Secluded in the Philippine Archipelago is the breathtaking island of Siargao—one of the true pieces of paradise Earth still has to offer. There are palm tree forests as far as the eye can see, empty beaches with never ending waves, and the happiest and most welcoming locals. On my first day out riding, two little kids hijacked my board and fearlessly taught themselves how to ride. After I got my board back and was able to set off on my morning cruise I couldn’t help but notice how warm all the locals were. One reason I thought was because they were stoked on my board. As I continued on my skate, the idea of organizing a skate lesson with the local kids was born. Thanks to my teammate Valeriya, I was connected with Grom Nation (a local NGO fighting to improve health access, environment preservation and education) and was able to plan an after-school longboard lesson for the local kids
Local riders showed up to provide boards for the kids. | p: Achel Machin
I was initially nervous about the event because we didn’t have enough boards for all the kids.To my shock and delight, a bunch of local riders showed up to the lesson and lent their boards to the kids so they could all participate in the lesson!
At first the kids were nervous to ride, but I was amazed by their ease and confidence when they finally got on their boards and started skating. In no time they were cross-stepping and coming up with their own original moves and by the end of the session, they had made me their "kuya" or older brother.
"IN NO TIME THEY WERE CROSS-STEPPING AND COMING UP WITH THEIR OWN ORIGINAL MOVES..."
No shoes, no worries. | p: Achel Machin
Our lesson that day was such a special experience for me. Once again, longboarding gave me the opportunity to connect with people from a totally different culture in a unique and unforgettable way.
Special thanks to all the locals who made me feel so welcomed and to Grom Nation for all the support.