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Kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic
Kitesurfing, also known as kiteboarding, is a relatively young sport that has taken the water-sporting world by storm since it was first developed in the mid 1990s. This thrilling activity has grown very rapidly in popularity and as word spread, kitesurfing enthusiasts were quick to find a perfect home for their sport in the Dominican Republic.

Although you can kitesurf elsewhere in the Dominican Republic, Cabarete is regarded as the Dominican kitesurfing mecca. After a couple of decades on the international windsurfing map, this small, laid-back town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic has added kitesurfing to its claims to fame. There is even an area of Cabarete beach named for the sport – Kite Beach. This area is dedicated to kiteboarding. Here the flat water, cross winds and waves on the reef attract all the kiteboarders once the winds pick up.

Cabarete’s growing reputation as one of the world’s top class kiteboarding destination has been endorsed by the fact that some of the biggest international names in the sport have chosen it as their favorite training site. Cabarete has also hosted the main international PKRA Kiteboard World Cup championship event every June since 2001. Cabarete’s annual June event is the third stop on the PKRA world tour schedule. Other stops are Venezuela, Austria, Greece, Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), Canada, Italy and Brazil.

Mauricio Toscani, president of the PKRA, the Professional Kiteboarders Riders Association, has described Cabarete as the best place in the Caribbean for kiteboarding. In his opinion, the natural conditions make Cabarete the preferred beach for kitesurfers the world over. Especially appreciated are the warm water temperatures ranging from 84F in summer to a “chilly” 80F in winter.

Cabarete is ideal for the sport because the beach conditions make it attractive for novices and die-hards alike. Several kiteboarding schools are located right on the beach for anyone wanting to perfect their skills or take up this extreme sport.

The prevailing trade winds (from the north and north-east) in the Cabarete area - the very same wind conditions that attracted the windsurfers - are those that have now brought in the new generation of kiteboarders. The-mid morning winds are gentle enough for beginners, blowing up to 10 knots. By early afternoon conditions are a little more vigorous, rising up to between 25 and 30 knots, and winding down to a calmer breeze in the late afternoon. By nightfall the wind has died down almost completely.

Conditions are best between February and August, the very best time of year for experienced kitesurfers being in and around the month of June, when the winds can reach up to 30 knots. That’s when the real pros get to show off their most spectacular leaps and jumps, as the wind propels them high above the water.

There are several beaches in and around Cabarete for kiteboarders to do their stuff. Most kiteboarding action happens away from the main windsurfing areas, so that the two activities do not interfere with each other. As well as Kite Beach, there is the wild Playa El Encuentro, which is also very popular with surfers, La Boca beach, which is a calm river mouth, and Bozo Beach. Each offers a different kiteboarding adventure.
 
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