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
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.