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Paros or Cabarete in July

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:54 pm
by justadudeinsf
I've been fascinated by kiteboarding for a couple years, but have always been reluctant to buy a kite. It seems like every year, I take a land lesson from a new school in the bay area, and I get to the point where I'm taking water start lessons, and I always get days where there's almost no wind, I get down on the fact that I'd made it that far and still wasn't riding, and I don't go back or I get preoccupied with other things. Last year I got much better than previous years - I was actually up and riding during my last water start lesson.

I haven't been out yet this year as I'm training for a marathon that I'm running the first week of June, and I've had a number of back problems (herniated discs, pinched nerves) in the past 2 years (I blame surfing, cable boarding, and a weak core), and I don't want to risk not running the race. I plan to go chat with the folks I'd taken lessons from last year and see if we can jump straight to water start lessons again just after the marathon.

Shortly after that, I'm taking a month+ long vacation from work, and frankly while I have a quick stop in Seoul and Bangkok for a week to see some friends, I have 3-4 weeks after that with no set agenda. My general thought is it's now or never, make or break, to finally dedicate time to picking up the sport, or move on with my life. I realize the bay area is one of the best locations this time of year to kite, but I'd like to be able to sit on the beach without a shirt on, and get in the water with shorts on. I know that Oregon is an option as well, but that's not really a vacation for me (another issue). That said, I've been browsing around, and it seems like a couple relatively cheap options that match the rough criteria I'm looking for are Paros, Greece and Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Frankly, I could do both if I were to actually catch on.

Any recommendations on a) whether or not it's a bad idea to 'go all in' and commit to the trip, b) should I take a kite+board+harness (I'm sure that I'll want a seated harness due to my back complications) with me and just get lessons there, c) recommendations on Paros and/or Cabarete, is one better than the other, recommendations on where to stay, etc?

Re: Paros or Cabarete in July

Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 10:32 am
by chris1974
Hi Justadudeinsf

I am afraid I can not do a comparison of abovementioned spots as I ve never been to Cabarete, but I can surely give you all info you need on Paros island.

In July there is a high possibility to kitesurf every day as Meltemi(North wind) starts blowing. A range of 16 to 30 knots from early in the morning till late (8.p.m)
The best spot for your level is Pounda Beach. Wind blows side-on so it is pretty much safe. There are 2 schools/clubs on the beach offering both lessons and rentals. In July there won’t be to many people. You can do whatever you want without the risk to injure yourself or somebody else.
Water is warm(shorts) and air temperature between 22 to 35 celcious.

Regarding accommodation the possibilities/alternatives are endless. It is a matter of budget and personal needs. There are rooms to let (€ 25-50/day) to hotels on BB basis (€50-200/day).

Hoppe I managed to help you a bit.

Paros is my local spot. No matter where you ll stay, pm me to kite together!!!!!

Take care


Re: Paros or Cabarete in July

Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:27 pm
by AmericanRonin
Can't speak about Paros, but I've been to Cabarete several times. I didn't learn to kite there but I did get a coach for a week to help with my technique and form.

As far as it being a good place to learn goes: it is and it isn't. It is in the sense that there are an abundance of schools (I recommend Kite Club) to choose from and the wind that time of year is reliable enough that you can at the very minimum learn on a big kite if nothing else. It isn't in the sense that Cabarete is crowded as shit in the summer time. Honestly, it's usually pretty crowded but to be fair, it's because it has a lot to offer. I've been twice in the summer and once in the winter and all three times I had a blast with some really great people.

As far as learning from the ground-up though, I wouldn't really recommend it. Yes, it can be done. You can learn to kite there. And if you do, you'll probably be pretty damned good at it too. But the water isn't shallow for very far--and it's moderately choppy--so recovering from f***-ups can be exhausting and I've already mentioned the crowds. Technically, the learner has right-of-way over the experienced kiter and those who want to practice their tricks should do it away from the beach so as not to interfere. But as I mentioned earlier, body dragging through a crowd is exhausting and most of the locals would rather do their tricks close to the beach so that if they beef, they don't have to go very far to get their boards back.

I'd say Cab is a great place to hone your skills, but not really the best place to learn from the ground up. Just my two cents. You'll have a blast there either way, and it is pretty cheap. You can get a week of lessons there for what three days costs in the Outer Banks or Florida.

It's far from the best place to learn in the Caribbean, but peso-for-peso, it's hard to beat the bargain aspect.