Active Travels: Kitesurfing Cabarete
By Steve Jermanok
Kitesurfing is a sport that originated in Hawaii. Similar to surfing, kitesurfing requires you to balance the board. But this time, you’re not propelled by the wave, but a blast of wind that fills up a parachute-like kite above you. Learning the sport takes a lot of perseverance, but by the third lesson, most budding kitesurfers usually feel comfortable enough that they can practice on their own. It takes a person a good two to three months of practice to ride upwind and consistently return to the same place. Then it’s time to catch big air and entertain the crowds around the world.
One of the finest spots to learn the sport or improve your skills in the Caribbean is in Cabarete, 23 miles east of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The steady trade winds and sheltered cove at Cabarete is optimal from June through October, with wind speeds often topping 25 knots and relatively little swell. Protected by a barrier reef, Cabarete’s bay is an ideal place for beginners to try the sport. Kite Club Cabarete offers equipment, instruction, and lodging for one day to one week.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life.His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World, due out late 2010.He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.