Daniel Hasulyo, StarboardDream Team Rider, race board developer and SUP World Champ, returns to South Korea for the 2023 SUP Asian Championship hosted in Seoul by the APP‘s Korean partners, KAPP (Korean Association of Paddlesurf Professionals). On the eve of the event, TotalSUP caught up with Danielto find out what drives him to compete in South Korea and his pump foiling debut.
Hi Daniel, the 2023 SUP Asian Championship in Seoul will be your third time visiting South Korea as a pro SUP athlete. What makes you keep coming back to compete?
Hi, good point indeed, it’s not by chance that I chose to travel here year after year. It’s because of the atmosphere of the events, the professionalism in organization, the excitement for the sport and the energy of the community that brings my family and I, back every time. Jerry, the Korean Starboard Distributor, Jennie, Andrew Park and David Leitao from KAPP/DreamsCorp have been really hosting us and all participants with extra care and welcome and the locations, both Seoul and Busan are exceptional venues for stand-up paddle racing.
We know that last year’s Busan SUP Open KAPP event was a great success and raised the bar high. You even called it a “true benchmark in the history of the sport”. What’s unique about these events?
The attention that goes into every aspect and detail of the event. From start to finish it’s a well thought and delivered concept that makes sure that everyone, from spectators to pro athletes, are all satisfied. From the moment you land at the airport till when you leave, it’s more than just a race. It’s a cultural experience, it’s a festival on the shore, it’s a fun recreational event for many and a super professional and highly competitive pro race for the ones that like it that way and all parts are given highlight, importance and all the details are executed precisely. I wish all races could be so complete and well thought.
Which disciplines will you be competing in and what is your favourite SUP racing format this year?
I will be competing in the Pro division, 300M Sprint and 9km Distance. With my trainers at SEPA Strength and Endurance Performance Academy, we are definitely focusing on becoming faster and more explosive this year, as I have slowly shifted back from Ultra Distance racing to the to World Tour Events and I really want to get some important podiums. My main focus is still on Long Distance and Technical Racing though as this really is what keeps my motivation going and drives me to achieve more.
You mentioned that there will be the first official pump foil competition off the dock and your debut in this format… How did you get into pump foiling and how are you preparing for it?
I love PUMP Foiling. I love foil in general. Still, every time, I can’t believe how close the feeling gets you to flying. Then like within all outdoor sports, pump foiling is also a self-propelled version of the sports so it has been extremely appealing from day one. In my case, it was just something that popped up as a fun thing among friends at the Starboard HQ in Bangkok, where some of the boys could already do it and I tried it too and eventually made it.
Then my brother [Editor’s note: Bruno Hasulyo], as always, took it to a whole new level in Porto flying 10-20kms with a single jump and some boat wakes, But yeah, for me its more something I practice in my free time from training. You need strong legs and the wish to keep trying and I have both, so here I am entering my first ever PUMP Foil event in Seoul. Can’t wait! So excited to fly under pressure. Foiling is super rapidly gaining popularity everywhere around the world and like a magnate draws more people and new generation of riders in. I hope to share this energy with the people in Seoul too!
Does it mean we’re losing you to foiling?
Not for a while yet 😊 Being a professional SUP Athlete is a full time job. Foiling, surfing, windsurfing and in general any other sport that gives you immense happiness is why I am doing what I am doing because at the end of the day, SUP gives me the same thrills. Now that I have my own family, I understand even more and have learnt to respect the time that I have available to practice becoming better and to be the best version of myself, so for now all that dedication goes into the SUP performance, and all the fun fun into foiling, surfing and being stoked on and off the water.
What’s your board set up for the 2023 SUP Asian Championship?
For the 9km Distance Race I will use the 2023 Starboard HOLLOW SPRINT 14×20.75. For 300m sprints I’ll be riding the 2023 Starboard ALLSTAR 14×20.5. With LIMA XL blade, DH Signature S30 shaft and VMG TIME TRIAL / XW MAKO fins.
What are your 2023 SUP Asian Championship expectations?
Two days of solid international professional racing with some of Asia and the World’s Best Athletes. I have been personally preparing for a couple of months to be racing, so I’m really thrilled to be finally competing again and give my best to be standing on the top of the Podium.
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