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“Fantastic experience”

CaribbeanRiders KiteSchool
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Well thought it would take time to find these guys but walked out of hotel onto beach turned right and there they were.
I would like to thank Charlie his partner Imagua and his dad for there patience teaching me to Kite surf ,it was a great experience and I will be getting more practice in the uk.
Sorry I didn't get back on the 4th day but had a few problems and was in bed ill.

All the best guys JIM (Brian to you Charlie) keep that whistle handie.

Thank slalomman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Pablo P, Public Relations Manager at CaribbeanRiders KiteSchool, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2015

hello friends are CRKS from Cuba, Darien and Charli responding their opinion in tripadvisor of last year 2013 and we begin apologizing for so late answer, and although we have big limitations to connect internet we have never forgotten our students and friends. thank you for their comment that besides helping many other beginners and us full with pleasure having had it in our school and be welcome when they want, in Cuba you have instructors and friends, Regards darien and charli
CRKS

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 52 of 65 reviews

Reviewed April 19, 2012

I visited Varadero twice in the winter of 2012. First trip like other people I had kite gear but was unsure of where the best location to kite was so upon seeing kites on the beach I went to see what was going on. Met Charlie and Darien who run Caribbean Riders kite School and they were so professional and positive I ended up taking 3 days of lessons from them.
I have kited for about a year and took lessons in Maui Hawaii. Having met instructors in other popular kite destinations like Hawaii, Texas, and North Carolina I can say with certainty the calibre of instruction with Charlie & Darien is as good or better then what you can get any where in the world.
These two local guys speak great English and project so much sincere love of the sport you find yourself grinning through the whole time you are on the water and working through the various stages of learning this thrilling sport. They give you the knowledge, make you feel safe, and keep things fast paced and fun. Anyone wanting to learn Kite surfing should consider visiting Varadero and booking lessons with Caribbean Riders Kite School as the beach is wonderful, the winds consistent, and the teachers world class! Charlie thanks for helping me to finally kite upwind.....no more walks of shame for this aspiring kiter!

5  Thank mdkiteguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Pablo P, Public Relations Manager at CaribbeanRiders KiteSchool, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2015

hello friends are CRKS from Cuba, Darien and Charli responding their opinion in tripadvisor of last year 2012 and we begin apologizing for so late answer, and although we have big limitations to connect internet we have never forgotten our students and friends. thank you for their comment that besides helping many other beginners and us full with pleasure having had it in our school and be welcome when they want, in Cuba you have instructors and friends, Regards darien and charli

CRKS

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

It was my 1st time in the Caribbean last March and I was looking forward to a week in Cuba with the family and I wasn't sure what to expect, I was hoping to see some kite surfing but didn't really get my hopes up. On my 1st day on the beach, I really enjoyed watching a couple of kites flying around and really got to see how they used the kites and handled the waves.

On my second day I decided to go talk to the young instructor right next to my hotel, I had watched him the day earlier dragging himself and a student in the water. I wasn't too sure about his methods considering the tight spaces and being so close to sunbathers and I was disappointed to see his English was very limited. Just when I was about to reconsider taking lessons, along comes Darien kite surfing right up to us to talk. His English was good, we talked a bit after and that's when he explained to me that he worked for another kite school further down the beach which we could not see.

I'm glad I walked further to take lessons from the guys at "Caribbean Riders". They have a good selection of kites, impressive even, considering their situation.
They're proud guys who care and offer quality instructions, I learnt to inflate, rig and handle the kite safely on the ground amongst many passerby’s, and around the wind window, also water rescues of the kite and the board. I was confident with the techniques that was used compared to what I had watched the day before at the other school, safety here was more prevalent with more instructors watching.

It was a treat, I had never really seen anyone else handle a kite besides a couple of my friends who like myself, learned how to snow kite by themselves. Besides snowkiting only a couple of times per years on windy winter weekends, I had no water kite surfing or wakeboarding experience and I only snowboard a couple of time a year. For me it was just a question of putting it all together and learning to handle the kite so as not to sink plus driving the surfboard in the waves.
Lots of things going on for a first timer, it's important to learn how to fly the kite.
I suggest buying a small 2m kite for under $150 and practise with the kids before taking lessons.

Caribbean Riders can even repair kites, having seen firsthand a student nose a 12m too hard in the water and watch it tear in half. The next morning kite & student are back on the water, no extra charge.
I found it real pleasant dealing with them and I felt undercharged even, during three days, the time was always rounded down in my favour.

If there is one downside besides having to keep your mouth closed when falling in salt water is the narrow range of beach they are allowed to work with between hotels.
Before you master kiting upwind, you'll have to land and walk back upwind to start over while keeping your kite away from passersby, which I found was more tiring.
A small price to pay for the convenience of walking distance from major hotels.

Gentlemen, I appreciate the fact that you sit out there in the sun and wind while waiting for the next person to ask you "How much?"
Rarely can a guy like me have a chance to take kite surfing lessons, the best part is your beautiful beaches and steady winds, we could almost call Varadero beach a kite surf destination.

Darien, Carlo and Charlie, you are a good example that all kite surf schools are not the same.
Thank You

Johnny

5  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Pablo P, Public Relations Manager at CaribbeanRiders KiteSchool, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2015

Hello johnny is CRKS from Cuba, darien and charli. responding your opinion of last year 2012 in tryp advisor, beginning to apologize for so late answer but the difficulties that we have to enter in internet won't make that we forget our students, thank you for your opinion and we are glad a lot to have been your instructors and that you have been of your our pleasure teaching methods. you remember that in Cuba you have friends and instructors. darien and charli, regards
CRKS

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

Pretty much what can be said has been said already in the other reviews previous to mine.

A couple of things I can add are more to the future of the Caribbean Rider school; first Charlie just received a kite sponsorship therefore prices will be going up. So if you are thinking about lessons when you go, now is the time before the price goes up (April 2012). I defy anyone to find a better deal of $35 an hour for lessons on good working kite equipment with a capable instructor.

Secondly, Charlie is a couple of weeks from launching a new website with some great deals like downwinders, accommodations, lessons etc. They have 2 locations that enables a 20 km downwind run with a vehicle to repeat.

If you are thinking of lessons (Sirenis La Salina) location is excellent, shallow and no rocks. The area within the lessons take place is public access, so the one thing that you have to contend with is people walking the beach and they tend to stop in the wrong spot to watch. Other than that, best spot I have kite boarded in next to the OBX.

Cheers

1  Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2012

So there I was in varadero very excited to have the wind blowing 15 to 20 knots and walking up the beach looking to meet the person flying the kite I noticed in the sky. Not expecting much I walked towards the fellows on the beach who looked like local riders. It was Darien, Darien, not brothers and Charlie and his dad Aptly named Papa. They were staff at Caribean Riders kiteschool. After talking with them for a bit I realized that these guys were genuine and nice with a very extensive knowledge of everything kite. Although I didnt get lessons with them, they launched and dropped my kite for me and gave me riding tips for the whole week. i rode every day and they were there from morning till night, not like other schools that show up whenever. These guys speak very good English , Russian, French and Italian. Theyre equipment is in great shape with a mixture of Cabrinha, North and several others. Importing kites there can be very difficult so if you have something that is still in great condition Charlie may make you an offer. Although I didnt get lessons with them they launched and dropped my kite all week, six days in a row. One time out on the water my kite back winded and ended up inside out and one of the guys kited over to me and fixed my kite so I didnt have to swim back. One morning Charlie took myself and another rider on a downwinder where we were driven upwind to another beach and just kited back. After the whole week of riding and the downwinder and even bringing a part for my kite, these guys wouldnt even take a small tip I offered. Charlie is the MAN in Cuba, he has won many a contest there and I have personally witnessed kiteloops with blind landings and the first 1440 i have ever seen. They are located beside the sirenis and the iberostar on a large deep beach with a sand base in the water.

1  Thank luvin'barefoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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