Philmar Alipayo Talks About Life as a KS Boardrider

Photo by @jakehateley

With the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) on indefinite pause this year, we caught up with our 2017 Men’s Shortboard Champion, Philmar “Chepoxz” Alipayo, to talk about the future of surfing, his growing family life, and his involvement with the Kudo Surf Boardriders amid a world on lockdown.

Hi Chepoxz! First of all, how did you get this nickname?

As kids growing up in Siargao, we were fond of making strange names for our friends. The other kids came up with “Chepoxz” for me and I liked it so it became my lifelong nickname.

Photo by @mattpowerphoto

When and where did your passion for surfing start? Who taught you? 

When I was 10 or 11, my Uncle Yok-Yok took me surfing one day. I remember I was wearing basketball shorts that were so loose. My uncle pushed me on this big wave and I wiped out, lost my shorts, and came up crying! I told him I would never surf again. I didn’t surf for 3 months. But then all of my friends would go surfing and I didn’t want to be left out so I tried it again. That’s when I got hooked and started to really enjoy it. As a kid, it really felt like we were dancing on water.

Photo by @mattpowerphoto

How does one become a pro surfer? How do you qualify?

To be a pro surfer in the Philippines, you must join the PSCT. Each year (except this year), the PSCT would hold a professional surfing circuit around the best surf spots in the country. If you compete in the tour, you will get a ranking to know your surfing level against many skilled surfers in the country. To become a pro surfer in the world ranking, you have to join the World Surf League (WSL). Then you have to compete in different global surfing events to know your world ranking.

Photo by @mattpowerphoto

How do people make a living from surfing?

Here in the Philippines, we make a living by joining surf competitions. We are lucky that nowadays, we have the PSCT- Philippine Surfing Championship Tour that we can enter yearly, to help us earn and at the same time give us the opportunity to compete for our country in international surfing comps like the World Surf League, and just recently the SEA Games. We are happy that slowly, the government and the rest of the Philippines is recognizing the sport and starting to give support. Other than that, surfing, especially here in Siargao, has helped tourism grow. We can make a living by doing what we know best- surfing. We can share our skills with those who want to learn, as surf instructors. Some, open up their own surf shops and board rental shops. This is something I am excited to do myself as well, along with our Homestay. Hopefully after this pandemic. A lot of our lives here on the island have really improved because of surfing.

What do you think is the future of surfing in the Philippines?

I think we have the potential to become the world’s best. Now that our government recognizes surfing as an Olympic sport, we hope to continue getting the support to keep growing and promoting it.

Photo by @jakehateley

Going to your family life, what are some plans for you and Andi Eigenmann?

Our family goal is to be happy. Andi and I want to raise our kids to live a good and healthy life, doing what we love, and living simply. When tourism is back, we can finally open our homestay. Then I can keep training and I’ll keep teaching surfing to those who want to improve their surfing. In the meantime, I’m helping keep the Philippine surf industry alive by promoting the KS Boardriders online store.

Photo by @jakehateley

Tell us about the KS Boardriders Surf Shop and your involvement.

Kudo Surf set up the KS Boardriders to help promote surf brands, which are mainly Philippine surf brands, through our online store during this Covid-19 pandemic. People are scared to travel and go shopping so we are encouraging them to buy online so our stores can sell from right here in Siargao. The KS Boardriders can ship to anywhere in the Philippines. For now, this is how we can promote and keep growing the Philippine surf industry.

Photo by @jakehateley

Finally, what is your message to your daughter, Lilo, in the future?

I am here to support you in all that you do but incase you became a surfer just like papa, I want to wish you goodluck on your first comp! I will always be your coach and cheerleader in surfing and in life. I hope you will be happy about the decision for us to choose this lifestyle for our family. I hope you will also help protect the island and keep it clean for many generations. We love you very much and thank you for bringing happiness into our lives.

Philmar becomes wistful at the thought of Lilo joining her first surf contest somewhere in the future-- a day when we would have all survived the Covid-19 pandemic together. To show your support for Philippine surfing, you can visit the KS Boardriders online store at www.KSBoardriders.com. We ship to anywhere in the Philippines.


3 comments

  • Keep up the good work by helping others who wants to try surfing too, especially the children nowadays!you are now my idol.. Good luck to you and Andi hands and cuty lilo

    Adelaida Leran
  • Stay happy and hope to see
    You in person and your family as well..one day

    Racquel lajom
  • I Can’t have you surfboard idol philmar

    Johnchristopher

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