"I was really upset as I managed to catch the biggest waves of my life on this board," Falter wrote in a 2018 Facebook post. "That's why it meant so much to me."
However, in a post last month, Falter revealed that the surfboard had been found by Giovanne Branzuela floating near Sarangani, a province in the Philippines located in the Soccsksargen region.
Branzuela is an aspiring surfer and a primary school teacher.
“As bummed as I was when I lost it, now I am happy to know my board fell into the hands of someone wanting to learn the sport. I couldn’t imagine a better ending to this story than to see the sport of surfing begin in a place where nobody surfs,” Falter wrote last month.
“If it weren’t for travel restrictions I would have raised money to bring boards for learning and surf supplies and be on a plane to go and visit Giovanne. I could teach him how to surf and hopefully a few of his 144 students. He is in charge of a school on the islands where my board is and I’m sure some of the kids would love to learn,” Falter added.
Branzuela, who purchased the surfboard from his neighbor a couple of months ago, said that a fisherman had found the board in the sea in August 2018, six months after Falter lost it. The teacher has offered to return the board to Falter once COVID-19-related travel restrictions have been lifted, and for his part, Falter intends to give Branzuela a beginner’s surfboard, AFP reported.