September 25, 2017

Dominican: Kiteboarding “Zero to Hero”

We left most of the windsurfing and kiteboarding for the second week, opting to basically do most of the trips which Iguana Mama had to offer in the first week.

The nightlife wasn’t as busy as we’d expected, and we got caught in more than one topical monsoon – it was funny watching the bar staff run out to try and save their tables and displays as all the customers tried to run in to save their food and drinks!

Looking east towards Cabarete Beach

Kiteboarding.  The number one thing I wanted to try.  And as Vela were partnered with Dare2Fly I booked into the three-day “Zero to Hero” course, and with people like Audrey Meyer working there it sounded pretty good!

Unfortunately… I sucked at kiteboarding… I remember laughing with my instructor at the end as he said “Ryan, I’ve never seen someone start so strongly, and fail quite so epically at the end! But we did get you kiteboarding…!”

Learning about the kite… what could possibly go wrong!

He wasn’t wrong, I’d managed to get to grips with the kite on the first day, and I could wakeboard at home, so after that I thought I was going to be a “Hero” in record time!

Wrong.  After some time practicing, and body-dragging, I simply couldn’t put the two together, which left my very patient instructor Glen scratching his head trying to understand why – “there’s only so many ways I can tell you to do this!  You even know what you’re doing wrong, but you’re still doing it!”

Glen explaining what to do… again…

On the last day, I finally managed to get up on the board, for about 10 metres, then down.  And with the weather getting worse, I had my final attempt… and I got up again!  I was off!  Kiteboarding baby!

Yeah, that was the excited thoughts which went through my head and I forgot to control my kite and hammered it down onto another learner.  As she swum out from underneath and shook her fist in anger, I was getting dragged, so I pulled the safety line which de-powered the kite… and as I pulled and heaved my sorry looking and tangled kite to shore… my board had long disappeared with the current in the opposite direction… epic fail.

As I kept sight of the board, Glen kiteboarded out and salvaged it – it was a long way out…

Glen proving it is possible to kiteboard!

When everything was tucked away, Glen thought another day would do it, but the weather was grim and the holiday was sadly at an end anyway.

I will kiteboard again, and I swear I’ll get to grips with it…

 

So there’s my number one tip, if there’s something in particular you really want to do, do it straight away!  Don’t leave it until the end.

 

Me, the week before, getting ready to start the 27 WaterFalls Tour

I’ll have another go at kiteboarding, and hopefully if I manage to ever get up on the board I’ll head back for Cabarete again in the future.

 

Links & Resources:

Iguana Mama Tours – you don’t have to stay in Cabarete, but it is where they are based.

http://www.iguanamama.com/

Cabarete Beach Houses, part of the Nanny Estate:

http://www.cabaretebeachhouses.com/

Active Cabarete:

http://www.activecabarete.com/

Vela Windsurfing, Cabarete – they’re very helpful with everything, even non-windsurfing stuff.

http://www.velacabarete.com/

Dare2Fly, Cabarete Kiteboarding School – partnered with Vela, and excellent.  It’s also the home of the awesome Audrey Meyer.

http://www.dare2fly.com/

Flights with Thompson Airways

http://flights.thomson.co.uk/

Dominican Adventures Website

http://www.dr-adventures.com/

 

MAP from Active Cabarete:

http://www.activecabarete.com/maps/index.php?mapzone=cab-n

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