Doug Falter had the surprise of his life with an image that appeared on Instagram.
When Doug Falter, an American surfer specialized in big waves, lost his board near Hawaii, did not imagine that the currents would carry him to the Philippines. More than two years after losing sight of her amid the great waves of Waimea Bay, a reputed corner of Hawaii, Falter found her through social media.
The surfboard reached the island of Sarangani, south of the Philippine archipelago, about 8,700 kilometers from Hawaii. Your new owner, Giovanne Branzuela, is an apprentice surfer who teaches at a local elementary school.
“When I saw her in the photo, I did not believe it, I thought it was a joke,” he told the agency through Zoom AFP 35-year-old American surfer.
A few months ago, Branzuela bought the board from a neighbor for 2,000 Philippine pesos ($ 41). It had been found by fishermen in the area floating and damaged in August 2018, six months after its disappearance.
Intrigued, the new owner posted a photo of the table on Facebook that he sent to the manufacturer, Lyle Carlson, who shared the photo on Instagram and brought Falter into the conversation.
“It was a surfboard that came from Hawaii. I couldn’t believe it,” Branzuela, 38, said by phone.
Its first owner, Falter, wants to travel to the Philippines to get it back, when the displacement restriction measures imposed by the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.
“This board represented a lot to me, for all that I was able to do with it,” said Falter, who made his surfing debut at the age of 15 in the state of Florida, before settling in Hawaii.
This professional photographer participated in 2016 with the find board in the surfing competition Eddie Aikau, in Waimea Bay, with waves exceeding 20 meters.
Falter wants to give Branzuela a surfboard for learners, in exchange for his own, and take advantage of the trip to teach him.
While he waits, he raises funds for Branzuela’s school. “For me it is an excuse to go to the Philippines and complete the story,” said the American. “I think teaching him to surf will be a nice ending,” he added.
(With information from AFP)