Cabarete, the small, laid back beach town on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic is not only a fantastic destination for those in search of sun, sea, restaurants and wonderful terraces on the beach, it is also a paradise for Kite-surfers. Kite boarding is one of the most popular new water sports and Cabarete has the reputation being one of the absolute top destinations in the world to practice it, thanks to its perfect wind and water conditions. Every day the breeze starts picking up at around 11 in the morning and continues to do so towards an ideal wind level that lasts through the afternoon and until sunset. “Kite boarding conditions do not get any better than this”, according to Clemens, the Swiss young man I meet at the beach bar of Hotel Villa Taina who later explains to me that a good Kite boarding student can get the basics down in 3 sessions of about 3 hours each. Clemens, a former alpine ski teacher, is one of many wet-haired ‘Surf Dudes’ who you will meet regularly with his colorful kite on the beach of Cabarete. “Back home during the ski season, all of the ski instructors eagerly awaited the next Saturday when we use to meet to ‘divide’ all the newly arrived tourist-girls amongst ourselves. These kinds of things do not happen here. Surfers are different, busy with their kites, improving their skills. The wind and the waves are most important. Of course it happens that someone gets drunk after a day of kiting and sure…there are romances amongst kite surfers, but nothing like the famous après-ski cabins in Switzerland. Kiting puts more attention on the sport and lifestyle. This also goes for amateurs.” Kite surfing is definitely a lifestyle. Surf-dudes or “Charlie Browners” as they call them selves, are in general very relaxed people who are very passionate when it comes to their sport. Following my conversation with Clemens I ask him to pose for a picture and have to laugh because of the words on both sides of his T-Shirt: “Live Slow” and “Surf Fast”.
Taking into account the outstanding reputation of Cabarete, it is easy to understand why beside many holidaymakers there are a large number of ‘Kite Board Greats” who have set up training camp in this friendly town that every third week of June hosts one of the largest Kite boarding events of the World. During this week the Kite Board elite meets for competition and creates an exhilarating spectacle; both for kite boarders and spectators.