Discovering kiteboarding paradise in Cabarete
By Laurel Eastman
March 30, 2004
Courtesy of Laurel Eastman
Kite Beach has nice conditions, but can be a bit small and crowded with the dangerous combination of students and show-off Dominican boys. Encuentro is our favorite down-winder; the local surf spot is our own personal paradise in the afternoon as the waves blow out for the soul surfers.
Cabarete is party central. Monday through Sunday, you can find some fun dancing, drinking and general debauchery going on. One of the jewels of Cabarete is the bar Lax, on the beach and the evening magnet for kiteboarding folks. With good food, a totally relaxed atmosphere, gorgeous waitresses, and chilled out DJ, this is the place to meet in the evening with old friends and find new ones! For the party animals out there, Ono's just up the beach will keep you dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
Who is Here?
Truly a melting pot, Cabarete is home to both ex-pat's and visitors from all over the world. It was discovered first by the French Canadians, and French is almost as common as Spanish. But English will get you by, no problem; in fact many people complain that it's actually hard to learn Spanish here, as everyone speaks English! Europeans and Canadians flock via cheap charter flights, and Americans are a bit slower, just starting to discover the paradise just in front of their noses.
Pay attention on the water, you may be kiting with some of the best riders in the world. Lou Wainman has been spotted tearing up the shore break on his fin-less boards. He's here with new wife Helene Richard (remember her from the 2002 North team?) who was one of the Cabarete original kiters. The local Dominican boys really are amazing to watch, just watch out for them when you are on the water! Luciano Gonzales, Jose Luis Ciarco, Wilson Tavares are the original kite crew and are still pushing the limits on the global scene.
Things to be Aware of
Like traveling anywhere in the world, pay attention. That is your best insurance against any trouble. Although there is relatively good medical treatment available, it sucks to be injured, so take it easy when you are out there smashing it up on the water.
For sure don't drink the tap water. Upset stomachs are a normal part of adjusting to this tropical environment, but fade within 1-2 days normally. Make sure to keep hydrated, especially if you are out drinking at night.
Speaking of night, don't walk around alone at night if you can help it and for sure never walk on the beach at night. Don't carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive watches or jewelry at night, these are favorites for the odd thief out there.
Courtesy of New Zealand Adventure