With the dust only just settling on last weekend’s historic Stand Up World Series Opener in Japan, TotalSUP’s journalist Stuart Howells caught up with Men’s winner Casper Steinfath (Naish). As you can imagine the youngster was stoked but is now even more focused on his dream…..
Stuart Howells: Casper after winning in Japan – how does it feel to win your first ever SUWS major event now the dust has settled a little bit?
Casper Steinfath: It definitely still feels almost surreal! Coming home to Denmark and seeing the crazy reactions from my family and friends was probably what touched me the most! This really made me realise how big a deal this was and that I’m now leading the 2016 World Series. It feels incredible and everytime I think of that moment I crossed the finish line I still get chicken skin! I will remember this win for a long time for sure.
You have really set a bench mark after pushing on from winning the Euro Cup last year and your 3rd place overall – is this going to be your year – is that your aim to break the top 2 hawaiian partnership?
It feels like I have been finding a good rhythm with my paddling recently and that I have just been gaining momentum. Kai Lenny and Connor Baxter have had a solid controlling grip on the World Series for many years now and I think it’s about time someone breaks this up. Those guys are both at the top and hard to beat but then again the level of paddling in general has never been higher. I would love to be a part of leading this new wave and hopefully we can see a new World Series Champion crowned this year. Hopefully a Viking Champion
You are the first European paddler to win a SUWS major event. That is a major achievement what do you put your success down to? Training? Equipment? Sponsor help? Determination? Luck?
Coming into this season my ultimate goal was to raise my racing level another notch. I think it was a combination of things that helped me do this, but definitely great support from my sponsors, friends and family was a big key to this. My trainer and I set up a new solid training program which really kept me focused and pushing my physical abilities and increasing my strength. But mostly I think my main determination and motivation came from having ranked in the top 5 quite consistently the last few years and wanting to push over that last ledge. I also really want to be the first European to win the overall World Series and now I’m one step closer to this!
Is this just the beginning…what are your plans the next few months?
I just got back to Denmark now and will be right back to training. The season has really just started but I also feel that I have just started finding my race form for the season. Japan was just a test race for me but I guess it was a pretty successful test 🙂 I will be home for a couple of weeks now preparing for the European Championship and the next World Series events. I can’t wait to race again and focus on keeping the Hawaiians and everyone else away from that yellow #1 race jersey!
The next stop of the #SUWS is the Mercedes-Benz World Cup of SUP which takes place over the weekend of the 24th June