Depending on the swell and wind conditions, there are different types of waves on the north coast for different types of surfers. Outer reefs, peaky sandbar perfection, powerful walls. The locals say the area “has it all” or “lo tiene todo.”
The shift between high and low tides is only 2-4 feet on any given day in the lunar cycle. For this reason, most spots are generally surfable throughout the day. Usually being a little softer on the high tide and heavier on the low.
ENCUENTRO – 3 reef breaks. The right is a peak takeoff, with a long peeling wall, into a deep water channel, up to 200 meters. The left is a shallow reef point that features 3 different takeoff spots that can be linked together with fast hollow sections. The third is Coco-Pipe, an outer section of reef that breaks heavy on bigger days. This wave barrels in both directions, but the right has a channel for paddling back out. Playa Encuentro is the most consistent surf spot on the North Coast.
- DESTROYER – This left breaks in super shallow water on a coral reef that has fingers sticking up. Hollow takeoffs give way to fast “must make” sections that really get the adrenaline pumping. Similar to many reef pass waves in the South Pacific, this spot is for advanced surfers only.
- MANANERO – Empty beachbreak that has some good power. There are miles of peaks and plenty of waves for all. Usually offshore in the morning, there are lefts and rights with good hollow sections.
- LA PASA – This hidden right hander breaks on a shallow coral reef and comes out of deep water. These are fast steep takeoffs with draining sections to drive through. When the conditions are right, it really is a perfect wave.
- LA PRECIOSA – A shoulder type left that breaks a little farther out, in the middle of a small bay. This wave is a powerful peak and fast takeoff that slides it’s way around the reef. There is more water moving on this wave than most, and it is always bigger than it looks from the cliff. This wave is somewhat wind protected and usually surfable throughout the day.
- EL BARCO – This is an A-frame reef setup and there is a wrecked ship that sits just outside the normal lineup and helps the wave stand up. This wave peels left and right equally well and is known as a performance wave. Protected from the wind, this wave stays glassy long after the others have blown out.
- El BURRO – A right hand reef that is wind protected. A heavy takeoff gives way to long walls and very carve-able sections. One of the longer waves in the region, offering multiple turns on every wave.
- LA BAHIA – An A-frame peak that breaks out in the middle of a very deep bay. Needs a big swell, but the wind is always offshore here. On some swells the left is better, on most swells the right is better, but both offer steep takeoffs and short intense rides. Breaking over a semi-shallow reef in the middle of the bay, there is a deep water channel on both sides allowing for easy paddle outs on the biggest days.
- LA BOCA – This is a rivermouth located in the back of La Bahia. The river has formed a right hand sand point that breaks just in front of the cliff. Offering long and sometimes fast sand bottom spinners, this wave is also wind protected and surfable all day.
- KITE BEACH – This outer reef setup has lefts and rights. It can be long and even hollow. This wave picks up swell when other waves don’t. Popular for kite boarding because of the wind. This wave needs super glassy conditions.
Most of the area’s reefbreaks start to light up on the North and Northeast swells that start in October and continue through April. As winter “nor’easter” storms move off the Northeast coast of the US, they immediately start sending swell southward, and continue to stay in our swell window for their entirety. It is not uncommon to have week long periods of overhead North and Northeast swell during this time of year.
Winds are normally light offshore in the mornings, eventually giving way to Easterly trade winds in the afternoons. Evening glass-off sessions happen regularly, as the ocean tends to clean up fast here. With a few wind protected coves and bays, the afternoon session is common and often empty.
Because of the Easterly trade winds, the Amber coast still has plenty of surf from May to September. Although not usually bigger than “head high”, there is always a wave that will make your day. These months are perfect for surfers that just want fun small waves with no crowds.
In the Caribbean, there are many hurricanes, that send epic summer time surf to the D.R.. Being relatively out of danger in this location, the passing hurricanes send swell, and suck out all the wind, providing whole weeks of glassy conditions and solid swell. These storms occur usually between July and September.