Kite Surfing around el encuentro surf lodge
- Georgina Monti
Touted as one of the top 10-kiteboarding destinations in the world, it’s no wonder beginners, pros and everyone in between flock from all corners of the globe to Cabarete. With consistent and warm winds 330 days a year, a variety of kiting conditions, and turquoise water; its no wonder Cabarete has hosted numerous prestigious kiteboarding events. To break it all down and make it easy, here is our complete Kiteboarding in Cabarete Guide.
The Windy Season
The most commonly asked question in regards to kiteboarding here is, “when is it windy?” The answer is on average 330 days per year, so you could say pretty much all the time. We do however; have certain times of the year that are windier and more consistent than others.
First of all, it’s important to note why it is so windy in Cabarete. We can thank the wonderfully warm climate combined with the mountains providing consistent easterly trade winds. Due to these components, the windy season takes place during summer between May and August. Between these months, the wind averages at around 25 knots and picks up around midday, with the peak wind around 3pm. We would recommend packing your smaller kites in your quiver such as a 5m, 7m and 9m, depending on your size, weight and board of choice. The rest of the year is still windy, but a lot lighter so we recommend larger kites and foils. We’d also like to point out that during changing of seasons like April and November and hurricane season, the wind may be strong but we sometimes experience more rainfall. Because of the ever-changing weather patterns, we cannot guarantee these exact winds every year, but it gives you a general idea.
One of the many reasons Cabarete is such a popular destination; aside from the warm water and consistent winds, is the great range of conditions and locations in one area. We’ve outlined them all out for you below with the reputable kite schools in that area.
Kicking things off with Kite Beach, as you can probably guess from the name, is the most popular kite spot and located just a 5-minute drive from our lodge. With a mix of deeper flatter water protected by the reef and perfect peeling waves just 300m out, it’s perfect for freestyle, strapless, foiling or just cruising. During the winter, the beach is wide making it easy to launch and land. Throughout the later summer months, the beach reduces in size, so you may need a helping hand launching and landing. Kite Beach also has a great selection of kite schools offering beginner to advanced classes and rentals. Starting at the windward point, you have Kite Club Cabarete, Dare 2 Fly, Big Willy's Kite School and Go Kite.
Located right on our doorstep, Playa Encuentro offers ideal conditions for strapless riders. The consistent waves, a choice of peaks to surf and a spacious beach for setting up, launching and landing, it really is a playground for kiters and spectators. Just a little further along towards Kite Beach, the coastline is truly breathtaking, making Encuentro a great downwind destination too.
The vast expanse of water in front of the town is Cabarete Bay. This is the largest of all the spots and has a wide beach lining the water. The water is slightly choppier than the other spots and with larger waves, there can be a beach break but it’s the trade off for the spaciousness. The wide bay and deep water inside the reef also make it an ideal spot for foiling, especially in the late morning when there are fewer kiters on the water. The variety of waves out on the reef keep the strapless kiters busy, but also those looking for ramps for some extra airtime. There are a number of schools throughout the bay starting with Cabarete Windsports Club, Liquid Blue, AGK and LEK for those looking for classes and rental.
La Boca is located just a 10 minute drive past the end of town at the mouth of the Yasica River and is a flat-water paradise. The sand dunes protect the water from the wind keeping it butter flat. This spot is less spacious than the others with mangroves on the downwind side, making it more suitable for intermediate to advanced kitesurfers. On the ocean side of the sand dunes, you will find fun and fast beach break waves, so if you have the space, throw a surfboard in the car! There aren’t any kite schools here and there is not a lot of shade, so we recommend packing hats, sunscreen, water and anything else to keep you cool and sun safe. There is a small restaurant across the river with refreshments too.
Some of the spots we’ve outlined can get busy with other kiters, beginners, windsurfers, surfers, sailors and swimmers, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, and also familiarise yourself with the right of way rules in kiteboarding so we all follow the flow.
If you have any questions about kiteboarding in Cabarete, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask us. We’d be more than happy to help.