Real surfing in the PH-A A +A
Sunday, October 14, 2012
FOR majority of the working middle class, October is just another month before the rush of the holidays kicks in. But for the younger ones enrolled in the academe, it’s that time of the year where everything comes to a halt for a while, just before the second semester rolls on again in full steam.
A variety of adventures can easily make up one’s to-do-list during this break. But then of course, a most-often desired yet looked over itinerary is surfing. None of that online browsing stuff—just the sea, sun and shorelines enticing you for a good surf session.
“Before surfing we were skimboarding, maybe around 2003,” shared Carlo Bien Clavano-de Asis, the proprietor behind the locally born and bred Aframe Surf/Clothing Company.
“It was really fun; good times after school at the beach in Liloan, Cebu. And yes, we would travel from the University of San Carlos – Talamban Campus to Liloan just to skim, whenever there was no class,” shared Carlo of how he’d spend his free days back when he was a student. As the story went, the waves from skimboarding suddenly became less of challenge, and that was when the suggestion to try surfing was met head on. Carlo has been surfing ever since.
Aframe, as the brand is more popularly known among surfing enthusiasts, is based on a surfing term. Aframe in surfing is a kind of wave that breaks in the middle; you can either ride it left or right, backside or front side. “(It has been existing) since 2005 and we are still going, at a steady, measured and easy pace,” shared Carlo. “At first we just sold graphic tees, which were very popular among our classmates at school and young Cebuanos. As time went on we got into malls and started innovating new products for our line of clothes and for our surf lifestyle.”
This product line would include boardshorts for surfing and the beach, accessories like caps and hats. Besides that, Aframe is the only company in the entire Visayas region distributing surf accessories and equipment like surf wax, leashes, wax comb, boardbags, fins, traction pads, surfboard cleaner, surfboard single fin screw set, etc.
In 2010, the company decided to produce locally made surfboards. “This was because the imported ones that you can buy in the store was really too expensive,” explained Carlo. Together with his partner Nico Ybanez, the duo started working on their little “science project.” Both guys who are actually engineers, claimed that it was never easy even provided their technical background.
“But we never stopped learning and improving what was there. Now, Aframe makes really good quality custom surfboards. We are really proud of this because it’s our own, it’s made here. It’s made with love by nice people here in Cebu,” said Carlo.
The brand now distributes among patrons all over the country. Not only is the company merely bent on building regular boards, but it also tries to incorporate Filipino elements in their products. “Now we are incorporating Pinoy materials into our surfboards, like abaca and bamboo. Not only are these materials more organic and sustainable, but they also look really, really amazing,” assured Carlo.
The bill does not end there. The company thought that coming up with surfing products was not enough. As self-confessed nature lovers, the people behind the brand knew that some of the stuff it was producing was not sustainable. A collective change of vision then occurred. Aframe now claims not only to be a mere lifestyle company that focuses on boardriding and surfing, but also a group that looks out for environmental sustainability and ecology. In fact, the company is a proud member of the Free Energy Cooperative, a group “dedicated to stopping the causes of global warming through active production and distribution of quality products that can make the world a better place.”
According to Carlo, summer is the best time in the year for beginners to start trying out those waves in the open sea. But then, with the next few couple of weeks being free, why not get out there and try to feel what it’s like to surf for real. It shouldn’t be too hard for folks living with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the South China Sea on the other.
“It’s only a matter of just going out there. If you would not go then you would not know. Siargao for one, with this wave called Cloud9 is ranked eighth in the top 20 waves in the world! We Filipinos have just barely scratched the surface of potential on the surf here. Our country really can be a world class surfing destination.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2012.