in Africa Nigeria and in Germany I haven’t seen much of surf before or knew what it was all about. But during my world travels (which I have never finished) I found my little paradise Siargao in 2010 where I have experienced surfing for the first time of my life and since than surf every day. I am a mother of 2 by now. My 5 year old son Noah and my one year old baby girl Mia Lou."
When did you start surfing? Since when do you live in Siargao?
"I started surfing in 2010. I found Siargao during my travels and decided to stay for good after 1/2 year of getting to know the place and locals."
How are the waves usually in Siargao? How does the forecast usually look? "Siargao is the surfing capitol of the Philippines. Surfers from all around the world come here to surf. Every year is an Int Comp held here. I think this speaks already for it. Waves are usually pumping in the season which is Nov - March/April. Siargao offers a wide range of waves that is for diff surf levels, lefts and rights, fast and slow waves, hallow and easy fats.
Forecast is never correct here but if you are not too choosy, u can actually surf all year through."
What are your favorite conditions to surf?
"Fav conditions for me would be of course a sunny windless day with 3-5f glassy waves at my fav Spot Cemetery right-hander."
If you are a tourist in Siargao, are there special risks you have to deal with if you surf in Siargao?
"Well, surfing is a sport. It always comes with a risk. All our waves are reef breaks and in season the waves can get pretty big. You should be skilled or willing to have a guide or instructor if u are not that self-confident yet. Siargao now can get pretty crowded on some days and many beginners will be out with students too."
Would you ever choose any other place to live if you would have the choice? What is stereotypical for a surfer in Siargao?
"Siargao was my only paradise for almost 10 years - unfortunately did it change the past year due to too much advertisement and hype of this beautiful place. Hawaii is still my dream though, especially since this place here has been changing a lot.
I wouldn’t say there is any stereotype. All my surfer friends are so very different! I have my mummy surfer friends which are mostly easy going long boarders. I have super aggressive short boarder friends and those that just surf for the fun. I wouldn’t say that any surfer is like another. We are all unique but share the love and stoke for it.
I myself am a long boarder that loves bigger waves. Important for me is the respect to each other and to share the stoke."
What does surfing mean to you?
"It means everything to me. Its my vitamin sea!! If I can't surf for 2 or 3 days I get moody and feel unbalanced. stressed, sick or pregnant. I need my surf. Even pregnant I surfed in both pregnancies till 7 months. Then the belly was too big to lay down haha. Its my exercise, my vitamins, my only me time. Its the only time of the day where I am by myself and where it's quiet."
What do you do for living and how much time do you actually get in the water?
"I am lucky to own my own resort in Siargao. It's just simple and has 7 rooms. Even I do most of the work by myself I still get to surf daily. Thats the agreement. I don’t want to have more work. Thats not why I came here. I want to life simple and I need my surf time. So I have found just the perfect balance of work and surf for me. If waves are smaller I try to take out my kids. I hope to share the love for surfing one day together with them."
Thanks for that inspiring interview Jasmin!