Name LUKE LANDRIGAN
Occupation Pro surfer; head coach at San Juan Surf School
How he makes a difference Spreading the gospel of surfing
Back in 1988, Luke Landrigan was surfing the waves of San Juan, La Union, while most kids his age were probably learning to walk. “My dad surfs and we lived in a resort,” says Landrigan. “The beach was our living room. I don’t even remember how hard it was to start surfing. It’s like you don’t remember when you started to walk. It was just instant, natural.” It was this natural talent that helped him bag a silver medal in the 2008 Asian Beach Games in Bali. After that, he won the 2009 and 2010 Aloha Boardsports Longboard Pro competition, the 2010 Aurora Surfing Cup, and the 2011 La Union Longboard Open. But even with these accomplishments, Landrigan asks for tempered expectations.
“There’s no Pinoy or Asian yet in the World Tour. It’s a long way ahead,” he points out. “But it’s achievable. The sad part about it is, for example, sa Indonesia maraming magagaling na surfers, pang-world class. But they can’t get to that next level because of their citizenship. It’s the same for Pinoys.”
As frustrating as the situation is, Landrigan remains emboldened to surf and teach. In 2001, he created La Union’s San Juan Surf School (www.sanjuansurfschool.ph) and even set up a laudable program with Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels in 2011 to teach special kids how to surf. “We give them lunch, we give them gifts, and then we teach them how to surf,” he explains.
This charitable act has opened Landrigan’s eyes to spreading the feel-good message of surfing. “My new goal is to go to surfing provinces and help underprivileged kids try the sport,” he says. “In other countries, the surfers are very territorial and protective of their surf spots. But we like to share our secret surf spots and invite everybody.”