Posted - News Posted for Haiti News, World Surfing News.

Surf Haïti Contest
Cayes Jacmel, on Kabik’s beach, Haïti
April 30th and 1st of May 2016

Plus: live music and Dj’s


Sports provide a valuable platform for expression, creativity and self-development for children of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Using sports, specifically surfing, skateboarding and rollerblading, as a tool for youth development fosters an environment where young people are able to have fun and engage positively with one another.


Surf Haiti is a Haitian non-profit organization founded in 2011 on Haiti’s southern coast. The dual missions are to give disadvantaged youth in the area the opportunity to get in the water and surf and to establish Haiti as a surf tourism destination.

Surf Haiti teaches local kids how to swim and surf, provides lessons for visitors, rents boards and organizes beach clean-ups. The group currently has 30 members ranging in age from 11 to 21 years old. Surfing gives participants the opportunity to engage positively with one another and have fun, while simultaneously strengthening ties in their communities.

Since 2011, Surf Haiti has also contributed to the development of aquatic sports as a source of revenue amongst the local population; improving accessibility to education, development and sustainable management of the ocean and coastline.

Surf Haiti, with the participation of the local population, strives to develop a “surf culture” in the region of Cayes Jacmel. The local beaches can become a tourist attraction due to the varied surf breaks and uncrowded waves. Tapping into the surf industry creates wide-ranging opportunities for economic development in the community and provides a much needed income stream for the program participants.

Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic has a thriving multi-million dollar water sports tourism industry, which includes sports like surfing and kite surfing. Haiti, on the other hand, with a similar coastline, climate, etc., has yet to develop this potential. Haiti must take a strategic position in becoming a tourist destination for sports like surfing, wakeboarding, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, stand up paddleboarding and skateboarding.

In 2015, Surf Haiti became a new member of the Haitian National Federation and part of the International Surfing Association (ISA). As a member, one of our objectives is to send a Haitian surf team to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Surf Haiti Contest will be the first international surf competition in the country. Jacmel is already a top tourist destination in Haiti known for its artists, carnivals, beautiful coastline and various tourist sites like “Bassin Bleue”. The mixed-event contest format of Surf Haiti Contest will allow participants, regardless of age, gender and nationality, to participate together across events in a fun, festive atmosphere, while reinforcing self-esteem, building ties in the local community and promoting friendships and understanding between Haitian and Dominican participants. These cross-cultural ties are an important step for Haiti to improve relations with its Dominican neighbor.

Sports like surfing, kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding and skateboarding, can be the driver to get Haiti out of the shadow of the 2010 earthquake and help reshape a more positive image of Haiti as the Caribbean Pearl and top sports travel destination.

II. Surf Haïti Contest: INTRODUCTION

The First Surf Contest will be the first one in Haiti representing both professional and amateurs sports enthusiasts and also incorporating local artists and musicians.

Why: This event strives to cultivate a spirit of community, dynamism and professionalism, and through the participation of athletes, spectators and press, be the spark for economic growth in the local tourism industry. This event also hopes to foster improved relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and future co-participation of Haitian and Dominican athletes in events held both in Haiti and in the DR.


1. First Surf Contest mixed-event, non-rated surf contest organized by Surf Haiti on the Kabik’s beach, in partnership with Christian Surfers DR, will be the scene of a multicultural sport and spare time weekend

2. “Open to the public” 2-night music event organized by Audio Institute on April the 30, 2016.

3. Demonstration and introduction to Surf

4. Promotion of local artisans and actors, restaurants, bars and shops.

WHEN: Annual event to take place each year, during the last weekend of April. First Surf contest will take place on April 30, 1st of May 2016.

WHERE: Kabik’s beach, Cayes-Jacmel, Haiti. Located in front of the famous Kabik’s beach break, Kabik’s place is not only ideal for the surf contest, but also perfect for the music and arts components of the contest.

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  • Surf Haiti Association and Members


  • Christian Surfers Dominican Republic:
    • participation of surfers and skateboarders from the Dominican Republic
    • event judge
    • logistical and financial support
  • Audio Institute:
    • technical support and coordination of music festival
  • La reference
    • Base of the event
  • Haiti Surf Guesthouse:
    • accommodations
  • Marina Blue Haiti
    • coordination of the event and financial support
  • Fosaj:
    • provision and coordination of dance, theatre and street artists
  • Alliance Francaise:
    • coordination support
  • Haïtian Ministry of Tourism and Experience Jacmel:
    • assistance in promotion of the regional tourism industry
  • Phix Doctor
    • support, provision of surf repair kits
  • Boukan Guinguette, Môle Saint Nicolas, Haïti:
    • coordination of kiteboarding show
  • Cayes – Jacmel City Council:
    • Security
  • Marie Kokelenberg
    • communication and promotion

III. Surf Haïti International Festival 2016: Objectives

A. Create a positive and productive synergy between regional actors, authorities and the public in relation to tourism.

B. Provide a fresh perspective and create opportunities for local businesses to develop through board sport activities and/or other activities introduced during the festival.

C. Promote friendship and understanding between the Haitian and Dominican participants.

D. Promote engagement in the respect and protection of the local environment.