Local Business Spotlight: Chino Surf School Cabarete
One of the first Surf Schools in Playa Encuentro
Cabarete is a water sports wonderland where you can kiteboard, windsurf, scuba dive, paddleboard, jump off waterfalls, and surf. One local business we want to spotlight is Chino Surf School Cabarete, located in Playa Encuentro, the surf district of our town. Find out about the history of the beach and services offered at the school.
Surf in Cabarete
When you ask the pioneers of surf in the Dominican Republic about Playa Encuentro they’ll tell you about the times they had to walk with their boards through fields and trees to get to the beach. In the 90’s the first roads down to the surf were made, not paved. A trek that 40 years ago may have taken an hour or more is now just a 10-minute walk from the main road thanks to people who believed in Dominican surf.
History of Playa Encuentro
Dominican surfers have been frequenting Encuentro Beach since the first surfboards found their way to the Dominican Republic. Known to have the best and most consistent waves in the country, Playa Encuentro has always been a favourite. There was a huge tourism boom in Cabarete when it gained popularity as a windsurfing destination in the 90’s. As kiteboarding came on the scene more and more businesses catering to tourists developed. Although not yet recognized as a premier surf destination, Playa Encuentro started to develop and a couple schools were opened on the beach. One of which was Chino Surf School, opened by Chino himself, originally from Santo Domingo.
Since it first opened in 2002 with just one other school on the beach, there are now eight surf schools at Playa Encuentro. More than half of these schools are locally owned by Dominicans. This is due to a commitment our local surf community has to keep Encuentro Beach close to its roots.
Chino’s Surf School has been an integral part of the growth of surf in the country. Not only has the staff at the school always been 100% local, but they have also sponsored lots of kids. Ways a surf school can help youth in the community is by teaching them how to surf, providing boards, coaching, and essentially just creating an opportunity. Another way is by putting on competitions. Chino’s has been a main sponsor for the Encuentro Surf Classic, the biggest surf competition in the Dominican Republic, every year since it started.
Services Offered at Chino’s Surf School
What makes Chino’s unique is they offer surf lessons and surf coaching for all levels. Their head coach Heriberto Tinoco has coached national teams, pro surfers, and sponsored free surfers for over 30 years. For advanced surfers, he uses video playback to improve skills. Intermediate and beginner surfers are coached both in and out of the water. The school also offers group packages, surf trips, and board rentals for all ages and all levels.
Surfing is a perfect family activity. Learn more about it in our related post.