De Hawái a Filipinas: la travesía de una tabla de surf

La última vez que Doug Falter vio su tabla de surf, estaba en los mares de Hawái. Se abalanzaba en las enormes olas de Waimea Bay, como lo hacía durante los últimos tiempos y sin contratiempo alguno. Por eso terminó como el principal sorprendido cuando cayó y, su artículo favorito en el mundo, desapareció de su vista.

El dolor se convirtió en recuerdo y llegó la superación. Sin embargo, Falter volvió a recibir un evento del océano en relación a su tabla. Estaba intacta, pero lejos del lugar en el que la perdió. Llegó a la isla de Sarangani, al sur del archipiélago filipino, a más de 8.000 kilómetros de Hawái.

Pero ahora tiene un nuevo propietario. Giovanne Branzuela, un aprendiz de surfista que adquirió la tabla en Filipinas pensando que iba a ser su primer dueño, sin conocer que detrás había una historia y una travesía.

«Cuando la vi en la foto, no me lo creía, pensaba que era una broma», señaló a través de Zoom a la AFP el surfista estadounidense de 35 años. De acuerdo a la información de Branzuela, compró la tabla a un vecino por 2.000 pesos (35 euros, 41 dólares).

Un surfero recupera su tabla perdida hace dos años en Hawái
La tabla con dos años de diferencia

Contra todo pronóstico, la tabla navegó hasta el continente asiático. La encontraron unos pescadores seis meses después de su desaparición y, aunque estaba magullada, todavía se mantenía en buen estado.

El extraño caso de la tabla de surf

Tras comprar su nueva tabla, algo no encajaba en la mente de Giovzanne Branzuela. ¿Cómo unos pescadores encontraron una tabla mar adentro? Seguramente la extravió alguien que sufrió un accidente.

Branzuela empezó a publicar imágenes en redes sociales. A través de Facebook e Instagram empezó a solicitar información en páginas especializadas en surf para ver si alguien tenía información. Tanto se compartió, que la foto apareció en las redes sociales de Lyle Carlson, fabricante de la tabla y que se la envió a Falter, el dueño original.

«Era una tabla de surf que venía de Hawái. No era capaz de creerlo», señaló por teléfono Branzuela, de 38 años.

Ahora Falter quiere su tabla de regreso. Una vez se normalice la situación de los viajes internacionales en Estados Unidos, su prioridad es viajar a Filipinas para recuperar uno de sus artículos más preciados. Dos años después de perderla.

«Esta tabla representaba mucho para mí, por todo lo que fui capaz de hacer con ella», señala Falter, que debutó en el surf con 15 años en Florida, antes de instalarse en Hawái. El también fotógrafo afirmó participó en competencias con esa tabla desde 2016 y ésta aguantó olas superiores a los 20 metros. Por eso, se le hace imposible no quererla de regreso.

Este profesional de la fotografía participó con ella en 2016 en la competición de surf Eddie Aikau, en Waimea Bay, con olas superiores a los 20 metros.

A cambio, Falter quiere entregar a Branzuela una tabla de surf para aprendices. Como parte de la negociación por su tabla, su viaje a Filipinas está acompañado de clases de surf para cualquier interesado en aprender. Mientras tanto, recauda fondos para la escuela de Branzuela. «Para mí es una excusa para ir a Filipinas y completar la historia», señaló el estadounidense.

«Pienso que enseñarle a surfear será un bonito final», finalizó.

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