Monday, August 21, 2017
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Suami Cavallo

Suami Cavallo kiteboardingHailing from a hometown near Sicily, Suami Cavallo, kiteboarder extraordinaire, was only 2 when her family visited relatives in the Dominican Republic. “And then suddenly, I was 11!” exclaims the 13-year old athlete, breaking into a big, animated grin, her signature response to just about everything. “I wanted to learn English and Spanish, and my family moved to Cabarete.”

 

 

Enrolled at the International School of Sosua, Cavallo says she really loves school,
--a surprising thing to hear from a teenager.

“School starts early and there’s no wind in the morning. Surfers have to get up at 5:30 if they want to surf before school, but I can go kiting when school gets out. The wind’s great at 3!”

Aha. She laughs, and then adds (for the record): “And I like to learn and study too.”

Suami Cavallo  Suami Cavallo

Talk of learning to kite brings back that animated grin. “I tried surfing. but I didn’t like it so much. And then I tried kiteboarding,” she says. “At first, I was scared of kiting, but then I was so happy about it. I feel something different with kiting, different from anything else I’ve tried--it’s something to do with flying. It always makes me go ‘Wow.’”

Cavallo is making spectators and judges go ‘Wow,’ as well, with several first-place finishes, including Cabarete’s 2014 Masters of the Ocean, and banner appearances in Ecuador, Italy, and the VKWC (Virgin Kitesurf World Championships) in Germany. In just two years of kiting, Cavallo’s positive energy and set of tricks has captured the attention of sponsors like Blossom Retreats, Dasilva Kiteboarding, and Biancabikinis.

Suami Cavallo kiteboarding  Suami Cavallo kiteboarding

“I’m so thankful for my sponsors,” says Cavallo, pausing to acknowledge those who’ve helped her dreams come true. “I couldn’t do it without them!”

Indeed, being able to go the VKWC catapulted her even further in her field, introducing her to inspiring new mentors and new outdoor classrooms. “I learned from the other competitors--what they do, and how they train. Some of them train 4 to 5 hours a day. They even go kiting when there’s no wind!” Cavallo says.

“After the VKWC, I stayed in Cabarete all summer and trained really hard: went to the gym every day, kick boxed at Rogue Fitness, and did yoga, paddleboarding, even surfing. But only when the wind’s not up,” she clarifies.

Suami Cavallo at the gym  Suami Cavallo kiteboarding

Rest Days do exist, however, and her interests extend beyond constant movement. Well, sort of. “Sometimes, I get lazy,” says Cavallo, “and stay home and watch Netflix. I love all music too, like Dominican music, rock music…” It’s easy to imagine lazy morphing to dance moves as the music shuffles, and the beats come on.

Cavallo’s mother has been a big inspiration to her daughter, still is, and the athlete speaks fondly of Mom’s energy and expertise. Years ago, her mother broke her neck kiting. And though she mostly kites with a surfboard now, she still kiteboards, because she still loves it. For the younger Cavallo, that passion makes all the difference. “Without my mom, I wouldn’t have discovered my own passion for kiting,” says the younger Cavallo, “and for doing what doing you love.”

Suami Cavallo and mom

That smile, her enthusiasm, and some impressive skills have earned Suami Cavallo the “Miss Stance” award, Stance Magazine’s online accolade for an inspiring, helpful athlete making a splash in her field.

“Oh, Miss Stance!” cries Cavallo, her face lighting up. “I freaked out for an hour when they contacted me for an interview,” she confesses, with a giggle. “I became the youngest Miss Stance ever. It was a big honor!”

Travelling to kiteboard tops the goal list, including a visit Brazil, home of flat water, good wind, and where fellow World Cup kiters train when the wind dies elsewhere.

“But I love it here in Cabarete,” says Cavallo, of her home turf, “because everyone in the water’s so happy. People encourage you to do more and more, until you finally get it. They give you tips, and they’re so friendly. I have more Dominican friends than international friends, I think, because we share this passion.”

Suami Cavallo kiteboarding  Suami Cavallo

Photos by Private/Suami Cavallo, copyright 2015

 

 

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