14 August 2009

Longboard lures visitors to Subic even during rainy season

The rainy season here actually draws more tourists, and the recent arrival of longboarding is expected to boost the number of visitors even more.

A variant of skateboarding also known as “sidewalk surfing,” longboarding is the latest addition to the extreme adventure sports being held in the free port.

“This is the latest adventure craze here in Subic during the rainy season,” said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) deputy administrator for tourism Raul Marcelo.

“In fact, some longboarders even love it more when faced with extreme weather conditions,” Marcelo added.

Longboarding, developed by skateboarders in the US who wanted to recreate the feeling of surfing and snowboarding on the street, was introduced here early this month at the former naval magazine area.

Longer boards with bigger wheels are supposed to be used for this sport, but participants in a recent event here simply used modified skateboards for better maneuverability on the makeshift short course that was lined with protective air bags and cushions.

It now joins the list of other sports that lure tourists, including rappelling, wall and rock-climbing, windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing, biking, diving, parasailing and auto racing.

“We have the forests, the bay and man-made structures that provide a myriad of challenges for those who hunger for the extreme experience,” Marcelo said.

“The great thing about adventure tourism is that even the rains cannot stop it. In fact, the inclement weather adds another dimension to the challenge,” he said.

“Because of this, you can spot thrill-seekers going to Subic on weekends even when there’s a typhoon,” Marcelo said. “That’s because they can still have fun here with their jet skis, surfboards, mountain bikes, skateboards and other sports gears.” (Henry EmpeƱo, Business Mirror Correspondent)

IN PHOTO -- A Longboarding enthusiast test the turns and downhill stretches of the course at the former naval magazine area.