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Cabarete...this year's impressions.

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Wetstuff
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Cabarete...this year's impressions.

Postby Wetstuff » Fri Mar 14, 2003 5:02 pm

I just got back from Cabarete and the place continues to impress and improve. Rather than a full journal, I’ll just post a few impressions.

kite-boarding.de (the magazine) was again there this year with even more product to test. It appeared the kite companies sent reps, kites and boards. Even Marcus ‘Flash’ Austin showed up last Monday. This is a good magazine and you can see their influence by all the companies that made sure their products were well represented.

Of all the new kites: the Flexifoil Storm looked the best built. I make things, and I first see how other people built their stuff rather than see labels or colors. These guys put a lot of detail in their kites. Naish, North, Wiki, etc. are all certainly market grade, but Flexifoil appeared above.

The best looking kite in the sky was also the ugliest: the Cabrinha CO2 White-Orange-Black was simply stunning....the same kite in White-Tan-Green looked like something a golfer would wear. The new Naish XIII looked very good, as did the brilliant colors of the Norths. The Wook looked two years old already with washed-out Blue, Red and light Gray. If the new RRD and F-One’s were there; they didn’t make an impression. The average day had about 35 kites in the air with a peak of 65 kites flying on Monday afternoon the 10th. So, something either caught my eye in this crowd or it didn’t have a chance.

I stayed at the Playa del Oro Hotel. It’s right next door to the K.B. Hotel...the only two places directly on KB. The rooms got air conditioning since last year, breakfast is included in the room price, but the days of hustling a cheaper rate are gone - all these places are full again. Also, forget about walking in and getting a room. My suggestion is contacting Marina at kitexcite.com. She’s the link for any first-time visitor to Cabarete. Don’t buy some package deal or go there without her guidance - simple as that.

My wife travels with her own pillow and sheets. She say’s I never listen to her, but this time I was glad she insisted. Cotton in the tropics is more comfortable than polyester (queen size). Thicker pillows are more comfortable than thin. There’s not many distractions for the non-kiter wife, but plenty of Sun, shade and cool breezes. It’s hot, but not jungle hot.

In the U.S. they go through all your bags before your baggage is loaded. In Baltimore, this is out of view. Marjie got a nice new top (right size too!) and a operating manual for a Canon Optura digital cam in her bag. We don’t own a digi-cam?! My suggestion is pack your good clothes in plastic bags so your clothes don’t get tossed in the air like a super sale at a women’s store.

This is a public apology to Alexander from Hamburg. On Sunday I didn’t see him behind me and flew the kite up to the right - between his lines - just as his was coming down. Luckily, he had the smarts to splash his right away and then we had long swim and longer session undoing 8 lines. I buggered his day. Sorry mate. You have to keep your eyes open there.

Forget the B.S. about Full Moon/No Moon. Hell, it was No-Moon-Time and it still blew over 20kts every day for about six in a row?!


Funny thing.... There were a load of very good kiters, including all the reps and magazine people. You’d expect that, ya? Would you expect to see some kid about 16 years old, 55kilos (130lbs) hooked to a 12m North out in 25kt winds?!

This particular kid - Jose Luis Castillo - works as a gaffer at the Kitexcite school, is not sponsored, or one of the Dominican ‘name’ kiters, but simply was one of the most fluid and dynamic kiters in the water. I saw him come up behind a rep on a major brand kite , simply bury his rail and drag-race UPWIND past the rep like he was a rowboat. A trip to Cabarete is almost worth what you can see - as much as what you can do.

Bring a big hat, lots of sun screen, booties are handy, lessons are good and available in a number of places, horses are available, drink bottled water, don’t eat off the side of the road....and contact Marina before you go, but do go at least once.


jim

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Postby Guest » Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:46 pm

How expensive is it?

Rudy

Guest

Postby Guest » Sat Mar 15, 2003 6:26 pm

Jim,

You must be a first timer to Cabarete. I have been going there for the past 3 years for summer and would spend 3 months at a time there.

You said to avoid the food on the street. You must be kidding or just typical American ,this is the best food around, if you were to eat in the hotels or restaurants then it's just like eating in the states.....to dive into the Dominican culture is to taste their real food.

Tourist are the ones that get caught using the hotels on the beach, weather it be on Kite beach or main cabarete beach, the more exposed and open travelers/kiters stay in the smaller places where they can migle away from the touristy crowd. These palces are still less busier.

A 130 lb boy kiteboarding overpowered is nothing surpising in cabarete...all the locals do that.....nothing surprising.

You did get it right about Marina being very knowlegable....you may also go to activecabarete.com for more information if palnning a trip to cabarete.

It is very cheap there....1$ is approx. 20 pesos. Hotel rooms in the right place are only 15 to 25 with breakfast and dinner included....not like the hotles by the beach.

Cabarete is definitly recommended.

Cheers
Jake

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Postby Wetstuff » Sat Mar 15, 2003 11:15 pm

Jake: No argument. My food/water advice would be for a complete newbie who's been drinking municipal water and U.S. graded foods. If your gut has adjusted to the local bacteria, then fine.

I am a typical American - what ever that means... Actually, a 'typical American' isn't perhaps smart enough to NOT eat food where he has no clue about either the ingredients nor the standard of prep. Two blocks from the beach are open sewers and food cooked in pots outside over wood fires where there's no sign of running water. No gracias. No por me.

The first time I stayed in Cabarete I was closer to town. Perhaps as the 'typical American', I was pretty much single-focused on taking kite lessons, and found the trek to K.P. from town a burden. I moved out to the point to be in the center of my activity. (I don't sailboard)

This time we also rode horses and the outfitter brought them to the hotel as needed. If I had the luxury of three months.....whoooWheee...Hell I probably buy a place and hire a cook! I love typico foods. In three months however - I better have a trust fund - 'cause I'd be out of business back here!

From an area where five or six kites is a crowd, and nobody's over about 20 flights under harness.....these young kids are really something spectacular. I hope I never get too the point of seeing something pretty flipping good and thinking it the norm.

In response to costs: I looked into one premium resort in Cabarete and got a quote of $120.USD per person..per day. Too rich for me. I ended up spending, in round numbers, about $100. day for room, food and misc. for the two of us. I consider that very reasonable. I'm sure you could chop that into half or thirds with proper planning - that I doubt you could do from here, not having been there before.

Frequent flier miles tip: fly mid-week to mid-week. It's only 30,000mi per ticket vs. weekend to weekend, as that's a 60,000mi ticket.

adios...

jim

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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 17, 2003 9:23 am

Do you need a wetsuit in Cabarete or is a rash vest enough?

Cheers.......Bill

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Postby marina » Mon Mar 17, 2003 1:41 pm

When we have bad weather wind during the winter/spring it can sometimes be "cold" enough for a shorty but most of the time, a rashguard is fine.....

Marina/Cabarete

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Postby Wetstuff » Mon Mar 17, 2003 11:31 pm

Excuse my elbows Marina... John if you're coming from anywhere up North and your skin is pale - FOR SURE - you need a rash shirt. And if you celebrate St. Patrick's day for real, you may even want a long-sleeve.

For some oddball reason - the tops of my feet get burned to a point where putting on shoes becomes difficult. I slathered SPF 50 all over them and still burned!

With two days to go, I bought a pair of Neil Pryde booties at a sailboard shop in the village which saved them big time for the last couple of days. A young pilot from NZ who was there was very fair, and got hardly any burn?! Just plan for the fact that there's 10-on-a-10-scale of UV there almost every day - adjust your wearables to your skin.

The only time I thought it was cool there was: A) late in the afternoon, B) your wet....C) in the shade. With winds of 20kts and medium humidity, the evaporation/cooling rate is pretty high. In the week I was there, I saw perhaps only 2-3 springs and only one guy with a full Lycra suit like divers wear.

Plan ahead - you'll have a great time.

jim

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Postby Guest » Tue Mar 18, 2003 2:41 am

Hey Jim,

Hi, I hope I did not sound insulting by saying "Typical American " ......you know what i mean right.

I guess your right....if you had 3 months to spend then you would have more chances to research and experiment places etc.

I'm a school teacher....always have my summers off.....you know we teachers...we get paid close to nothing....travelling on a budget is something we learn to do.

Cheers,
Jake

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Postby Guest » Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:40 pm

Jake: No worries. I don't take the 'typical American' thing personally. I do the 'elitist cringe' myself when I see people from here who appear to have won their trip by peeling a label off a milkshake cup from McDonalds, or hear my (ahem) President say he wanted to; "make the U.N. more better" a couple of days ago in a speech from the Azores. Having also resided in Canada and Germany for short periods - there are 'typical's' almost everywhere.

Glad to hear you get to enjoy yourself in the Summer. You teachers certainly deserve a break.


jim


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