Duna Gordillo: On Top of the World with SUP Champion and NSP Team Rider!

Her beach run photo from the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship for her first World Title is now part of the SUP history demonstrating the sheer power, determination and endurance that’s put into our sport. TotalSUP caught up with Duna Gordillo, NSP Team Rider, to chat about her Gold Medal, the long-distance World Championship Title and the new SUP “generation that is coming in strong”. 

Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

Hi Duna, welcome to TotalSUP and massive congratulations on your amazing season and the World  Championship title! How does it feel to have achieved it?

Hello, thank you so much. Having achieved this title has made me very happy and even more to have done it next to all my team and colleagues. The truth is that it is something that I knew could happen, but until you do it, you don’t believe it.

Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

What’s your favourite SUP format and why?

My favourite modality has always been the technical race but this year I have been training a lot for the long distance and it is the one I like the most at the moment. It is a race that I consider to be quite hard, since there are many kilometres. But it’s always better to do it as a Team, as Esperanza Barreras and I did at the ISA World Championship. Of course for me it is always better that in the long distance there is downwind and upwind! 

Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

How did you prepare for the 2022 season? Did you plan a strategy for each event?

I have always trained with my MARBALASUP Team, and I have followed the training that my Coach Manuel Simoncelli has been doing for us. There has not been any specific strategy but as my Coach plans the training and recovery, it has worked very well for us.

What do you think is the secret to the success of the Spanish National Team?

I think that the entire Spanish Team is at a very high level since we’ve trained a lot, and above all because we always support and motivate each other. I believe that this is the key to success.

Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

There has been a lot of talk about the new wave of the women pro SUP athletes? What do you think about it?

In my opinion, the younger female and male athletes are giving it their all and achieve a great level. The new generation is coming in strong and will bring more level in the water. This is very positive for the sport, since there are more competitors now.

Who’s your biggest influence in the world of SUP and why?

In my case, I have always had two great references and influences in this sport. These are Manuel Simoncelli, my Coach of 10 years, and Laura Quetglas, a great partner and athlete. They have always helped and motivated me to continue with this sport and above all to enjoy it and have a good time on the water.

What’s your advice to the aspiring SUP riders who want to start competing?

One of the things that has always worked for me to not be so nervous and compete well is to be surrounded by good people. In this way, I get distracted a little bit and I don’t think so much. Because I think that if you have trained, the race will go well. You also have to keep in mind that there can always be drawbacks but you should never give up, everyone has a bad race once in a while.  The important thing is to keep going.

Image courtesy of Duna Gordillo

Could you tell us more about your collaboration with NSP?

I have been using the NSP boards all this year to train and compete, and the truth is that I am very happy with my results. The whole Team is incredible and for me the NSP boards are the best, since each one of them has a specific function.

What’s your NSP board set up?

Right now, I’m using two different boards. The first one is the NSP Ninja 14×20, this is the one with which I have trained most of this year, it is a board that goes very well in flat water and in headwinds.  The other one, is the NSP Carolina 14×20,5, this board is better for downwinding or for when the sea is more moved. I’m very happy with both as they work very well and I feel comfortable with them. In addition, another board that I have also used and that from now on I want to train more is the NSP Puma 14×22, this board is so good for when there are bigger waves.

Photo: Georgia Schofield / Planet Canoe / ICF Worlds

What’s next?

My purpose for the year 2023 is to do as many races as I can, I still don’t have a calendar planned but I know that I will try to qualify for the ISA World Championship. I also have in mind going to the ICF Worlds in Thailand, apart from other races.

Thank you so much and good luck with all your plans!

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About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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