Unveiling the Charms of Gwangalli Beach, Host of the 2023 Busan SUP Open

5 Oct 2023

In the picturesque coastal city of Busan, where the calm waters of Gwangalli Beach meet the vibrant spirit of South Korea, excitement is mounting as the 2nd edition of the Busan SUP Open is set to kick off this weekend. As the third stop on the prestigious 2023 APP World Tour, this event promises to be a thrilling showcase of stand-up paddleboarding talent. We had the privilege of sitting down with Su-ho Song, a local representative of the Culture and Tourism Department of Suyeong-gu Office, the district that houses the renowned Gwangalli Beach. We delve into the intricacies of organizing such a prestigious event, the ambitions of Busan as a tourist and watersport destination, and the unique charm it brings to the global stand-up paddleboarding community. Get ready to embark on a journey of waves, culture, and athleticism, as Su-ho Song shares insights into the upcoming Busan SUP Open and what makes it a standout event on the 2023 APP World Tour.

Hello Su-ho Song, can you introduce yourself and your role at the Suyeong-gu office?

Hello TotalSUP!  I am in charge of revitalizing marine sports at the Culture and Tourism Department of Suyeong-gu Office where Busan’s Gwangalli beach is located.

How would you present Gwangalli in a few words?

If I were to describe Gwangalli briefly, I would say it is ‘an eco-friendly resting place with a beautiful night view.

Busan and Korea have gained popularity as SUP and watersport destinations over the past two years. Can you highlight some of the unique features that make Busan an attractive location for athletes and enthusiasts in these fields?

Gwangalli is perfect for enjoying SUP with calm waves, a wide coast, and gorgeous scenery. The Suyeong-gu office is creating a SUP zone here and fostering it so that many citizens and tourists can enjoy it.

The 2nd annual Busan SUP Open is a part of the 2023 APP World Tour. How has Busan embraced and prepared for hosting such international sporting events, and what benefits do they bring to the city?

The APP WORLD TOUR’S BUSAN SUP OPEN has been selected as one of the “100 K-Culture Tourism Events” to attract foreign tourists by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as part of the government’s 110 national tasks and is being promoted around the world, greatly contributing to the spread of enthusiasm for attracting visitors to the Busan World Expo 2030. The international competition held in Busan is hosted together with the KAPP (ed. Korean APP), and we are preparing together to make this second edition of the Busan SUP Open event even more enjoyable. With this competition, Busan City will grow rapidly as a marine leisure and watersports city and provide many benefits to kids, hobbyists, amateurs, and professional athletes. South Korea is looking forward to hosting the ‘2030 Busan World Expo’, which will also lead to the growth of the maritime city.

What can you tell us about Gwangalli beach, where the event is taking place again this year?

Gwangalli Beach is an urban beach resembling a cobalt-colored South Pacific beach. The beautiful scenery of Gwangalli Beach with Gwangan Bridge in the background has become a wonderful photo zone that everyone, regardless of age or gender, wants to capture and keep in his or her memories. We hope you will make wonderful memories with calm waves and a beautiful sunset in the background.

Busan is known for its blend of modernity and tradition. Could you highlight a few must-visit places for athletes and their families to explore while they’re in the city? How can visitors make the most of their time in Busan, experiencing both its cultural heritage and its vibrant contemporary scene?

Busan is one of Korea’s representative cities, attracting many travelers with its unique charm and beautiful cityscape. The representative place is Gwangalli Beach, where the APP WORLD TOUR event is held. In addition, Busan is where you can enjoy the beautiful night view of Haeundae and Gwangalli. There is a tower and BIFF Square where the Busan International Film Festival is held.

Food is an integral part of any travel experience. What can attendees of the Busan SUP Open look forward to in terms of local cuisine? Are there any local delicacies or popular food districts that visitors should not miss during their stay?

As a Busan native, I would like to introduce Busan’s ‘pork soup’ and ‘milmyeon’ to the athletes participating in the APP WORLD TOUR BUSAN SUP OPEN. Pork soup is a food made by boiling pork bones and meat in a broth, slicing the boiled meat and adding it as a garnish and eating it with rice. Pork soup is enjoyed by so many people in Busan that it is called soul food. However, first-time users may have different preferences due to the unique flavor of pork broth! Milmyeon is a noodle dish made by kneading flour and starch and is a representative local food of Busan that was created during the Korean War.

The 2nd annual Busan SUP Open is scheduled for October. Could you provide insights into the expected weather conditions during that time, as well as the general weather patterns and conditions for watersport enthusiasts throughout the year in Busan?

Although the weather is not easy to predict these days, Gwangalli Beach is like a calm river right now. The water temperature is warmer and the waves are calmer than in summer, so I think it’s the best situation to enjoy SUP. Since Busan’s is right on the sea, the daily temperature difference is not large. Compared to other inland cities, it is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Therefore, I think Busan is attracting attention as a tourist destination all year round.

To find out more the event, go to :

Watch LIVE on

LIVE Webcast schedules (Korean local times)

Saturday, October 7

2:30 PM – 5:30 PM / 3 hours
Gwangalli Beach, Suyeong-Gu
– APP Pro Men Sprint elimination
– APP Pro Women Sprint eliminations

Sunday, October 8
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM / 3 hours

Gwangalli Beach, Suyeong-Gu
– APP Pro Distance Course: 10km

About the Author

Mathieu Astier

Mathieu is the hyper-active founder of TotalSUP and a multilingual online marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience working for top international internet companies. His love-at-first-sight for Stand Up Paddling in 2013 led him to build one of the leading online media dedicated to SUP in English and French and to turn his family lifestyle towards the ocean.

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