The Annual Pauhana Surf Contest at Playa Encuentro

The Annual Pauhana Surf Contest

Playa Encuntro, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

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Photos by Chameleon Creative Arts

Fall is an exciting time for Cabarete as surf season and local competitions begin.  The annual Pauhana Surf contest is the first weekend of October and we’re excited to cover the details.

With community in mind, Pauhana has made the same entrance fee across the board for all categories: 500rd. The fees are used to create the atmosphere for the event and put together some kind of cash prize for the winners of the Open Men and Open Women category.

Female Equality in Surf Contests

What makes the Pauhana contest unique is their commitment to award the Open Men and Open Women winners the same cash prize. Most surf competitions in the world have huge cash prizes and sponsorships awarded to the men, while women get less than half that. What this means is ladies, you better go out there and represent!

Cabarete Tourism

Pauhana considered cancelling their contest due to lack of funds from supporters of the event in Cabarete. We spoke with Chepe Gomez, co-owner and operator of the school. He said, “Even though things seem slow at the moment, we want to have a fun Pauhana party for the community and things are going to change for the better really soon.”

Despite the decline in tourism that economically sustains the Cabarete community, the DR is expecting more tourism than usual starting in November. High season for visitors to the Caribbean is in the winter months and most of our Caribbean neighbors were destroyed by September storms. You can read more about that here.

Surf Competition Categories

The Categories for the Pauhana contest are what make it a really fun event for the community. Unlike other surf competitions that are focused on determining the best athletes in an area, the Pauhana event is pure surfing fun – with prizes! Our favorites to watch are the Doggy Surfers and the Surf Family heats, it’s all smiles and a really heartwarming experience.

Here are the Categories for the competition:

  • Juniors Boys (12-18 years old)
  • Juniors Girls (12-18 years old)
  • Mini Juniors (9-12 years old)
  • Peewees (6-9 years old)
  • Surf Family (Parent and kid together, no rules)
  • Bodyboard Open (men and women no age limits)
  • Longboard Men (no age limits)
  • Longboard Women (no age limits)
  • Open Men (any age, on shortboard) cash prize
  • Open Women (any age, on shortboard) cash prize
  • Doggy Surfers (no rules)

As you can see some of the categories have no rules and are just for fun. Cash prizes are only given to two of the categories but other prizes like gear, apparel, and gift certificates can be expected by winners of the other categories too.

Hippie Market on the Beach

There will also be a Hippie Market on the beach during the contest. Cabarete has many jewelry makers, clothes designers, and savvy shoppers who sell their item in local markets. There is no charge to participate in the market, just bring your own setup and merchandise.

Sign up for the weekend event begins Thursday Oct. 5 at Gorditos Fresh Mex in Ocean Dream Plaza.

The contest is Saturday and Sunday the 7th and 8th.

Awards and prizes will be given at the El Encuentro Surf Lodge Sunday night the 8th starting at 5pm.

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