Without a doubt, there is surf all around the world. Some of it more crowded than others, and some spots easier to find than other. I recently booked a trip to Cabarete in the Dominican Republic with no clue what was in store and with no transportation I was limited. So what do you do when you’re headed to a relatively unknown surfing destination? Ask the boys! Unfortunately, none of the boys has ever been. I even ran into Brett Simpson surfing Northside Huntington and he also has never been. I ended up finding out the very best way to get all the inside info, I just wish I did it earlier in my trip.
After spending the first week surfing all the more well-known spots like Encuentro, Coco Pipe, and a few of the beach breaks, I ran into local pro Brandon Sanford. After a few beers he shared with me that he has been running a local surf tour, Dominican Surf Trips, for the past 2 years. When he told me it is only $75 for the day and $100 in FREE coupons for local food for the rest of my trip I could not resist.
Brandon, first and foremost is a great human being. He picked me up before dawn with Coffee and warm pastries and dropped me off after sunset dinner on the sand. Brandon is also CPR, AED, and First Aid certified. He grew up on the north coast of the Dominican Republic and is multiple-time national surf champion.
At Dominican Surf Trips, Brandon’s goal is to take the gamble and guesswork out of finding the right waves for the right swell and provide the best value and services for every traveling dollar. They use hashtag #somewhereinDR with the concept of keeping the spots uncrowded and underground leaving the surfer with a sense of freedom and adventure.
Our first stop was down a dirt road that I had passed by everyday on my trip. As we got to the beach it was still dark but you could see a rad right coming off the end of the cove. It was only about 3 feet but you can tell when there is more size it could have been epic. If only I had known about this spot the first week of my trip when the Swell was huge! Proving once again, it’s all about getting the info on the right spots as soon as possible.
We stopped at a few more places quickly before we hit the road for about a30 minute drive as the sun finally breached over the horizon. We ended up at the most beautiful spot I have personally ever surfed. After surfing till I couldn’t feel my arms we headed back to his car for fresh pineapple, juice, chips, and all the munchies anyone could ask for. Brandon knows exactly what you need after scoring and preparing for another session.
Photos: Amy Lapaix
The wind came up and we made moves for a fresh fish lunch and Mojitos. After a relaxing lunch and a quick nap on the beach, Brandon lead us to another spot where the wind turned offshore and it was game on again.
Long story short, I can’t name the spots I surfed because I honestly don’t know them. But I do know that I spent the second half of my trip surfing all the spots and really scoring with all the locals. Thanks to Brandon being the great guy he is and introducing me to all the locals, I was always welcomed in the lineups and given total respect. Going forward I will always be looking into a local tour early in my trip to learn all the spots while supporting the local surf community.