Determined to make his mark on the world, Daniel Hounslow has set his sights on becoming world champion in the competitive sport of jet skiing.
>Congratulations on becoming the Runabout Freestyle Australian champion. What was the feeling after winning the event?
Thanks. It was an awesome feeling to know that I was now Aussie number one! It was a huge step in my career and my goal to be world number one … I don’t like to be beaten. I am very competitive and I plan on being remembered.
> What model jet ski do you ride, and what’s the feeling like jumping over 10 ft waves?
I ride a Sea-doo RXP with approximately 255bhp that weighs about 350kg. I have now converted the seat to a freestyle motorbike shape so I can perform grab tricks more easily (i.e. Indian air seat grab or a rock solid).
Most people ride the lighter Yamaha wave blasters, which are approximately 149 kg and are much easier to manoeuver for barrel rolls etc, but I am determined to stick with the bigger ski and just go harder. I prefer having the power and strength over the weight. Jumping over 10 foot waves feels great, but jumping off the ski with your arms and legs stretched out while I am 15-20 foot in the air feels better – it’s basically flying for 2-4 seconds – good fun! You can see the pictures on my website at: www.hounslow23.com
> Any scary moments in the water?
I could say I have had a few. I have had one ski knock me out then get smashed up against the rocks and get completely written off. I have had another ski snap a drive shaft and start sinking 300 metres off Town Beach at run out tide, and I trod water for about one hour at dusk. I can assure you every documentary on sharks and Jaws came to mind every second I was there!
> How many hours a week of practice and training do you do?
I try to do as much as I can, but it ranges between 5-12 hours a week. Costs a lot considering a tank is about 60 bucks, and that is gone in one session.
> Have you always been involved in water sports?
I used to bodyboard when I was younger, but nothing else really … I have always been fascinated with waves, so being in an extreme sport that involves the ocean is awesome.
> What do you love most about jet skiing?
I guess the freedom, the creativity. I can go out and within an hour have a new move down pat. It’s kinda cool to watch the mix freestylers on their motorbikes, then go out and emulate them on a jet ski.
> Are you inspired by anyone in the sport?
There are a few. I would have to say Ryley Batt is the most influential; he is not a pro, but he coaches me. He is always yelling at me to try harder and telling me to do crazy stuff. This one time he was like, “Oi, try this sidewinder to heel clicker (that’s where you jump off the ski in mid air, run next to the ski no hands, then grab the ski and click your heels together over the handle bars).
I pulled it off first go, wouldn’t have thought of it without him … massive combo. The others would be Jay Aslamatzis, Peter Mcloughlin and Pierre Maixent, some of the leaders in the sport.
And I know he is not a jet skier but I would have to mention Travis Pastrana – if you don’t know who he is, your life isn’t worth living. Arguably the greatest Moto X freestyler on the planet two words, double backflip!
> What are some of the tricks you can do and are you working on any special ones?
I should really keep quiet about that. The next comp I am in is the Cronulla Rip and Ride on the 26th September, which has a best trick contest.
Although I can tell you my favourites are rock solid, Indian air seat grabs, superman 180s and of course the air 360, which I just landed the other day – not an easy thing to do pulling a 350kg ski around that far, but I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret picture … no hands!
> Thank you Daniel.