Surfing Waves

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Surfing Blog | 0 comments

Surfing Waves

Types of Waves at Encuentro

A very common system of measurement of waves to a surfer is using one’s body part compared to wave height.  You’ll hear surfers often say “it’s waist to chest” or “head high”.  Of course if you are new to the sport it this is weird way of measurement.  From whose head is it “head high’?  Wen we are speaking of waves in these terms we are referring the a dude (or chick) that is 6 feet (1.90cm) tall.  So “head high” waves are about 6 feet.  Check the illustration below for an visual of wave height using this system.

Waves Height

Waves Height Once waves reach head high they back to feet plus “head high” for example 7-8 feet would be “2-3 feet over head”.    9-12 feet would be considered double over head and still in the category of “medium surf” Any thing over this magic 12 feet mark is considered big surf and huge waves.  It’s not like that all the time here in Cabarete, but it does happen!

Below are the common types of waves you’ll encounter on your surf trip here to Cabarete.  All these photos were taken at various dates in Playa Encuentro.

Hollow Waves

The Holy Grail of surf a.k.a Tubes, Barrels, Green Room, Wet Shade, and Shacks.  These waves are formed when long period swell comes in from deeper waters and breaks on shallower areas.  There is sometimes an offshore breeze here in Cabarete that aids in forming these waves.  They don’t happen everyday, but when they do it is an unforgettable experience.

Encuentro Waves
Hollow and Perfect at La Dercha Playa Encuentro

Peeling Waves

Peeling or peelers are the most common wave breaking at Encuentro.  They great for advancing from beginner to intermediate. They have good power and look like they peel off the peak in either  lefts or rights. Peeling waves give the beginner time to pop-up and to aim their board down the face of wave. They are great for getting to spend time on blue open water, instead of white water. Peelers give you opportunity to work on generating speed which is necessary for doing tricks.

Peeling Waves
Peeling Waves At Encuentro

Mushy Waves

As the swell period gets shorter waves will lose power and become mushy or crumbly.  These waves are not ideal, but can a lot of fun for trying out a fish board, longboard, or something new.  For a beginner they tend to be very forgiving and can help you advance.  Remember when it gets mushy “Paddle, Paddle, Paddle!”

Mushy Waves
Mushy Waves at Encuentro


So this is when the entre length of the wave breaks all at once.  Pretty much making the wave unridable.  Of course there are some arial experts that have mastered these waves and know how to make the most of others would throw away.  Many times when it’s big at Encuentro “clean up” sets will come in and break a little further out side the line up.  For a beginner closeouts give the best white water.  On the inside breaks you’ll have a great time!

Surf Cabarete specializes in surf vacation packages for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers.  These packages include accommodation, surf classes, and a variety of other activities.  Contact Us for more details!

Closeout Waves
Clean Up Set in Encuentro

At Surf Cabarete offers surf packages for beginners through advanced surfers including accommodation and awesome other activities.  Contact Us for more information.