la Revista


Wind sport capital of the amber coast

Just 20 minutes East of Sosua is Cabarete, another authentic Dominican village where the locals and visitors mix freely in clubs, on the streets and beaches. While Sosua is best known for its underwater sports and cultural history, Cabarete owes its fame to the wind. Nowhere on the island -- or many other islands in the Caribbean, for that matter -- can you find such near perfect conditions for the practice of surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and other wind-propelled sports.

It is around this wind sport industry that Cabarete emerged as a truly popular resort town. In the past two decades, it has developed an international reputation as host to major windsurfing competitions, being considered today among the top ten places in the world
for these exciting sports. As a result, Cabarete now boasts a great variety of lodging facilities, from all-inclusive resorts, hotels, suites and condominiums, to villas, pensions, and Bed&Bath´s. Yet for many, its most unique and interesting feature is the miles and miles of beachfront restaurants and bars and the possibility to have dinner by the sea.

How It All Began
Two Canadians are credited for catapulting Cabarete to international fame. Back in the mid 1980s, windsurf enthusiast Jean Laporte and journalist Tim Hall spread the word among their photographer-reporter friends and wrote an article for Voile Libre. Within six months, half the worlds windsurfing community was made aware of Cabarete. Although not the first windsurfer to discover Cabarete, Laporte is largely credited for
getting it on the map in the windsports world.

It wasn't until 15 years later that kiteboarding was discovered on the Atlantic Coast. Locals saw two Japanese tourists flyiling around in Cabarete Bay and didn't know what to think of this extreme new sport. In early 1999, French kiteboarding pioneers Franz Olry and Christopher Tasti traveled to Cabarete to test the waters. They soon made Cabarete their home as, like Laporte, they had found the ideal spot to train and progress. Local windsurfers Marcus Bohm and Stefan
Ruether were intrigued by this new sport and bought their first kite and board from Tasti.

At first, the other locals thought they were crazy as it took them many hours and many miles of walking up and down the beach before they could finally stay o
n the board, ride upwind and have fun. In September 1999, the two launched Cabarete's first kiteboarding school, Fly High and Surf. Not wanting to disrupt the windsurfing lessons in Cabarete Bay, Bohm and Ruether wen to Punta Goleta, now known as Kite Beach, one bay west and just a short 10 to 15 minute walk from the main town.At first, they did not believe the spot was ideal as at that time, the directional boards they were using had giant fins and from their windsurfing experience, the reef was too shallow to pass at low tide. Within one year, production of bi-directional kiteboards with smaller fins hit the market and their challenge was solved. In 2000, the partners split to pursue other endeavors. In 2001, Ruether started another school called Kitexcite, introducing kiteboarding to the Caribbean