Interview with Katie Bowcutt, F-One Team Rider
Kite Beach is a little slice of heaven located in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Many kiting aficionados regard it as one of their favorite kiting spots in the whole world. Aside from the warm water, almost constant wind, and perfect mix of locals and ex-pats, Kite Beach, Cabarete is known for churning out some pretty amazing kiting talent over the years. From Ariel Corniel to Susi Mai (and many, many more), Cabarete is a virtual breeding ground for pro kiters. That being said, a new batch of talent is brewing on the waters of Kite Beach, and Katie Bowcutt is destined to become part of Dominican the kiting legacy.
Katie was born in Florida and spent her first 8 years there. Pretty much from the time she was born, Katie was a natural water woman and her sport of choice while living in Florida was wakeboarding. In search of a more simple and healthy lifestyle, Katie’s mother and father decided to pack the family up and move to her mother’s native land the Dominican Republic. It was here that the adventurous young lady first encountered kiteboarding. She was instantly awestruck and immediately started begging her father to let her try it. He wasn’t too keen on the idea at first only because he thought she was a little too young and the sport was a tad dangerous, but Katie remained steadfast and her father eventually gave in. Fast-forward a few years and Katie Bowcutt is a PKRA Junior World Champion. That’s where steadfast will get ya.
Last month the Costa Brava beach of Sant Pere Pescador, Spain played host the inaugural PKRA Junior World Champion event in which 43 competitors from 17 countries showed up to compete. The event was invitation only and the line up represented the best junior freestyle kiteboarders in the world. Representing the Dominican Republic and the F-One Next Generation crew, Katie bought home the trophy for the girls 14-16 age group.
We were able to catch up with her to find out how it all went down! We decided to meet up at Kite Club Cabarete since that is her local stomping grounds. She just happened to be doling out a load of goodies from F-One to her Cabrete team elders Robinson Hilario and Alex Soto when we arrived. It may as well have been Christmas in August by the looks of things. The energy was high and Katie left us feeling all warm and fuzzy. Ms. Bowcutt is a cutie with her blue eyes and freckles, but don’t get it twisted, she is serious about competition. She loves to be on the podium, and that is what seems to motivate her.
How was it different than being in Cabarete?
In Cab it’s just another day kiting. In Spain it’s like, I need to land a trick before I have a hernia!
Also, there were a lot of young girls, so that was very motivating. There is always a silent competition going on, even when there is no competition going on.
What was your favorite part of the event?
Of course being on the podium was the best part, but next to that was being part of the F-One team. We are all F-One riders, but we are the Next Generation part of F-One so it’s like a little team within the team. So, we are all really close. All of the riders in all of the different groups were right there supporting everyone when they needed anything. While I was out in the water they were spotting me and telling me which trick I should do next. It was super cool.
It must have been exciting taking home the trophy. Where is the trophy now?
It is actually in the middle of the dinner table with shells all around it. Mom got all creative with it. Ha ha ha!
Who do you look up to most in kiting?
Susi. I look up to Susi a lot. Bruna…and Gisella, of course. They made their names really young and they stayed at the top of the pack and remained humble and nice. Susi because she came from here and proved that you can make a name for yourself in kiting even if you are from a tiny little town on a tiny little island.
Who is your favorite guy kiter (I already knew her answer)?
My favorite guy kiter is Nico (Suriel)! Ha ha ha ha! But after Nico, Aaron. Aaron Hadlow is pretty cool. I like him a lot.
So, I know Nico was in between stops on the PKRA Pro Tour and decided to come to Spain to show you some support. How was that?
It was good times. We goof off a lot, but it was so comforting to have him around. I had my mom there, but she doesn’t kite. Nico knows my style since we kite together in Cabarete every day, so it was good to have him around to give me tips and stuff.
How do you prepare for a competition?
When the competition gets closer I start planning out my heats. I take the tune of a song I really like and put tricks in instead of the real words. Ha ha. It works really well so I don’t forget it.
Can you give me an example of one of your songs?
Hahahhahahaha! Uh, no.
Speaking of, what is your favorite song (I figured I could get it out of her some way)?
Lisztomania by Phoenix.
Do you make up songs to Phoenix?
No, but I should! I do more stupid songs like Justin Bieber and Call Me Maybe. It’s more catchy!!!! It gets stuck in your head and you don’t forget it!
Nico and I have this thing. If you are having a really bad day on the water, you just change the song in your head. It almost always makes your session better.
What tricks are you feeling most comfortable with right now?
I am feeling really good about landing blind. I am working on just getting cleaner with my landings.
Which trick are you working on next?
3-1-3 and blind judges. I’m getting really close! I can feel the bar, but it is so frustrating because I am almost there but just don’t quite have it yet. I’ll have it soon though.
How did everyone treat you when you got home?
It was really, really nice. I felt really bad that I didn’t get a “clean” first place like I imagined it to be. It never came into my head that we might not have wind for the last heat. I was just like, there is no other choice. There has to be wind. When the wind never showed up, I was just like what do we do now? Do we have one winner or do we have four? Turned out we have four. Not the outcome I expected, but it is what it is.
So, what’s up next?
The North Coast Kite Tour! I can’t wait. It’s a local event, but should be really fun! I like to keep my eyes on what the local girls are doing. I get to see a lot of them on the water every day, but it’s not in competition mode. It’s nice to get out there with people you know and have a little friendly competition.