Surf Camp Job

Surf Camp Job Openings:

Updated: May 2022

Surf Instructor Job

When:
Positions open for 2022

Length:
Minimum commitment 8 months, longer is possible and preferred

Position:
Surf instructors, surf guides

Where:
Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Bali, Indonesia

Requirements for surf camp job in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Previous teaching experience & ideally ISA qualified

Swell has set whole new standards in accommodation and guest experience of surf camps.

Our place has a unique vibe and we have great clients, mostly professional people, who stay with us. The work can be 7 days a week when we are really busy but we have 3 coaches full time and normally between 6 and 12 people taking lessons at any one time. Our surf coaches have quite an easy run compared to European surf schools, though work starts early (6.30am) it is done by lunchtime. Then we like our coaches to socialise and take part in other fun activities with the guests. If you read our Trip Advisor reviews, you will get a sense of how important the staff mixing with the clients is to the overall success of Swell.

We provide accommodation and daily breakfast + 4 dinners (eating out in Cabarete costs just a few dollars for other meals). Salary will vary dependent on skills offered and experience. Spanish is not essential but is an advantage.

Swell Bali Job Opening(s)

in 2021 Swell is opening a new surf hotel. Located in the cool surf town of Bingin on the SW coast of Bali. With world-class waves such as Bingin, padang padang, Impossibles and Uluwatu within a few minutes.

For Swell Bali we have the following Surf Camp Job positions open:

Surf guide / Surf Instructor

  • Needs to be an advanced surfer.
  • Have experience surfing in Bali
  • Good communication skills
  • Fluent in English and Ideally some Indonesian
  • Experience in hospitality.

Interested in working for Swell?
Fill out the form below, we get lots of interests from people, so double-check if your info is correct and up to date since incomplete applications will not be considered.

 

Incomplete forms, or applications not sent trough this form will not be taken in consideration.
For reference, average hours worked per week at Swell is 25
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

 

 

About Swell

We provide a quality surf holiday for surfers of all levels. The Surf & Yoga Holiday is a popular package where clients learn to surf and we teach Yoga in our garden 3 times a week.

The accommodation at Swell is of the highest standard found anywhere in the world for a surf camp. Stylish rooms and comfortable beds + AC and Fan and Ensuite bathroom

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LEARN TO SURF AT 50

learning to surf at an older age

 LEARN TO SURF AT THE AGE OF 50?

If you are over 50 and considering learning to surf, you might be concerned that you’re too late to the game.

The fact that you will struggle to master the necessary skills, that you will appear foolish, and that all of the other younger, fitter surfers would laugh at your inexperience and slowness and ignore you, are all reasonable concerns.

This, however, is not the case.

surfing green waves

LEARNING TO SURF AT AN ‘OLDER’ AGE

Is it possible to learn to surf at the age of 50? Or Older?
Yes, as long as you have a reasonable level of physical fitness and flexibility. Learning to surf is primarily a matter of persistence, so if you’re ready to keep trying, you can learn to surf at that age.

Consider signing up for a beginner’s surf lesson, getting in shape, improving your swimming skills, selecting the perfect surfboard, and avoiding comparing yourself to others if you’re over 50 and want to learn to surf. You’ll be out there enjoying those waves before you know it!

Surfing has no age restrictions, and it’s never too late to start (even if you’re past 50!)

SURFING IS  A GREAT WAY TO:

  • Keep in shape,
  • Improve your mood,
  • Push yourself,
  • Feel younger for longer.
  • Meet new people

This comprehensive guide will help you learn to surf at 50. It has been compiled to answer your questions and provide support along the process. I’ll go over some of the advantages of this enjoyable outdoor activity and provide a step-by-step tutorial to get you started.

Tips on how to learn to surf aged  50 years or older.

learn to surf at 50

1. WORK ON YOUR FITNESS

Surfing is physically hard at any age, but especially so as you become older.

You’ll need to use your entire body to manage your weight as you paddle out, pop up on your board, and ride those waves. You’ll also be out for extended periods, so you’ll need plenty of stamina to be safe.

As a result, you should begin by increasing your physical activity and improving your fitness. The more physically fit you are, the easier it will be to learn to surf.

To be clear, you don’t need to be in marathon shape when you’re initially learning, but every little bit helps. Here are some suggestions:

Improve your cardiovascular fitness. Take long walks, begin running, ride your bike, or even run around with your children.

Put a premium on functional strength. If you want to keep control, you’ll need good core strength and good arm power for paddling.

Keep in mind to stretch. Stretching, flexibility, and balance should be part of your daily routine to avoid injury and improve your surfing skills.

Most of these surfing workouts may be done from the convenience of your own home. Simply go to YouTube, and you’ll find a plethora of online workouts that will help you get in shape quickly.
Read this article on surf fitness to get started.

2. TAKE SURF LESSON

While you can certainly teach yourself to surf, it’s so much easier and progress a lot quicker when you use the help of a local surf school or surf camp.

For beginners aged 50 and up, these can be invaluable because they give you confidence in your developing talents while also assisting you in improving your technique. You’ll also learn the proper surf ethics and gain a deeper understanding of the water.

SURFING AT AN OLDER AGE

3. IMPROVE YOUR SWIMMING ABILITIES.

If you don’t know how to swim, turn off your computer right now and enrol in some swimming classes. Seriously! If you’re not a great swimmer, there’s no way you’ll be able to stay safe in the ocean.

It is essential to keep in mind that the water is a massive force.

Because waves and currents can be powerful, and sea conditions can change in the blink of an eye, putting you in danger, knowing how to swim is essential. You must be capable enough to look after yourself and get to safety.

Because you’ll be starting in relatively shallow water, you don’t need to be a particularly great swimmer to begin. It is, nevertheless, necessary if you wish to proceed beyond the beginning stage.

Swimming in the ocean as much as possible will help you become a better swimmer. This will provide more authentic conditions than simply going to your local pool, and it will give you more confidence in ‘wild swimming.’

learn to surf at an older age

4. SELECT THE APPROPRIATE BOARD FOR LEARNING TO SURF

When you first begin, make sure you select the appropriate surfboard for a beginner like yourself.

Look for longer, thicker, and wider boards because they provide the most stability and make learning easier. Surfing beyond 40 or 50 is best learned on larger boards like 9 feet + beginner soft top surfboards. More info on beginner surfboards is detailed in this article. 

Avoid smaller boards as much as possible; they are more difficult to manage and can lower your confidence when you first begin. Your local surf shop can assist you in determining the suitable size and shape of a surfboard for your needs and abilities.

5. DON’T MAKE COMPARISONS TO OTHER PEOPLE

I know it is easy to say so rather than act, but you must avoid comparing your surfing abilities to others.

So, what if you’re in a group surf session and someone in your class can show there in 5 minutes, but you’re still having trouble an hour later? Maybe he or she has already learned to surf and is just brushing up on their skills. Perhaps they’re naturally sporty, whereas you’ve spent the last few years lazing on the couch.

Everyone is on their own individual path.

If you want to feel proud of yourself instead of comparing yourself to others, remember that you came up and took the risk of learning to surf at a time when many others would not.

Concentrate on your own game, be proud of your drive and dedication, and work hard to reap the rewards.

If you haven’t already, take benefit of the opportunity to learn to surf. You’ll notice a variety of mental and physical health benefits as soon as you begin.

What are the advantages of learning to surf at the age of 50+?

Learning to surf will change your life for the better, especially if you are over 50 years old. Check out below a few of the reasons behind this:

1. Surfing is a terrific way to stay in shape while having a good time and no more sweating it out for hours on machines in a dark, dingy gym! You’ll be outside, feeling the rush, inhaling in the fresh air while also getting in shape. Awesome.

2. Surfing is a fantastic cardio workout. All of that paddling, popping up, and riding will get your blood pumping, your heart pumping, and your body in terrific form.

surfing holiday

3. Surfing is a fantastic chance to meet new people. When you’re over 50, it’s more difficult to expand your social group. On the other hand, Surfing makes you part of a close-knit group that will keep an eye on you and is there for you when you need it.

4. Surfing aids in the prevention of aches and pains. You will become stronger overall, your joints will become less achy, and you will become more flexible if you engage in regular exercise such as surfing. If you have to sit at your desk all day or have been groaning as you stand up recently, this is the perfect remedy!

5. Surfing is excellent for improving your coordination. When you learn to surf, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your motor skills. If you participate in other sports, this will pay off handsomely and help you age more gracefully.

6. Surfing is a fantastic way to improve your mood. All of that natural daylight exposure, fresh air, exercise, and community spirit will get your endorphins flowing, raise your mood, and, according to some studies, may even help to alleviate your depression and stress.

Don’t let your age stop you from learning to surf. The average age of clients at Swell on a learn to surf holiday is 38. This means we get plenty of people in their 50’s and 60’s that join us.

Want an example:

Clare, one of the owners of Swell Surf Camp was never very interested in learning to surf, then at 52 decided it was time to get in the water and learn surfing. Now she goes for a surf with her surf friends whenever she has a chance. This is Clare 3 years after  her first surf sessions, aged 56 (see the smile on her face)

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for surf lessons at your local surf beach, or join us in the warm and mellow waves of the Dominican Republic for a life-changing surf holiday

ABOUT SWELL

Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s people the basics of surfing.

BOUTIQUE SURF HOLIDAYS IN THE CARIBEAN

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

 

dr learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding!

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CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES: POSITIONING IN SURFING

surfing unbroken waves

CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES:

POSITIONING IN SURFING

Learn how to discover, catch, and stay on unbroken “green” waves by positioning yourself correctly in the line-up.

surfing green waves

CATCH MORE WAVES BY SITTING IN THE RIGHT SPOT!

This article will provide you with a basic understanding of better position yourself to catch green waves. It covers the fundamentals of paddling into an unbroken wave and “sticking” on these “green waves” without nose-diving, passing over the wave, or becoming caught on top of it.

Keep in mind that this is one of the most difficult skills to master as a beginner surfer. Nothing can ever take the place of practice. The longer time you spend in the water and the more waves you attempt to catch, the better.

The theory presented in this article will supplement your practice and, in most cases, will speed up your progress and save you a lot of time and frustration.

CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES

Positioning & where to sit

How to locate and position yourself to catch a long green wave:
1. Recognize the various stages of a wave

stages of surfing waves

PHASE 1:  SWELL LINES
It is only a bump in the road. At this point, catching this wave is impossible. This lump is merely a forewarning that a wave is on its way.

PHASE 2: UNBROKEN WAVE
This is the place to look for a “green wave.” This waveform is great for paddling because it is unbroken and has the right strength and steepness. You can’t catch at phase 1  because it isn’t steep enough, and phase 3 is too vertical for you to take off. ( better surfers with shortboards can take off here)

PHASE 3: BREAKING WAVE
The peak of the wave has arrived. On the flat water, the lip is already beginning to crash down. The wave is too big and steep to catch at this point, especially for inexperienced surfers.

PHASE 4: WHITE WATER
The wave has broken and has turned into a whitewater wave.

Real-world example of the different phases of waves

where to surf

 

Prepare for a Green Wave by putting yourself in the right place.

Sit around 4 to 5 meters (15 feet) away from the majority of the waves.

Why?

The reason for this is that if you are waiting at a specific location where a large number of waves are breaking, the moment you turn around and paddle for a wave, you will either be catching a white water wave that has already broken, or you will be getting the wave crashing on top of you.

take off surfing

 

 

A good spot to take off, not too mellow / not too steep.

What is the status of the more experienced surfers? They probably know more about where to sit in line than you do.

This does not imply that you should sit next to them and wait for their waves. It’s merely a guide to help you figure out how far out you should paddle.
Where to sit is also variable on a couple of different aspects:

  • The paddle fitness of the surf (how fast can he/she paddle)
  • What kind of board the surfer is riding (longboards can catch ‘flatter’ waves more easily than shortboards.

Beginner surfers are frequently found sitting much further out from the wave than more experienced surfers. This doesn’t make much sense; either the waves aren’t breaking as far out that day, or they aren’t breaking at all.

In other words, if you see waves breaking a long distance away from where the expert surfers are sitting, this indicates that it is an “unusual” and larger set of waves (which you most likely do not want to catch as a beginner surfer!).

Look for lumps on the horizon. A “phase 1” wave that will transition into a “phase  2” wave roughly 3 to 5 meters behind you is what you’re searching for.
Choose a wave, turn around, and paddle for at least 8 hard strokes. You should paddle hard enough to keep up with the wave’s pace as it transitions from “Phase 1” to “phase 2.”

ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR CATCHING MORE WAVES IN SURFING

KEEP LOOKING
When paddling for a wave, look behind your shoulder. Taking a couple of glances behind you is the only way to determine whether you need to paddle more, paddle less, or even stop paddling for a short period, depending on the shape of the wave.

It also prevents you from “dropping in” on individuals (for further information on what this means, see “Surf Ethics”). If you glance behind you, you’ll be able to tell if the wave was too steep (phase 3), too weak (phase 1), or just right (phase 2), and hence why you failed or succeeded in catching an unbroken wave.

Many inexperienced surfers fail to look back at the wave and end up paddling incorrectly. They either get smashed by the wave or catch a white water wave. Without looking back and understanding what happened, you will never be able to learn from your mistakes.

surfing unbroken waves

A BIGGER BOARD MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
It will be easier to catch unbroken waves if you have a larger board.

PADDLE SPEED
Paddling fast enough to match the speed of a wave is the key to catching “green waves.” You will spring up and surf faster if you can “capture the momentum” of the wave. Green waves are easier to catch on big boards than on small boards because they paddle faster.

Because they move around a lot, better surfers catch more waves. If you notice a lump in the horizon, consider whether it is a larger wave that will break further out to sea or a smaller wave that will break closer to shore.

It will get easier to paddle around and position yourself to catch unbroken waves the more experience you gain in reading waves. The more proactive you are, the more likely you will be to catch waves. See “How to Read Waves” for additional information on wave reading.

Catch and “Stick” on a wave that isn’t broken.
White water waves differ from unbroken waves in the following ways:

The force of a whitewater wave pushes you forward. You might catch whitewater waves during your first sessions when you first start surfing. Because the momentum of the broken white water wave drives you forward, white water waves are very easy to catch.

Most whitewater waves may be caught without even paddling.

surfing green waves

Gravity is the force that creates an unbroken “Green” water wave. The first thing you need to know about catching and “sticking” on green waves is that the white water does not “push” you ahead. Gravity is the force that allows you to enter the wave. You must imagine yourself paddling down a moving “slope.”

How to “stick” to the unbroken wave without getting swept away?
Long, forceful, and deep strokes should be used when paddling. This is especially critical when catching waves that aren’t broken.

When paddling, you must give everything you have, especially when you feel your surfboard’s tail rise: this is a crucial moment to “Stick” on it.

The way you stand on your surfboard is crucial. As we saw in the How to Paddle on a surfboard article, excellent paddling technique is achieved through precise paddle strokes and optimal body placement on the surfboard.

When your chest is exactly centred on the width of the surfboard, and you are at the correct height, you are in the correct position on the surfboard. Place your body high enough on the board so that the nose is about 3-6 centimetres (1-2 inches) out of the water while keeping your head up (imagining a soccer ball between your chin and the surfboard).

surfing unbroken waves

Your head and upper shoulders are likely to weigh 45 pounds (20 kilograms) or more! Consider how much of a difference it makes when you drop your head and bring it closer to the surfboard when you’re pulled up on a wave. This allows you to catch, stick, and descend the “slope” that is moving forward.

Many kids become accustomed to being pushed into unbroken waves by their trainers, which is beneficial for practice. When you’re pushed, however, you don’t have to lower your head to put weight on the front of your surfboard. If you’re disappointed because it’s difficult to catch green waves without the help of a surf coach, remember that shifting your weight towards the surfboard is the key to catching unbroken waves on your own.

It would help if you popped up at around 2/3 of the height of the wave. Once you feel your tail lift and you believe you have gained enough speed to continue gliding with the wave, give two final paddle strokes, place your hands on the board beside your pectoral muscles, curve your back, and jump!

VIDEO OF CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES

ABOUT SWELL

Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

BOUTIQUE SURF RETREAT HOLIDAYS

The Caribbean: On the North Coast of the Dominican Republic

surf hotel

In Indonesia: Bali is where you will find Swell Bali Surf Retreat.

swell bali Surf Retreat

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

 

dr learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding!

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GETTING FIT FOR A SURF HOLIDAY

surfing retreat

GETTING FIT FOR A SURF HOLIDAY

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SURF HOLIDAY

learn surfing older age

SURF FITNESS


Surfing is an incredibly demanding sport for both body and mind. Not only are you pushing yourself physically, but you have to concentrate and focus on reading the ocean at all times to catch the best waves. That’s why being in the know about surf-specific fitness can make all the difference between getting out the back nice and easy, or getting a big set on your head, rag-dolling all the way back to shore. With this surf blog, we hope to give you the tips that bring you that little bit closer to being physically fit to ace your next surf session.

SURF FITNESS GUIDE


This guide is aimed towards beginner surfers, weekend warriors and those whose sessions are few and far between. When learning to surf, the first few times when you come out of the water after a surf, you might not even be able to get your suit off because your arms are jelly from all the paddling. Sheer exhaustion, we’ve all been there!

If you’re planning a surf holiday or surf camp stay this summer, this article gives you the tools to physically prepare for it. We’ll talk about the main muscles used in the different actions and movements of surfing and explain how to train and stretch them for better surfing performance.

Fitness The Basics: Paddle, Pop-Up, Body Position

There are three main stages in the process of catching a wave. First is the paddle, an explosive movement with the arms. Next is the pop-up, using the upper body to lift ourselves enough to bring the legs into our stance position. And finally, once we are on the wave we use our legs, core and upper body to stabilise and create momentum on the wave-face (pumping) and to perform maneuvers.
 
Which Muscles Do We Use When Surfing?

It’s pretty safe to say that you use most of the muscles in your body when you surf, some more than others and some in different ways. The main muscle group we use when paddling is the upper back ones. This provides us with the power needed to accelerate up to a similar speed of the wave itself. It is usually only a few strokes on each arm before popping up. In other words, it is a strength and power move, which we can train to its fullest potential. Our shoulders are also used in the rotary motion of the move but generally only start to burn after a long paddle out, so endurance is the main factor for this set of muscles. The triceps get a good workout with duck diving and with the pop-up, as do the chest muscles. Again, the pop up is an explosive move so we can train our muscles to perform this more effectively. And finally, when we’re up and riding on the wave face, we use the core (in all planes) and legs for stabilisation and movement. 

Training for surf fitness
Training to go on holiday… Really? Every season, we hear a few guests say something like: “I wish I came on this trip in better shape.”

The amount of preparation you want to do is up to you and depends on your current fitness level and your objectives for the surf retreat. We often have guests that really look forward to either progress their technique or surf 3 or 4 hours every day since they don’t have access to quality waves back home. Here are a few tips if you feel your fitness level could limit you on your next trip.

Surfing &/or Swimming
The best way to be physically ready for a surf trip is… to surf! Even though you run, ride a bike, go to the gym weekly, etc. You might not be training your body in the most effective way to prepare for a surf trip. A significant part of surfing is paddling. Even if the waves at home aren’t great, just getting out there for a paddle will train the muscles needed for paddling. Don’t have waves at home? See the paragraph below on swimming.

If you can’t surf at home, the second-best option is to go swimming at your local pool. In the last 4 to 6 weeks before your surf trip, try swimming at least twice per week. Don’t worry about your swimming speed. Try to find your rhythm and do laps for a total of 20 minutes or more if you can (stop between laps when needed). Very important: use the “freestyle” technique (also known as the “front crawl”).

Stretching &/or Yoga
Mobility is essential for surfing, for both performance and to limit the risk of injuries. Stretching poses that focus on your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and hips are often the most recommended. Guests over 40 often struggle with their pop-ups if their hips are too tight. Core strength is key for surfing and yoga can be a great way to build it, although it is not always for everyone.

The more you feel that you can move freely, the better. Especially for your hips (for pop-ups) and shoulders (for paddling).

Training & Cardio
Sit-ups, squats, burpees, push-ups… Those are basic exercises that will build core, shoulder, arm and leg strength and endurance. Training these muscles will help you catch more waves and surf for longer sessions. Every guest has their own fitness level and body type. You or a fitness coach that knows you personally will know what exercises you need to focus on most, how many sets, reps and rest suit you, etc. For cardio, you could consider going for a run or a bike ride.

According to the HHS, adults should aim to get 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity a week. If you do not reach these targets, it would be a good idea to try to start training at least 4 weeks before your trip. The more significant improvement in strength or endurance you are looking for, the more time you will need (sometimes 12 weeks or more are preferable).

More ideas for training on our Magazine:

Nutrition
Eating healthy is obviously important and complementary to exercising if you either want to feel energized, lose fat or build muscle before your trip.

It’s about finding balance…
Surfing is a sport that requires both a good amount of strength and mobility. For example when you paddle hard to catch a wave or when you push up to pop up, you need shoulder and arm strength. You also need fluidity to be able to slide your legs under your chest during pop up, when you twist your body during carves, etc. It’s a good idea to aim for balance. If, for example, you go to the gym often and feel that you are quite strong but not very flexible, focus on mobility exercises. If you think you are already quite flexible, focus on strength conditioning.

ABOUT SWELL


Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 39

Swell offer 2 exciting places for learn to surf holidays:

The Caribbean: On the North coast of the Dominican Republic

surf hotel

In Indonesia: Bali is where you will find Swell Bali Surf Retreat.

swell bali Surf Retreat

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!

Our luxury surf coaching holidays have taught 1000’s of people the sport of surfing in a safe, fun and quick way.

If you like this article about learning to surf after 40 you might also like the following articles.

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LEARNING TO FOIL WINGSURF

wing foil learn package

AN INTRODUCTION TO FOILING

learn foil surfing

Unless you haven’t been paying attention to new water sports crazes, you’ve probably seen a huge increase in the number of people getting into foil boarding; whether it’s using a foil for surfing, kitesurfing, or the relatively new wing-foiling (covered in more detail below).

LEARNING TO FOIL / WINGSURF

WHAT IS A FOIL?

It was in Hawaii that the hydrofoil was first developed. The idea is to use a blade below the water to ‘lift’ the board you are using (whether it’s a SUP, kiteboard, or surfboard) clean out of the water. The board is attached to a mast which is attached to that blade. Once the blade lifts at a certain speed, the mast comes out of the water and then no part of the board is actually touching the water. We will talk about how foiling feels a little later in this article; the very reason for its existence is how that ride feels.

Early foil models were heavy, extremely difficult to use, and really quite dangerous. These hand-made foils were also very expensive. After several manufacturers came up with various foil models over the years, in around 2014, foil models had improved and started appearing in more numbers on local beaches. However, they were still too fast, generally unstable and very difficult to ride, as well as being expensive. Accidents were common and often resulted in nasty injuries.

The speed of design improvements has been impressive and the good news is that today, all manufacturers are building easy to use, less expensive, stable, fun foils which suit all kinds of surf/water conditions. They range from inexpensive plastic foils, through aluminium and fibreglass construction, all the way to the top-of-the-range carbon fibre foils.

Even better, many are of a modular design, meaning that you can interchange the various parts as your level of foiling improves.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FOIL COMPARED TO RIDING A NORMAL KITEBOARD OR SURFBOARD?

This question is rather like trying to describe how it feels the first time you ride a wave; it’s really hard to put it into words.

learn to foil

It’s like no other form of board riding you have ever undertaken before. The reason for this is that you are simply floating: Imagine gliding over a sea of soap suds where the suds keep you on top without sinking yet you can’t feel them beneath you. Your foil makes no sound at all as it carries you, there’s no slapping of water that you always get with a board in contact with water. It’s spookily quiet as you glide effortlessly through the water. People have described it as a magic carpet ride and I would have to agree.

Also, the momentum of foils and the way they travel through water means that you only need light winds for either kiting or wing-surfing. You can also travel at much faster speeds and turn further upwind or downwind than you can with a regular twin-tip kiteboard.

It’s really easy to see why kite foiling and wing-surfing are the fastest growing water sports.

WHAT MAKES FOILING MORE DIFFICULT TO LEARN?

If you are used to riding a twin-tip kiteboard or a directional surfboard, you will know that you steer the board using your heels and toes. Only two things to remember; heels will dig in to ride upwind and toes will turn the board downwind. Let’s refer to this as the ‘roll.’

With a foil, there are three things to master. You’ve got the toe and heel operation (the roll) but you have also got a front and back axis (the pitch) to deal with. Getting the ‘pitch’ of the foil right is essential to keep the board out of the water. Too much leaning back and the foil will literally fly out of the water. Too much pressure forward and the foil will sink the board. Foils are sensitive and require only a tiny movement of your body forward or backward to completely change momentum.

The roll is also harder to come to terms with on a foil. If you can imagine the roll on a regular board occurs immediately beneath your feet and the adjustment you make results in an instant turn. With a foil, the blade is well beneath you, anything from 40cm to 110cm (depending on the length of the foil’s mast). This means that the adjustment required is larger and the turn takes longer to effect.

Then we have to look at how weird it feels to be hovering above the water. Everything you have ever learned with kiteboarding or wind-surfing is about the board being in direct contact with the ocean. The height you can achieve with a foil is at once exhilarating but it’s also scary. No matter how good you are as a kiteboarder, surfer, or windsurfer, learning to foil will make you feel like a noob all over again. It sounds like a bit of a nightmare, doesn’t it? But the reward, the reward………..your soap-suddy, dreamy-cruise through the air will make all the faceplants and aching thighs well worth it. It’s just a learning curve you must go through to get to the pot of gold.

HOW DO I LEARN FOILING?

There are several different ways to learn to foil. If you already kitesurf well, then you can pick up foiling using your kite skills to generate the power required. If you are an accomplished windsurfer, then moving to wing-foiling will not be too big a step up.

If you don’t kitesurf, surf, or wind-surf already, then your options are as follows: 1. Learn to kitesurf first using a regular twin tip (this might sound difficult but actually, the learning curve with kiting is much faster than with regular surfing and progress can be rapid. 2. Learn to wing-foil (see below for our course options at Swell). The great thing about using the wing to start foiling is that control of the wing is easier and even faster to master than control of the kite. 3. Use a boat-tow to start. However, whilst using a boat to tow you might seem like a good option, in reality, it’s cheating somewhat and with this method, you won’t utilize some of the balance skills which are vital for foil control once a boat is not towing you. Another problem with a boat tow is that the boat tends to do the steering for you, so you are not learning that skill either. Lastly, unless your boat pilot is well-versed with foiling themselves, they won’t know the correct speed to keep you above the water and safe.

Whichever method you choose, you should begin your water experience with a short mast on the foil (shorter = easier). The better you get, the longer you want your mast to be. You will also use a bigger board at the beginning to give you as much stability as possible.

WINGSURF FOILING; A PERFECT INTRODUCTION TO FOILING WITH NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

As we’ve mentioned above, wingsurf-foiling is an ideal choice if you don’t already kitesurf and you want to get straight into riding a foil. Wingsurfing is growing quickly in popularity and it’s easy to see why.

Unlike a kite, the hand-held wing is much simpler and safer to use. There are no long lines to put out, no potentially dangerous launch to master, no risk of crashing the kite and not being able to relaunch it. The equipment is easy to put together and the wing is quickly inflated. A leash attaches the wing to the rider in case of falls and handles are positioned along the center of the wing to guide it; it’s very light in the hand. In fact, there are no discernible disadvantages to using a wing to foil.

learn to wingsurf

Wings are sold in various sizes to suit wind conditions and rider size. A good wing-foiling school will have the correct size of the wing for your lessons. You will be able to wing-foil in just 12 knots of wind. All you have to do is inflate the lightweight wing and enter the water.

WHERE CAN I LEARN TO FOIL

Cabarete, Dominican Republic, is already a world-renowned kite surfing destination, with steady side-on trade winds and warm Caribbean water: Now foiling is taking over as the fastest growing sport. You can come and stay with us at Swell and take a 10-hour foiling course for $795 USD (one person) or $636 USD each if two guests are learning at the same time.

More info on our learn to wingsurf course can be found here and the package pricing for learning to foil & wingsurf are here

ABOUT SWELL


We are a purpose-built retreat for people that are looking for an active water sports holiday. We offer learn to surf, kitesurf and wingsurf packages for clients staying with Swell

Swell has 2 locations: Swell Caribbean on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic

Swell Bali is a new Swell hotel, which only focuses on surfing. Steps from 4 world-class surf spots for surfers of all levels


learn to wingsurf

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THE 6 BEST SURF CAMPS FOR BEGINNERS

BEST SURF CAMPS FOR BEGINNERS

THE 6 BEST SURF CAMPS FOR BEGINNERS

In this article “6 best surf camps for beginners destinations”  we are going to explore some of the worlds best surf destinations for beginners.

Before we started Swell in the Caribbean in 2009 we operated a surf travel agency and that face us the chance to visit over 25+ countries to see what the surf conditions were like, so we have a pretty good idea of the different surfing conditions in the various surf destinations listed below.

beginner surf camp

But first, we need to have a look at what makes a good or best surf destination.

There is no such thing as one destination that ticks all the boxes. For one, someone who is in the early stages of their surf career is looking for a very different type of wave than a seasoned pro.

In this article, we focus on a region that has ideal learn to surf conditions for complete beginners.
We could have included more countries and regions on the list, but we have focussed on what we consider the best destinations.
Next month we will also feature 6 surf destinations for intermediate surfers.

 

BEST SURF CAMPS FOR BEGINNERS

Experience level:
Between zero and 5 surf sessions in their life.

BEST SURF CAMP DESTINATIONS  FOR BEGINNERS LEARNING TO SURF

best surf camp for beginners

 

 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Dominican surf campWhere is it located: Largest island In the Caribbean, the North coast faces the Atlantic, the south coast faces the Caribbean.

 

Getting There: Short direct flight from Miami or 3-hour flight from New York and Toronto. Charter flights from Europe

 

Focus surf region: The north coast, 20 minutes from Puerto Plata international airport.

LEARN TO SURF IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

dr learn to surf holiday

What makes it a great surf destination for beginners:
We are biased since this is where we opened Swell in 2009, but we did so for a reason: we wanted a place where we can teach people to surf in a safe way. Playa Encuentro is the ideal spot, it has 350 surfable days in the year, with mellow reform waves on the inside breaking over a flat reef, deep enough to stand in the water (around chest high), easy access to the beach, no dangerous current or sea life. We have taught 5000+ guests over 10 years the sport of surfing.
There is no dangerous sea life present, nor are there dangerous rips or currents present. All this make it one of the best places for a learn to surf camp for beginners.
Best time to go: any time of the year

More info: See this website

PROS

  • Pretty white sand beaches, lined with palm trees.
  • Friendly Caribbean vibes, in and out of the water.
  • Budget-friendly
  • Close to an international airport
  • Warm tropical climate and water

CONS

  • Midday trade winds mean at times it gets too windy to surf after 13.00

 

Video of the Dominican Republic


SURFING COSTA RICA

 

Where is it located: In the middle of Central America. 2 coastlines, the West coast faces the Pacific, the east coast faces the Caribbean

 

Focus surf region: Pacific region of Guanacaste

 

 

 

What makes Costa Rica a great surf destination for beginners:
We have spent a lot of time in Costa Rica between 2014 and 2017. The waves in Nosara and Tamarindo offer a great playground for people new to the sport of surfing, and there are plenty of surf schools and surf camps in this area of Costa Rica.
Mostly sand bottom beach breaks make learning to surf in Costa Rica safe.

Best time to go: Smaller waves between November and March

costa rica surf camp

PROS

  • Safe country to visit in Central America
  • Plenty of surf camps and surf schools to choose from
  • Pretty beaches and wildlife

CONS

  • The most expensive country to visit in the region, expect North American prices
  • Domestic travel from San Jose international airport takes time and money
  • BBusy in the surf

VIDEO OF COSTA RICA


BALI, INDONESIA

Where is it located: Southeast Asia, north-west of Australia, Indonesia consists of 17,500 islands, of which Bali is one of them.

 

Focus surf region: West coast of Bali, between Seminyak in the north to Uluwatu in the south

 

 

 

What makes Bali one of the best surf destinations for beginners:
Having spent the last  4 years living here and having built our 2nd surf resort here, it’s no surprise that we love Bali and think it’s one of the best surf destinations in the world. It is actually one of the few places where surfers of all levels are happy spending their surf holiday. For beginners, the beaches of Seminyak, Kuta, Bingin and Baby Padang are ideal for someone who has never surfed before.

In 2021 Swell has opened it’s door to a new Swell Bali Surf camp

bali surf camps

 

Best time to go:  Any time of the year.
More info: https://www.swellbali.com

PROS

  • Close to Denpasar international airport
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great Balinese culture
  • Ideal surf conditions
  • Warm tropical climate and water

 

CONS

  • Kuta region traffic can be a nightmare
  • Air travel from Europe and North America is lengthy, although once landed at Bali it is a short trip to the surf beaches.

Video of Bali


PORTUGAL

 

portugal surf destinationWhere is it located: Southwest corner of Europe, bordering Spain to the east.

 

Focus surf region: South Western tip of the Algarve and Alentejo

 

What makes Portugal one of the best surf destinations for beginners:
A mild climate makes Portugal a great places to visit for about 9 months of the year where the outside air temperature is  20° Celcius (69° Fahrenheit). Lots of open beach breaks mean there are not many days where the surf is too small to learn to surf.
A large variety of surf camps in schools catering for people between 18 and 24 years old.

Most teaching is done by qualified surf instructors

learn to surf in portugal

More info: coming soon

 

PROS

  • Lots of budget hostel style surf camps  in Portugal to choose from
  • European culture

CONS

  • For most of the year, you have to wear a full wetsuit since the water is chilly
  • In the summer months of July and August, the beaches get very crowded

CORNWALL, ENGLAND

 

england surf school

Where is it located: SW tip of England.

 

Focus surf region: Cornwall

 

What makes Cornwall a great place for learning to surf
Cornwall has some of the most stunning beaches and coves of England ( and even Europe). Being well exposed to the Atlantic ocean means that Cornwall gets plenty of waves. White sandy beaches make it a great place for your first surf lessons.

 

surf school cornwall

One of the surf school companies that we can highly recommend is Cornish Wave. Owned and operated by Jorrin, who also worked at Swell for a winter.

Highly professional, knowledgeable and friendly!
More info: Cornish Wave

PROS

  • Stunning scenery
  • Sandy beaches
  • Friendly locals

CONS

  • Expensive destination
  • Busy in European summer months

Video of Cornwall

 

AUSTRALIA, BYRON BAY

 

top surf camps

Where is it located: Easter tip of Australia

 

Focus surf region: North coast of NSW

 

What makes Byron Bay a great place for learning to surf?

Byron Bay has stunning white sandy beaches with a large variety of different surf breaks. There are a good amount of different surf schools to choose from. And if you are between 20 and 30 years old there’s a variety of different hostels/backpackers to choose from. If you want private accommodation, there are some very good hotels.

best surf camps

 

PROS

  • Sandy beaches
  • variety of different surf spots
  • Great beach culture

CONS

  • Busy year round

Video of Byron bay

 

We hope you enjoyed our “Best Surf Camps For Beginners” list. Next month we are focussing on surf camp destinations for intermediate and advanced surfers.

If you have any questions about this article and want to join us in the Dominican Republic for a unique surf holiday:  do send us a message!

beginner surf camp

 

 

 

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KITESURFING DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

KITESURFING DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

KITESURFING DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

kiteboarding dominican republic

It’s not just the surfing that is top class in Cabarete, in this updated 2022 Kitesurfing Dominican Republic guide you will find info on where and when to go, as well as all other relevant kiteboarding info to plan your kitesurfing holiday to the Dominican Republic with ease.

In case you are fed up with kiteboarding in a wet suit, come to the warm waters of the Caribbean, where you will be able to kiteboard in board shorts or a bikini!

What you will find in this kiteboarding guide:

Quick facts

Name:  República Dominicana (English: Dominican Republic, not the same as  Dominica which is a different island in the Caribbean)
Capital:  Santo Domingo
Location:  Caribbean region
Lat / Lon:  19°00′N 70°40′W
Currency:  Dominican peso
Language: Spanish
Coastline: 800 Miles / 1288 KM

WHY THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AS A KITESURF DESTINATION?

If you are looking for a kitesurfing (or kiteboarding) destination for your next holiday, you should definitely consider putting the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic on your short list of places to go
If you don’t want to read the entire article below, let us quickly give you 10 reasons why to choose Cabarete for your kitesurfing vacation:

  1. Super-steady, safe, side-onshore trade winds.
  2. Wide sandy beaches.
  3. Warm air and water temperatures.
  4. Lots of facilities (kite schools, kite rentals and kiteboard shops).
  5. Easy to get to.
  6. Lots of other activities to do other than kiting
  7. Variety of kite spots (flat water, waves, down winders)
  8. Leave the wet-suit behind and kite in board-shorts or bikinis
  9. Amazing choice of restaurants and bars on and off the beach
  10. Always a party to be had (if you want one)

THE BEST KITESURFING SPOTS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

There are many different kitesurfing beaches in the Dominican Republic, but the one area that really stands out is the Cabarete area on the North coast of the Dominican Republic. Cabarete is easily reached from Puerto Plata airport (POP) and is a short 25-minute car drive.

Dominican republic kitesurf spot map

The Kitesurfing spots in the Cabarete area:
(from East to West)

LA BOCA

La Boca is a lagoon at the end of the river Yassica. It’s not a huge area, but because of this, the water at the river mouth is butter smooth, ideal for freestyle kitesurfers to practice their moves. There are some basic facilities at La Boca, restaurants and small shops for some drinks and food.
Video: Luis Alberto Cruz, (nephew of Sipriana, Swell’s longest-serving staff member) kitesurfing at La Boca

Conditions: Super-flat water
Good for: Kitesurfers who love flat water for Freestyle moves
Level: Intermediate and Experts
Watch out for: After rain, there could be some floating wood logs & getting tangled with other kiters in a small area is always a risk.
Getting there: Take a car or moto-taxi from Cabarete; 15 minutes East
Tips: Don’t forget to bring a kite pump.  Kiteboard downwind back to Cabarete

CABARETE BAY / BOZO BEACH / LA GOLETTA

Cabarete’s main beach has several different sections: The up-wind part (East) is Cabarete’s windsurf area, but some kitesurfers venture there too, (although you might get the stink-eye from the rather territorial windsurfers). If you get too close to the windsurf schools, your kite might fall out of the sky because there’s a wind shadow (no steady wind) close to the beach.

The next part of the beach is called Bozo beach and this starts around the Ocean One & Ocean Dream developments. The wind shadow stops here, so you will find steady trade winds from here, all the way West.
200-300 meters west of Bozo is where Goleta beach starts, with reasonable flat water inside the reef and fun waves on the reef for wave kiters.

Conditions: Flat water with semi chop inside the reef, good waves on the reef
Good for: There’s something for everyone
Level: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts
Watch out for: Some shallow parts on the reef and at times (mostly Feb, March and April) there’s a heavy shore break at Bozo beach
Getting there: Right in the center of Cabarete (a couple of minutes walk from Swell)
Tip: Ride downwind to kitebeach from Cabarete Bay, a few tacks up wind and you’re back where you started.

CABARETE KITEBEACH

World-famous Cabarete kite beach is just a few minutes ride (or 15 minutes walk along the beach from Cabarete main beach) from Swell. What makes Cabarete Kitebeach such a popular spot?  It’s because Cabarete Kitebeach has something to offer for every kiter of every level. Flatwater, good waves & steady trade winds are why many of the world’s best kitesurfers call kitebeach their home kite spot.

Conditions: Flat water – semi chop inside the reef, good waves on the reef
Good for: There’s something for everyone
Level: Beginners, Intermediate and Experts
Watch out for: In Summer time seasonal erosion makes the beach smaller
Getting there: Short motor  ride from Cabarete or walk West for 20 minutes from Bozo Beach
Tip: Good food and vibes at KiteClub Cabarete

PLAYA ENCUENTRO

Playa Encuentro is the top surfing spot in the Dominican Republic, ultra-consistent with waves year-round make it a favourite for the surfers. But it’s not just the surfers who love Playa Encuentro, as at around 2 in the afternoon, the wind picks up enough for the kitesurfers who also flock to this spot. This spot is ideal for kitesurfers who like to ride good waves with surfboards. Many kitesurfers will do a “downwinder” from Cabarete bay or Kitebeach, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes to enjoy good waves all along the coast.

Conditions: Waves
Good for: Wave riders
Level: Intermediate and Experts
Watch out for: Landing your kite is not easy, you might have to stand in the water (beware of sea urchins).  Don’t drop your kite when doing a downwinder from Cabarete, there are rocky spots without a beach for getting out of the water.
Tip: Go with a friend & landing is likely to be easier on a patch of sand just West of the main peak at Playa Encuentro

Wind and weather for Kitesurfing Dominican Republic

The winds that make Cabarete such a world-class kite surf destination are the steady Caribbean trade winds. Created by thermals around the equator, they generally start picking up in the afternoon and reach maximum strength by around 3pm in the afternoon. Normally winds are between 18 and 22 knots side-on-shore which is widely regarded as the most ideal wind for kitesurfing. The wind accelerates along the coast and reaches maximum strength at Cabarete.

Tip: Check sites like windy.tv and windguru Cabarete for accurate wind conditions in Cabarete (keep in mind that the forecasts usually shows 4-6 knots less than actual wind strength, since they don’t take the thermal effect along the coast into consideration)

There is no distinct on or off-season for kitesurfing in Cabarete, any month of the year can provide over 20 to 25 days of windy days in a month. However, there are certain months where the likelihood of wind is greater than other months.

WHEN TO GO ON A KITESURFING HOLIDAY IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?

Below is an indication of what to expect as far as windy days at certain times of the year for a kite or windsurf holiday to Cabarete

Best Months:
June, July & August
(Average of 20 to 25 days with 14+ knots of wind)

Good alternatives: 
January, February, March, April, May and December
(Average of 12 to 15 days of 14+ knots of wind).

So So months:
September, October & November
(Average of 5 to 12 days of 14+ knots of wind).

CABARETE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC KITESURFING VIDEO


Let local kitesurf pro show you why Cabarete is still one of the best kite surf destinations in the world

One of the best things about the Dominican Republic is that it’s hard not to have a good time when you are looking for an active holiday, so when there’s a day without wind:  go surfing as the waves will be good, or take an adventure trip Canyoning.

Where to stay for a Dominican Kiteboard holiday?

Ok, we are going to be biased here ( look at the URL in your browser), even though we are called Swell Surf Camp, we get loads of kitesurfers (or people learning to kitesurf ) staying with us at Swell.

Why? Because they appreciate the communal & social vibe we provide. We eat breakfasts and dinners together, so you will not be staying in your room by yourself whilst on your holiday.

If you stay at Swell, you are guaranteed to meet new people.  You can kitesurf together, go on a day trip Canyoning or take a few learn-to-surf lessons with us.
We can book your kitesurf lessons for you, from complete beginners learn to kite courses, to someone who is looking for advanced kite surf lessons such as wave riding, jumping, learning to ride strapless or foiling.

CABARETE KITESURFING SCHOOLS AND LESSONS

So if you have decided to give the exciting sport of kitesurfing a try, have done your research, and have come to the conclusion that Cabarete is one of the best kitesurf destinations in the world; you’ve made a smart choice! Now you need to find the right kitesurf school in Cabarete. There are 2 choices: Contact us and we can prepare you with a stay and learn to kite package holiday with one of the 2 best schools in Cabarete, or you can contact the schools directly (by the way, we don’t charge extra for arranging your kite lessons).

Choice of kiteboard schools in Cabarete:
kitesurf school cabareteThere are at least a dozen or more kite surf schools in Cabarete, some are well established and very good, and some are, well not so. There are price differences too; but do keep in mind that kitesurfing is not a cheap sport, the lessons are not cheap and neither is the equipment.

Swell deals with Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding school (LEK), located at Cabarete beach, and with KiteClub at Cabarete Kitebeach. Both are very well-known and 2 of the most established, professionally run schools in Cabarete, neither of them are the cheapest kite schools, but what you will get with them is:

  • Qualified kitesurf instructors.
  • Top quality kite equipment during your lessons.
  • Helmets and impact vests during lessons.
  • A structured and organized lesson structure.

As said above, they are not the cheapest schools in Cabarete (per hour) however it might still work out cheaper having lessons with them versus another school or individual, here’s why:
Progress during your kite lessons will most likely be quicker (and safer) when taught by a very experienced kite instructor, using the right equipment (a choice of kite sizes) than when you get taught by an individual who uses old kites that repeatedly break or don’t fly properly (a badly flying kite is seriously dangerous)
Tip: Don’t just ask your mate to teach you kitesurfing, it will be most likely be unsafe and the quickest way to wreck his kite (or your skull). Also, private teaching by individuals not affiliated with a licensed kite school is banned for safety reasons on Cabarete beaches.

KITESURFING GEAR

There are several kiteboard shops in Cabarete that sell new kites, kiteboard and kiteboarding accessories.  Also, most of the better schools will have a good collection of new and used kites for sale as they update their equipment regularly.
Prices: Expect to pay between $500 and $700 for a good used kite and kite bar, $800 to $1100 for a new kite and bar.
A used kiteboard is around $200 to $400 and a new kiteboard is between $500 and $800 USD.  Tips for buying second-hand kiteboarding gear: When buying a second-hand kite, check that the valves are all functioning (blow up the kite and leave it for a while to eliminate any leaks).  Check also the condition of the fabric (repairs are fine when done well, but the material should be crisp and not generally soft and worn).  Check the bar and lines completely for frayed nylon.  Check the safety release system still works.

GETTING TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

flights dr
There are 4 major airports on the island and a couple of smaller ones too.  The Dominican Republic is actually located on Hispaniola, which is a BIG island; made up of 1/3 Haiti and 2/3 Dominican Republic.  It’s approximately 470km from Punta Cana in the far West to the Haitian Border in the East (that’s a 7 hour + drive).  

If you are planning on surfing the North coast, try to fly into Puerto Plata (airport code POP).  The 2nd best option is Santiago Los Caballeros (STI) and the 3rd best is Santo Domingo (SDQ).  Flying to Punta Cana might be cheap (lots of cheap charter flights go there to ferry people to the many all-inclusive hotels lining the coast) but it’s not a viable entry point if you want to surf.  Punta Cana is all about white sand beaches and all-inclusive; there’s no ‘real’ Dominican culture close by. 


American Airlines, Jet Blue, United, Air Canada, West Jet are just some of the flights arriving into POP, STI and SDQ.  There are also charter flights arriving daily from Europe.  You can see more flight suggestions on
 this page.

GETTING AROUND

There are also Moto-taxis, which are small motorbikes costing (generally speaking) 50 to 100 pesos (just over one or two US dollars) for around 5km.  You will frequently hear the ‘ssssssssttt’ from a passing driver offering you a ride.  Be careful of the safety of these bikes and watch for very serious burns to your calf (commonly known as ‘the Dominican Tattoo’) from the exhaust pipe.  It’s a terrible way to start your surf vacation and will take weeks to heal.  It’s not unknown for these guys to double up as drug dealers or pimps, so beware.

Car rental is cheap but driving in the Dominican Republic is not for the faint-hearted.  Dominicans have a rather laissez-faire attitude towards driving, so always expect the unexpected (people coming out of junctions without looking, or driving on the wrong side of the road), don’t drive fast, never drive under the influence and you should stay safe. 

Keep your eyes open and your mirrors tuned, especially for the motos, as they will approach at speed from all directions.  A Sat Nav is a good idea for longer journeys as good sign posts are a rarity.  If you are involved in an accident, stay in your vehicle if it is safe to do so and call your insurance company.  Dominicans can tend to flock to an accident, especially if a local person is injured, and it can be intimidating.
If you rent a motorbike, wear a helmet; it’s not only the law, but in a country with a very poor R.T.A. record, it may just save your life.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND VISA

Generally speaking, the Dominican Republic is a visa-free country to visit.  Very few nationalities require a visa to enter this Caribbean island.  The majority of nationalities though will need to purchase a Tourist Card upon entry at Puerto Plata (airport code POP), or any of the other airports of the Dominican Republic

The Tourist Card costs $10 USD and is valid for 30 days entry.  You need to pay for the card in USD only.  Some countries are exempt from this and I’ve provided a link below to check whether your country of origin requires a visa, a Tourist Card or neither.  Generally speaking, Americans, Canadians and Europeans don’t need a visa, but do require the Tourist Card.
http://www.dominicanrepublic.com/dominican-republic-visa-2/

MEDICAL INFORMATION BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

So most of the medical-related websites, such as the CDC for example, will give you blanket advice about vaccinations required and list all medical risks.  The truth is that region to region, the risks vary considerably and some risks mentioned on these websites are not much of a risk at all.
Malaria is practically non-existent in the Dominican Republic with the last reported case in 2011.  The Zika virus; again, although it is reported there have been cases in the Dominican Republic, these have been centred in Santo Domingo, the capital city, located on the south coast, which is about 4 hours by road from Cabarete on the North Coast.   

There are no recent reports of Zika on the North Coast at the time of writing.  The day time mosquito (Aedes) carries the worst diseases, including Dengue, so it’s obviously better to prevent being bitten at all.  Wear a good repellent containing DEET.  Windy coastal areas (like Cabarete) have far fewer mosquitos than inland on the island.
Hepatitis A and B vaccines are recommended; Hep A can be caught from contaminated food or water and Hep B from sexual partners who are themselves contaminated, or even from getting a tattoo done.  If you feel you might be in either risk group, it could be a good idea to get these shots.

KITESURFING DOMINICAN REPUBLIC GALLERY

Top things to do in & around Cabarete, other than kiteboarding

 

  • Surfing
  • Canyoning
  • Party (lots of bars and clubs on the main beach of Cabarete)
  • Beachside dining
  • Stand up paddle surfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Sunbathe
  • Visit Puerto Plata
  • Shopping
  • Sailing
  • Fishing
  • Snorkeling and diving

We hope you enjoyed this Kitesurfing Dominican Republic guide, if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to send us over your questions or comments.  If you are interested in a kiteboarding holiday to Cabarete, or a surf holiday, by yourself, or with friends or family we’d also love to welcome you to Swell.

Here’s a sample kitesurfing package we can provide for you at Swell:

  • 7 night’s accommodation for one person in a shared room or a private room
  • our wonderful, daily breakfast
  • 4 home-cooked dinners at Swell (restaurants are right on our doorstep for when we are not cooking).
  • 8 hours of one-on-one kitesurfing instruction with an IKO-qualified kite instructor
  • round-trip Puerto Plata airport transfers included
  • free wifi in the communal areas
  • safe, complimentary drinking water
  • amazing communal vibe

The cost for this package, in a shared room, is $1199 USD and in a private room, is $1599 USD.

We hope to see you soon in Cabarete, the Kiteboard capital of the Caribbean!

SEE WHAT SWELL IS ALL ABOUT

WANT TO STAY IN A COOL PLACE WITH FELLOW KITESURFERS AND SURFERS?

Have a look at our kite surf and surf accommodation in Cabarete by Swell Surf Camp

Dominican republic kitesurf spot map

 

 

 

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LEARNING TO SURF AFTER 40

Learning to surf after 40

LEARNING TO SURF AFTER 40

IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO START SURFING?

The title of this post reads ‘learning to surf after 40’ but could easily read ‘learning to surfer after 50, 60 and upward’

learn surfing older age

LEARNING TO SURF AT AN ‘OLDER’ AGE

‘Surfing? But you’re 42 years old’ – even if nobody actually says this, it’s something that plagues the mind when looking at activities synonymous with a younger crowd. If you think surfing is only suitable for young, athletic types, think again because plenty of people start in their 30s, 40s, and even beyond.

For us, we completely agree and believe you should be able to start surfing at any age if it’s what you really want to do. Who cares about the number tied to your name? If you feel as though you can do it, why not give it a go? Even if you aren’t quite as flexible as you were many years ago, this shouldn’t ever stop you from enjoying the ocean and reaping the many health benefits surfing can bring.

Today, we want to provide anyone interested with an introduction to surfing and why you can start at any age. As a sport with no physical contact, unlike football and rugby, it’s actually suited towards those who want to prevent impact injuries. What’s more, you can enjoy plenty of health benefits while getting to know new people. Even after this, there’s something to be said for surfing’s impact on the brain. With surfing, you’ll be physically active and your mind will also get a workout as you try to navigate the waves that seem determined to knock you over.

LEARNING TO SURF AFTER 40

Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about surfing at all if it wasn’t fun and this is something else to consider. Sure, you might get knocked over once or twice but it’s all in the name of fun (right?).

PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF SURFING IN YOUR 40S, 50S, AND OLDER

Ever woken up on a Sunday morning and tried to find things to do to avoid the gym? Even the washing and ironing are better options for some. If so, you aren’t alone because continually doing the same things in the gym can get rather boring. Thankfully, surfing still offers a cardiovascular workout but every single session will be a thrill and it’ll be different to the last. Also, you’ll get a sense of achievement as your skill increases.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the physical benefits of surfing;


SHOULDER/BACK STRENGTH

We’re going to start with one that perhaps isn’t so obvious, and it’s the improvement you’ll see to your back and shoulder strength. If you ask several retirees the most annoying thing about getting older, many will tell you about their back and shoulder problems. Unfortunately, this can have a huge impact on even everyday tasks such as putting the washing out on the line or trying to sit comfortably to read a book.

As you learn to surfer after 40, your arms will always be in use as you attempt to balance, paddle, and the inevitable climbing back onto the board (unless you’re an instant pro!). Even when sitting or lying on the board, you’ll be rotating your arms and the shoulder joint will get a good workout. As your arms go through their full range of motion, this is great news for the shoulders, elbows, and even the spine.

For many, they enjoy increased mobility in their upper body and it generally fights off the stiffness that comes with age. Let’s face it, we’ve all made those grunting noises while attempting to stand up after a long time sitting (we won’t tell anyone!).

CARDIO WORKOUT

Not only is heart disease the leading cause of death in the UK, according to the government website, it causes nearly twice as many deaths as dementia; dementia is the second leading cause of death. While deaths from heart disease and stroke have certainly decreased in recent years, it’s still too high for our liking and surfing is the perfect opportunity to stay active and reduce your chances of struggling with this health issue. Regardless of which form of surfing you choose (duck diving, paddling, or standing), you’ll be moving constantly and this level of activity can only be beneficial for your health.

As your heart rate increases and the different muscles receive blood and oxygen, your cardiovascular system welcomes the activity and this offers various benefits in everyday life. For example, you won’t have any trouble breathing and strenuous activity becomes much easier. Suddenly, you’ll have the energy to take the stairs at work rather than the lift (unless you’re on the 33rd floor, of course!).

INCREASED FLEXIBILITY THROUGH SURFING

Before we move onto the psychological benefits of surfing, we want to talk about flexibility because certain parts of your body will always be stretching and twisting while on the board. Suddenly, muscles and joints you didn’t even know existed will be activated and we mustn’t forget the range of motion your joints will experience as the sheer power of the waves hit the board. With all this stretching, it’ll be like a more dramatic form of yoga and you should experience fewer aches and pains in life.


Benefits of surfing

CORE AND LEG STRENGHT IMPROVEMENT FROM SURFING

Something that often goes forgotten with surfing is the work it does with your core; all that effort to stay balanced keeps the core engaged and this is something you’ll certainly feel the morning after your first session. Just as we saw in the cardiovascular section, this is something you might not notice but will definitely improve your life. Whether you’re lifting boxes, standing after long periods of sitting down, or using the upper torso in any way, you’re going to see a boost after surfing.

For those who work in an office and stare at a computer all day, surfing can also help with your posture; you might find yourself slouching less while at the desk. In truth, surfing reflects many of the normal movements we put our bodies through on a daily basis (although it might not seem like it at first).

For example, after first paddling out to a wave, you’ll need to activate the muscles in the legs and core to jump to your feet. In every single lesson, you’ll jump to your feet several times. If you can do it on a surfboard in the sea, you can definitely do it getting out of bed or getting off the sofa with ease. Over time, the difference in your leg and core strength will be noticeable and this is another great benefit of choosing surfing (they’re starting to add up, right?).

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF SURFING IN YOUR 30S, 40S, AND OLDER

Hopefully, we’ve been able to persuade you to book up that first surfing lesson on the physical benefits alone. If not, how about we tell you of the brilliant mental benefits of surfing?

COORDINATION AND CONCENTRATION

Without both coordination and concentration, you won’t be able to stand up on the board for longer than five seconds so these will both be improved over time. Of course, these are two transferable skills so there’s no reason why your coordination and concentration don’t also improve at home, at work, and while playing any other sports. For example, you might notice that you’re able to sit at a desk for a longer period of time or be more successful in your local pool league.

SURFING GIVES A BOOST TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Firstly, all exercise has now been scientifically proven to release endorphins (chemicals in the brain) which improve mood and overall wellbeing. For those who suffer with depression and/or anxiety, many doctors are now starting to recommend exercise for this very reason. This, coupled with the fact you’ll be outside breathing in the fresh sea air, may allow you to adopt a new positive mindset in life.


surfing mental health

DETERMINATION, PERSEVERANCE, AND GRATIFICATION

We must provide a warning at this stage because surfing will require patience, it will require perseverance, and a significant percentage of people do stop attending after just one lesson. However, we urge you to fight through the learning stage. Yes, you might find yourself getting frustrated and you might wonder where the fun starts for a while. But, as you improve, and overcome the mental barrier that stops many, you’ll have one of the most gratifying experiences of your life.

Eventually, all your hard work will pay off and you won’t believe that you nearly gave it all up. From struggling to jump to your feet to being able to stand up confidently for extended periods, you can prove to yourself that all goals in life are achievable. Even when the goal seemed impossible just a short while ago, the hard work and time you invest will always be rewarded.

Soon enough, you’ll enjoy all the physical and psychological benefits we’ve discussed and you may even be able to bring friends and family along to watch you shine. As we’ve seen before, these are transferable skills because you’ll be more likely to take this determination and perseverance into your personal life and career.

RELIEF FROM STRESS

Finally, you don’t have to become a master of surfing to enjoy the stress relief it can offer. If you want to push your body to its limit and really test yourself, this is possible. If you want to have a relaxing pastime and enjoy being in the water, this is equally fine. While some choose to navigate every wave and they feel disappointed after a poor lesson, others are just happy to be out in the water sitting on the board and looking out over the stunning horizon.

When it comes to surfing, the surfboard and the water are the two essentials. From here, you can do whatever makes you happy. Soon enough, you’ll be wondering where all that stress from work has gone and this for us makes for a successful hobby.


learn to surf at 50

START SURFING TODAY!

As well as the physical and psychological benefits of surfing and the way it allows for a healthy lifestyle, you can also meet new people and forget about the stresses of life for a couple of hours. To finish our guide, we want to provide a few considerations before booking your first surf lesson!

Your height and weight aren’t important because there are various shapes and sizes of boards.

  • Don’t worry about your fitness levels right now because your stamina will improve over time.
  • Surfboards can even be custom-made, if necessary.
  • You should NEVER feel as though you’re too old to start surfing.

Don’t live life according to other people’s expectations or rules, make your own rules (perhaps not on the road, but you get the idea!). If you feel you’ll enjoy surfing and you like the sound of the many benefits we’ve discussed here today, we have three words for you; GO FOR IT!

ABOUT SWELL


Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 39

Swell offer 2 exciting places for learn to surf holidays:

The Caribbean: On the North coast of the Dominican Republic

surf hotel

In Indonesia: Bali is where you will find Swell Bali Surf Retreat.

swell bali Surf Retreat

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

SWELL SURF CAMP GALLERY


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Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

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Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!

Our luxury surf coaching holidays have taught 1000’s of people the sport of surfing in a safe, fun and quick way.

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