Where and when: Playa Encuentro, 6km west of Cabarete, is the best place to surf in the Dominican Republic. There are right- and left-breaking waves - for right-and left-footed surfers - which can reach up to 4m in winter. Playa Canal, a few minutes from Encuentro, is another good spot; while Playa Grande and Playa Preciosa, both near Rio San Juan, are also popular north coast venues. On the south coast, try Playa Los Patos in Santo Domingo and Playa Baorucco in Barahona.
Other Surf Files:
The waves are at their most consistent in spring, although note that most of May and July is flat. The rains in November and early December do not make for ideal surfing conditions. Surfing is best in the early morning when the wind is light, the tide low, waves break cleaner and with more force, and it is not too hot.
Equipment: Wear a T-shirt or a special Lycra surfing top to avoid 'surfer's nipple', which, in the absence of sharks, might be the principal hazard of surfing in the Dominican Republic. Board sizes range from 6-10 feet (1.80 to 3 meters). The longer the board, the easier it is to stand up. Smaller boards, meanwhile, are more challenging and have a higher performance. If you are taking lessons, all equipment will be provided; otherwise, you can rent it.
Surfing etiquette: When there are several surfers waiting for a wave, who has priority? The general rule is that the person who gets the wave at its highest point has the right to ride it. Given the potential danger of several surfers going for the same wave, it is important to respect this rule.