STAFF: MEET RICCI AND ALEXANDRA

At Swell we want to make sure our clients get the best surf experience possible, and the best way to guarantee this is by having top staff work for us. Last year Ricci was at Swell for 3 months, and he left a great impression on the clients and the rest of our staff. Because Ricci had commitements in Europe as a Snowboard instructor & guide in the Alps he had to leave us for a season in the snow.

Ricci Swell Surf Instructor
Ricci Swell Surf Instructor

Ricci was keen to come back to Swell, and we are very keen to have him back. for the full 2018 / 2019 winter season.

Alexandra (Alex) is Ricci’s partner and she is the new surf photographer at Swell taking photos of our clients who are interested in the photo packages she offers. And additional bonus is that Alexandra also takes video footage of the clients during their lessons, so after the lessons are done the footage can be played back to analyze where improvements can be made in the surf technique of the clients.

Alexandra has years of experience as an action and lifestyle photographer, and so far the lifestyle and surf photos she has produced are of great quality.

Here are some sample photos of here first few days in Cabarete

Surfing Encuentro
Morning at Playa Encuentro
Encuentro surf lessons
Encuentro surf lessons
Swell Surfboards
Swell Surfboards
Groups Shots
Groups Shots
Playa Encuentro
Playa Encuentro
Swell visitor
Swell visitor
Playa Encuentro golden morning light
Playa Encuentro golden morning light

As you can see Alexandra is a great photographer, so if you want to have your surf photos taken and a surf video analysis during your stay at Swell, sign up for the photo package and go home with your memories in HD photo format.

OTHER SWELL NEWS

Normally when one surf instructor arrives another instructor leaves, this winter we have deceided to change this, since it’s looking like it’s going to be a very busy winter season for us here in the Caribbean. As a result Lee, our lovely English surf instructor has decided to stay on for the rest of our high season.
So our team for the winter season 2019 is:

    1. Lee (english) – Surf Instructor
    1. Ricci (Italian) – Surf Instructor
    1. Neno (Dominican) – Surf Instructor
    1. Jeffrey (Dominican) – Surf Instructor
    1. Alexandra (French) – Surf photographer

So if you are interested in learning to surf, then have a look at the learn to surf courses we offer at Swell and contact us today to secure your surf holiday.

CARIBBEAN SURF HOLIDAY EXPIRIENCE


About Swell: We provide active holidays for adults in the Caribbean. Ideal for solo travelers and couples who are looking for a fun and social vacation.
See our video below.


We hope to see you soon in the Caribbean
Clare & Jeroen Mutsaars

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BEGINNER SURF DESTINATIONS

surf holiday beginner

Worldwide beginner surf destinations

Even though our surf camp is in the Dominican Republic, we are also surfers ourselves and have travelled extensively in the search for waves to catch. Based on our experience, here are our beginner surf destinations worldwide for beginner, intermediate and expert surfers.

Dominican Republic.

Our own place, Swell, is located on the North coast of the Dominican Republic. We chose this location after having visited many countries around the globe which might be suitable as a place to build a surf camp.

The criteria we rely on to see if a surf destination was suitable to build a surf camp retreat is:

  • Consistency of surf
  • Are there waves for multiple levels of surfers?
  • Are there any dangers in or out of the water?
  • Ease of access to the waves
  • Distance to an international airport

Consistency of surf

To be suitable as a beginner surf camp destination we wanted a place where our guests would be able to surf at least 300+ days of the year.

The North coast delivers on this, with at least 340+ days of surfable waves at Playa Encuentro.

surfing dominican republic

Waves for multiple levels of surfers

Of course not everyone is a beginner surfer, so a suitable destination for a surf camp needs to cater not just for complete beginners, but for intermediate and even expert surfers. Fortunately for Swell once again Playa Encuentro delivers; there are multiple waves and different peaks, all within a short walk from each other. From mellow inside beginner waves to big barreling waves on shallow reefs for expert surfers + everything in between.

Are there an dangers in or out of the water?

Playa Encuentro is a very safe spot to surf or to learn to surf because there are no dangers in or under the water. Tidal differences are minimal so getting injured from the reef bed is almost impossible. There are no dangerous rips or currents at Playa Encuentro, so there’s no danger of being dragged out to sea.
Neither are there sharks or other dangerous sea life (for example crocodiles, as seen in certain parts of Costa Rica) so the Dominican Republic scores very highly on this element of our criteria. It also helps having very warm water year-round, so another bonus point is scored there.

Ease of access to the waves

‘Highway surfing’ is not a term that surfers want to be using as it means they are constantly on the search for waves, without finding them. Again, the Dominican Republic’s waves score highly on the ease of access criteria; it’s only a journey of 10 minutes to a charming surf beach.

neno swell

Distance to an international airport

Just as with the afore-mentioned highway surfing we also wanted to minimize the travel time for our clients, so we wanted to be close to an international airport. Our location in Cabarete is just 25 minutes from Puerto Plata international airport. Santiago International airport (airport code STI) is one and a half hours away. Santo Domingo international airport (airport code SDQ) is also an option, with buses running north every hour during the day.

Because Cabarete and Playa Encuentro tick all the above boxes, that’s where we put our own purpose-built surf camp. We didn’t say anything about the criterias of food, beauty of beaches, additional activities or a party scene, but Cabarete has all of these too, so it remains our firm No.1 even when some other countries might have more ‘perfect’ waves.

We have clients who come and visit us year after year, and always at some point they ask us ‘is there any other surf camp destinations that you can recommend to me, since I want to experience a new country?’

As mentioned earlier, we have visited more than 20+ surf destinations and countries over the last 25 years.

Here is our opinion on some of them:

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and surf tourism is also very present here. There are some fine surf camps and surf resorts in Costa Rica, suitable for an awesome surf holiday.

Pros:

  • Pretty country and scenery
  • Good surf spots
  • Politically safe country
  • Plenty of flights to Costa Rica from lots of countries

Cons:

  • On average 40 to 70% more expensive than a surf holiday to the Dominican Republic
  • Travel time from airport to the beach can be between 3-8 hours
  • Crowds

More info on surfing in Costa Rica as a surf destination for beginners:
 https://www.surfline.com/travel/costa-rica-surfing-and-beaches/3624060

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is less popular than it’s neighbor Costa Rica. Because of political turmoil, tourism only started to take off 20 or so years ago.

Pros:

  • 30-40% cheaper than Costa Rica
  • Offshore winds create clean surf conditions

Cons:

  • Not a large variety of good beginner surfing spots
  • Travel distances between surf spots is long
  • Recent political unrest is causing real instability

More info on surfing in Nicaragua
https://magicseaweed.com/Popoyo-Surf-Report/939/

Hawaii

Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing. Year round warm weather and water and great beginner waves around the south coast of Oahu make it a great place to have your first surfing experience.

Pros:

  • Beautiful scenery and beaches
  • Safe place to visit
  • Plenty of other activities besides surfing
  • Great surf for expert surfers

Cons:

  • Very expensive (there are only a few surf camps but they are pretty basic and tend to be double or triple the price of Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.)
  • Very, very crowded in the water leading to well-known local aggression.

More info on surf camps in Hawaii:

http://www.surfhawaii4u.com/surf_camps.html

Portugal

If you are based in Europe then one of the most popular place where people go surfing is Portugal. The long, exposed coastline with plenty of beaches is very suitable for surfers of all levels.

Pros:

  • There are plenty of cheap and basic surf camps (tend to be more suitable for 18 to 25 year olds)
  • Variety of surf spots suitable for people of all levels
  • Surf & culture & city life close to Lisbon

Cons:

  • Cold water year round to you need to bring a wetsuit
  • There are 100’s of surf camps and schools so it’s surfboard mayhem at times.
  • Surf schools tend to teach in very large groups; often 20 students to one surf coach
  • Cold air temperature between November and April

More info on surf holidays in Portugals:
http://www.surferdream.com

Bali & Indonesia

Indonesia is widely regarded as one of the most blessed surf countries in the world, with 100’s of world class surfing spots along its many different islands.

Pros:

  • High quality surf for surfers of all levels
  • Stunning scenery & culture
  • Reasonable cheap surf camps and surf resorts
  • Bali surfing beaches are close to the airport
  • Some of the best expert surfing waves in the world

Cons:

  • Unless you live in Australia, it’s going to be a long flight
  • Heavy rainy season between December and March
  • Crowded beginner spots

More info on surfing in Bali
 http://wavehaven.com

The above is our personal opinion of several trips to each and one of the above countries. It’s also far from a definitive list, as there are many more countries in the world who cater for the beginner surfers with suitable surf camps and surf resorts. Other places that you might take into consideration are:

Sayulita Mexico: A charming fishing village just north of Puerto Vallarta; not super consistent for surf, but when there are some waves it’s great fun.

Canary Islands: Off the coast of Morocco are a cluster of islands which are part of Spain. Great winter climate and some fun surf spots.

Maldives: Not cheap for a surf trip, mostly boat charters, but pretty water and fun waves.

If you have any questions about surfing destinations, feel free to send us a message; normally, we’ve been there and can tell you if it’s suitable for you. If you prefer to come back to us in the Dominican Republic at our Surf Retreat , just send us a message with your dates.

Enjoy the waves wherever you go!

Jeroen & Clare
Owners Swell Surf Camp

beginner surf destinations

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FAMILY SURF HOLIDAY

surfing encuentro

A family surf trip!

The summer is almost over; we are headed into Autumn and then the (often dreaded) long months of Winter.

We all need something to look forward to, so thoughts often turn to next summer’s plans to keep us going through the cold months. Family vacations are always best planned well in advance to make sure of space for your preferred choice.

Family surf vacationPerhaps you are all thinking about a family beach vacation; most family holidays understandably involve the beach, who wouldn’t want to be on a sandy beach with their family?

But Mom and Dad, is a sandy beach and the ocean enough to keep the kids entertained for days on end? Wouldn’t you prefer to have something planned which will not only keep the kids entertained and enthralled with the ocean, but also wear them out a little, challenge them and teach them a sporting skill which will stay with them for life?

A FAMILY SURF VACATION

Teaching your kids to surf on a family surf vacation is quite possibly the best choice you could make; let us explain why.

Firstly, learning to surf when a child means that they will pick up this sport way faster than their ‘old’ parents. Kids are normally devoid of fear and have a low centre of gravity, which means they can stand easily and quickly on a surfboard. You can imagine, a small person + a large surfboard (we use soft tops to avoid injury) equals lots of flotation; what every surfer needs. In our experience, kids learn fast and pick up advanced surf skills even faster, like turning and ‘trimming’ the surfboard. It is said that every surf session a young person has is worth 20 sessions for an adult.

Family surf campBeing able to surf opens horizons for kids. There is a ‘spiritual’ aspect to surfing: Without sounding too way-out-there, the feeling of riding the open face of a wave is akin to experiencing real joy. Just you and the wave, gliding. It’s very hard to describe how amazing this feeling is, you just have to take my word for it until you try it yourself.

SWELL’S FAMILY SURF CAMP

At Swell surf camp, we tend to turn people into surfers for life.

People who surf are happier, more fulfilled and calmer and that’s not even taking into account the endless fitness benefits of surfing.

Surfing’s health benefits include cardio-vascular fitness, increased core-strength, stronger arms and legs. It’s great for burning calories with an average burn of 700 calories per surf session. Paddling for a wave is a low impact cardio-vascular exercise. Surfers say you either have a great surf session or a great work-out; it’s win-win. Doesn’t every parent want to set their kids up for life with a healthy, fulfilling passion?

Surfers are also passionate about the planet: As surfers, we see at first hand the damage humans have done to marine life and the water. We’ve all paddled through plastic at some stage in our surfing lives. Teaching your kids to surf will also give them a care of the ocean and the environment they will not be able to learn anywhere else.

A family surfing holiday with us also means the opportunity to do many more activities other than surfing. From Swell, we regularly organise trips like canyoning, snorkeling, horse-riding (on the beach or up in the mountains), 4-wheeler tours, mountain biking, SUP and Yoga

So if you have a child or children who are 8 years old and up, who can already swim (we teach in warm, shallow water, but being able to swim is essential) and would like to plan a family surf vacation at Swell surf camp in summer 2019, do get in touch with us.

Whilst we are talking about learning to surf, don’t only book your child in for surf lessons, make sure you do it too. They may learn faster than you do, but doing something fun, active and meaningful with your child is absolutely priceless. Lastly, as a comforting thought to you if you feel too old to surf, I learned to surf at 51; my only regret is that I had done it so many years earlier when my kids learned themselves.

JOIN US IN 2019

Interested in joining us for a family summer surf camp?

Send us a message today and your family could be off on a one of a kind surf holiday

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7 Reasons to Ride the Waves and Learn to Surf

Picture this. The sun’s shining, the palm trees are swaying, and you’re riding your first ever wave over the crystal clear Caribbean water. There’s no doubt about it, nothing beats surfing!

In addition to having fun and embracing a new challenge, surfing comes with a whole host of other benefits. From improved fitness and better core strength to reducing stress and encouraging you to get outdoors, what’s not to like?

Regardless of age or ability, it’s never too late to learn to surf. You’ll learn to trust yourself and your instincts like never before. We’ve rounded up 7 ways of how surfing will help you live life to the fullest.

Read on to learn more!

 

You’re Going to Get a Whole Lot Fitter When You Learn To Surf

learn to surf holidaysSurfing comes with many physical health benefits, which is great news for all of you looking to get fitter. In fact, surfing is the perfect combination of strength and cardio training.

When you learn to surf, you’ll be doing a lot of paddling to get used to the board and feeling of the water below. Although this can be a little tiring at first, it’s a killer cardiovascular workout. You’ll have some pretty toned arms by the end of your holiday, that’s for sure.

Your shoulders and back are also going to get stronger and stronger every time you paddle out to catch a wave.

Every element of surfing pushes your strength, agility, balance, and stamina.

Once you’ve learned to pop up on the board (you’ll get there, trust us), your legs and core are going to be working to keep your body balanced and standing upright. That feeling when you’re riding your first wave – however short that moment may be – is something you’ll never forget.

 

You’re Going to Feel Happier and More ‘Present’

happy surf campSurfing is a fantastic outlet for releasing stress and tension.

The endorphin’s released through physical activity provide a natural happiness high and immediately make you feel better about the world.

A study of 107 surfers in California investigated the mental health benefits of surfing by asking them to describe how they felt before and after a session. They reported feeling calmer and more tranquil afterwards.

When you’re surfing, there are no distractions of modern life. It’s just you, the water and your board.

 

Taking on a New Challenge Is Good for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

When we learn a new skill or sport, we’re challenging our mind, body, and soul. And when we are faced with something new, we have to work that much harder to get it right. When we achieve our goal, the reward is that much sweeter.

Remember when you learned to ride a bike? It doesn’t come immediately, but before you know it, you’ve got the hang of it! It’s the same with surfing. One day it will click, and you’ll wonder why you’ve taken so long to give it a go.

 

You’ll Learn More About Yourself

learn to surf holidayIt takes courage to leave your comfort zone behind and connect with something bigger than yourself. Venturing out into the open waves for the first time can seem daunting and alien. But trust us when we say that you will learn more about yourself in an hour learning to surf than you will by lying on the beach trying to get a tan.

You could surprise yourself with your patience, determination, and love for the ocean. Nobody is perfect and learning to surf encourages you to push through fear and doubt.

As in all parts of life, continuous effort and a positive attitude can take you anywhere.

 

You’ll Meet New People

surf schoolFor many people, surfing isn’t just a sport but a way of life. In fact, surfing is one of the oldest sports on earth and is thought to have originated in Polynesia in 2000 B.C.

Out of a sport marked by salty hair, sandy toes, and colourful boards, a major subculture has emerged. From surf art, surf tourism, and international contests, surfing has captured hearts across the globe.

When you learn to surf, you’ll inevitably meet new people, make new friends and experience the culture of the sport.

Getting Outdoors Is Always A Good Idea

sunrise surfingGetting close to nature  and really enjoying the natural environment around us is something we should all prioritise. Those who surf often speak of the feeling of overwhelming freedom when they are in the water.

When we’re outdoors, we gain perspective on life. Even when you’re in the beginning stages of learning to surf, you’ll be immersed in the rhythms of the ocean and the great outdoors.

 

It’s Never Too Late To Learn A New Skill

Nobody wants to reach 80 and think “I wish I done X, Y, and Z.” If learning to surf is on your bucket list, why not get ticking?

And you don’t have to be 21 to learn to surf either!
We have taught people in their 40’s – 50’s and 60’s how to surf

One British man, Paul, learned to surf when he was 61 years old and hasn’t looked back since.

“It’s opened up a new dimension in my life. A feeling of freedom. You’re basically on your own, on your surfboard in the sea…one to one,” Paul said.

At Swell we aim to be the best surf camp for adults who want to learn the sport of surfing.

 

Final Thoughts

Staying fit and active is always beneficial, but when you’re outside doing something you love and learning a new skill in the process, it feels that much more rewarding.

INTERESTED IN JOINING SWELL

Have a look at the following pages to see if the learn to surf holidays we offer are something that would suit you.


Swell offers adult surf camps for people people that are looking for the best place to learn to surf

SEE WHAT A SWELL SURF HOLIDAY IS ALL ABOUT

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON!


Check out our prices here.

How about a Family Surf Holiday?

In the popular kids vacation weeks, christmass, summer holiday we are also open for familiy surf holidays to join Swell.
Ready to buy your first surfboard? read our guide on choosing your first surfboard

Single / Solo Traveller? Read this article why Swell is the place for you

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Summer in Dominican Republic

Summer in Cabarete

Summer time is here, and contrary to popular belief, it’s actually a great time to be on the North Coast of the Domican republic for a surf holiday. Maybe not for expert surfers seeking to find double overhead barrels, but for beginners and intermediate surfers, the DR offers great conditions.

See the magicseaweed and Windguru forecasts on surfing and kitesurfing conditions in Cabarete in summer

Surfing conditions in the summer in the Dominican republic

Generally wave size between June and September is about 3-4′ or 1,5 meters or waist to chest high. Which we belief to be the best wave size to make quick progress.
Another reason that many of Swell Surf Camp‘s clients keep coming back to Cabarete in the summer time is that the surf is very uncrowded. Swell’s surf transport leaves early in the mornings, and we are usually the first ones at Playa Encuentro for our surf lessons.

Best surfing in the Caribbean

The Dominican Republic is one of the few places in the Caribbean that consistently has waves year round. In general we have about 350 surfable days per year. It might not always be perfect head high and barreling, but if you don’t mind grabbing a longboard in mellow chest high waves, Cabarete is a very consistent surf base in the Caribbean.

 

Stuff to do in Cabarete

Another reason why many people choose the summer months over winter months is the variety of other water sport activities that are superb in summer time: Kitesurfing and Windsurfing; the tradewinds pick up like clock work everyday at around 1 in the afternoon. There’s a reason why all the pro kitesurfers keep coming back to Cabarete every year.

Rememeber that swell offer year round surf & yoga holiday, or Yoga and Kitesurf camp. Molly gives Yoga sessions 3 times per week in Swell’s backyard.

 

Looking for a good surf camp deal?

We have dynamic pricing so if you are flexible on when to come to the DR for a one of a kind surf holiday, check the prices for September and August, they will be discounted, since it’s a bit more quit in Cabarete
during those months.

More info on the surfing in the Dominican republic can be found on this website with surf spots and travel tips for a surf holiday to the Dominican Republic

Want to stay up to date what is going on at the #1 surf camp in the Caribbean?
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Want to join us on a yoga & surf camp holiday ?

For those interested in learning to kitesurf on their caribbean, here’s a good starter guide

For more information on kitesurfing Dominican Republic visit this page which has a full kitesurfing dominican republic travel guide

If you are looking for more info on the seasons in the Dominican Republic:

Best time to visit the Dominican Republic

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