Pauhana surf school
‘Home is where the waves are’ – and that’s Encuentro beach, Cabarete – DR!
Beautiful surroundings, intense green color combined with blue of the ocean and gold of the sand, the tallest palm trees, great hospitality, and amazing surfing.
I’ve been coming to Cabarete and Encuentro few times before I definitely decided to move here from Bavaro. Right decision!
Every day I go surfing with strongest determination ever, without even checking the surf forecast since I’m sure I’ll find something. The surfing usually happens in the morning, because there’s no wind! It’s the place where for first time I really live a life of a surfer..although still so much to learn and experience.
From the first time I came here in October, I felt extremely comfortable at Pauhana Surf School. Pauhana [pow HAH-nah] is Hawaiian expression and means: ‘off from work on to surf’. The surf school is located just centrally on the beach, and as well centrally from the right and left break. It is run by the locals ‘Chepe’ and ‘Jack’.
The school has different varieties of boards for every level and taste, and quite animated and experienced surf instructors. Mainly locals and experienced surfers, but this is not all since to be instructor of any kind first you need to love what you teach, and most of all you need to like to teach. Not every experienced surfer can be a good surf instructor. For Pauhana’s staff this is not the case since they really have been working with me in different manner and aspect.
Almost every day starts with some surfing tips from the guys/the team working there. For example ‘Ino’ almost regularly tells me where to get in and in which condition which spot works better for my level. Nicolas works on my fear of big waves, and every time encourages me to just paddle out even when they are bit bigger. Once I was in my overly thinking mode and he said: ‘don’t worry it’s just water, sometimes big water’ – and started laughing. ‘Chepe’ works on my technique and tries to help me improve it. Once in a while shows me how to pop up faster and how to position my board in the peak of the wave. The other day told me:’ listen you have to start surfing without shoes and get use to it’. Continued: ‘if you step on sea urchin I will take care of it don’t worry’. And, I followed the advice, the next day I went in the water without shoes although I was overly concerned not to step on rocks. And I stepped and nothing happened…
With Jack we talk about life…
As much as I spend my days at the surf school I consider it as meeting point inside ‘Encuentro’. It is a life inside the community. It is a microcosm inside the big picture and the endless horizon of the ocean. Around this microcosm many activities and things happen apart from surfing. There’s basketball court, ping pong table, and playground for kids. Especially week-ends are so animated with all the kids around. Pauhana is regularly organizing camps and activities for children trying to involve them more substantially from young age in community.
Ideal place for many outdoor activities but mainly for learning how to surf and improve your surfing skills, since life’s better when surfing, so ‘off from work’ and direction Encuentro to surf!
Text: JanaLoza Altervoyage
Photo credits: Margo Soul X Ray