Daisy Valdez is no stranger to competition. She has been winning local and international surf contests for more than a decade. As a child, she also thrived in the competitive gymnastics scene where she brought home medals in the name of her hometown, San Juan, La Union.
A well-rounded and disciplined athlete, Daisy was handpicked to compete in the 2017 RENextop Asian Surfing Tour (RAST), a prestigious surfing event spread across four venues: Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and China. Her 2nd Place finish in the Longboarding Division in Bali, Indonesia—the first leg of the tour—puts her in good standing to win the overall tour title.
My Life On Board was able to catch up with La Union’s homegrown champion as she prepares for the 2nd leg of RAST, which will be held in Makinohara, Japan on September 7-9, 2017.
Hi, Daisy! How many years have you been surfing?
I started surfing when I was around 9-10 years old. So I’ve been surfing for almost 20 years!
Can you still remember the first surf competition that you joined?
Yes, it was a mixed competition, meaning I competed with boys. I was 11 years old. I don’t remember the exact year, maybe it was 1999. The comp was held in Sunset German Beach Resort. To my surprise, I won that comp and took home a high performance shortboard as a prize!
You have two kids. How does motherhood contribute to your career as a professional surfer?
My children, Kaila and Ton-Ton, are my inspiration. My family inspires me to surf better every time. Kahit gaano na ako katanda, hangga’t kaya ko, magsusurf ako. (No matter how old I get, as long as I can, I’ll still surf.)
You recently competed in Bali and missed the 1st Place finish by just a few points! Next, you’re headed to Japan. How do you feel about representing your beloved surf town, San Juan, in these international events?
I feel really blessed to be representing my home town, and most especially, our country, the Philippines. This is a very good opportunity to show the world that the Philippines has world-class surfing talent. This is also a good opportunity for the national and local government to take notice of the growing sport of surfing and support it. Meron tayong maraming magagaling na surfer na kayang makipagsabayan sa international competitions. (We have a lot of exceptional surfers who can keep up with the international competition.)
Aside from being a professional surfer, Daisy is also a surf coach. She runs DJ Surf School with her partner and fellow professional surfer, Jefferson Dela Torre. They offer surf lessons for beginners as well as more personalized one-on-one coaching for intermediate surfers.
Daisy has a long way to go, with 2 more stops in Taiwan and China after she is done competing in Japan. To stay updated with her progress in the Asian Surfing Tour, you can follow the Team Daisy Facebook Page.
Daisy will represent the Philippines in both longboard and shortboard divisions of the tour. To support her mission to raise the quality of local surfing in the Philippines, you may donate via her crowd funding page. Visit https://gogetfunding.com/daisysurfingtour/
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