I just got back from Cabarete and the place continues to impress and improve. Rather than a full journal, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬ËœFlashÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 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-OneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s were there; they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a chance.
I stayed at the Playa del Oro Hotel. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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. SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the link for any first-time visitor to Cabarete. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t buy some package deal or go there without her guidance - simple as that.
My wife travels with her own pillow and sheets. She sayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not many distractions for the non-kiter wife, but plenty of Sun, shade and cool breezes. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t own a digi-cam?! My suggestion is pack your good clothes in plastic bags so your clothes donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get tossed in the air like a super sale at a womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s store.
This is a public apology to Alexander from Hamburg. On Sunday I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬ËœnameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 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, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t eat off the side of the road....and contact Marina before you go, but do go at least once.