HYDROFLIGHT COMPETITION RESULTS
2016 HYDRO FEST – 2nd Place
2016 SESSION ONE – Draw Round Winner
2015 XDUBAI FLYBOARD WORLD CUP – Champion
2015 NORTH AMERICAN FLYBOARD CHAMPIONSHIP – 3rd Place
2014 XDUBAI FLYBOARD WORLD CUP – 5th Place
Hunter Verlander burst onto the Hydroflight scene at the 2014 XDubai Flyboard World Cup with a top five finish and the following year became the Flyboard World Champion. Now a sponsored rider for X-Jets Hunter recently finished 2nd at Hydro Fest which saw him once again compete and beat the best Jetboard freestylers in the world. Known for his Quad backflip, Hunter continues to be a well respected Hydroflight superstar.
H2RO connected with the newest Texas Flyboard sensation and got to know a little more about his journey so far.
Photo credit LDMK Photography
H2RO MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
H2RO: Hunter, tell us a little bit about yourself, where do you live and what kind of sports other than Flyboarding are you into?
Well I currently live in Friendswood, Texas and will be moving to Austin shortly. Before I was into Flyboarding I played Lacrosse since the fifth grade and also soccer a little bit before that but other than Flyboarding I don’t do anything else.
H2RO: How did you get into Flyboarding and how long have you been flying?
My Aunt Tanya Verlander first took me to Conroe to show me Flyboarding because at the time that was the only thing closest to us that we knew about. Then maybe a couple weeks later she found out that Rodney Nelson was in Galveston, so she started working with him and he gave me a job there a little after, in I think February of 2014.
H2RO: What is it about Flyboarding that has you so stoked and what are some of your goals as an athlete?
What I think makes me like it so much especially when I was newer to the sport was the kinds of tricks and things you could do on the board. It just really made me want to do it and makes me love it. My goals as an athlete are probably to definitely be the best and maybe create some new combos and tricks and just have the best time possible.
H2RO: If you haven’t talked about this yet tell us how you got involved with Team Aquafly?
Well I got involved with Team Aquafly a little bit after I flew for my birthday. I had posted it on Facebook and Damone had commented on it and at the time I had no idea who he was and then my Aunt told me who he was and that he was pretty much my age. After that I started watching him over and over again because I liked his flying and Rodney knew he was my favorite flyboarder, so he sent me for an instructors course and to have me meet Damone. I did that and met with Chris Vance as well, when they saw me fly they saw how much I could already do with just a little time on the board and they were pretty interested. It was a couple months later after summer when I went to work on doubles and Gretchen saw me fly.
H2RO: Pro Flyboarders Jake Orel and Damone Rippy are also on the team talk to me about how they’ve been able to help you and what do you look to them for with regards to training?
Damone and Jake have really helped me out a lot with perfecting moves that either I didn’t have right or I was to scared to do. Mainly it’s just pushing me to try new things, and it’s not always just hard training for example me and Damone played an interesting game of board, with a nasty bet in which the looser had to drink Dijon mustard, soda water and 2 lemons. I really didn’t want to loose so I had to do a couple tricks that I hadn’t done before, which also included a double that I had landed only once prior. Both guys have just helped me out with basically everything to do with training.
H2RO: After watching your competitors fly up close and personal in Dubai what are some of the things you learned and are taking with you as you train and compete in 2015?
Well one thing that I’ve learned is I have to keep moving and fly a lot faster than I usually do. Sometimes I’d find myself just hovering or just doing a trick instead of combos and I need to fly a lot higher and just perfect different moves in general.
H2RO: Besides your Aquafly teammates who do you like to watch fly and why?
The person I really like to watch is Aaron Gould. I really like the way he fly’s and the way he can just do things with the board that I haven’t really ever seen before. I really haven’t seen anyone with his flying style.
H2RO: Let’s switch boards for a second and talk Hoverboard. Have you had a chance to fly it and if yes what do you think? Do you plan on trying to compete on the Hoverboard at the next World Cup?
Well I haven’t really flown on the Hoverboard to much but I have gotten to fly it a little bit. I do like it, it’s really fun but I don’t really do a lot of things on it and I feel like I just have way more to do on the Flyboard. For now I don’t see myself competing on it at the 2015 World Cup.
H2RO: Final question for you Hunter… as a young man with a bright future in this sport I’m interested from your perspective what tricks you envision being possible on the Flyboard? I know you’re gonna be knocking down triples soon… what about a quad? Have you been dreaming up any new big moves?
Well I’m really thinking about triples a lot because that’s all my family talks about is me pulling the triple. In Arkansas I was flying with the Tenesse guys from Defiance Flyboard, and it was just me, them and my family, and they were watching me pull doubles and said how much more height I had left and that a little bit more and a triple would be there. I had almost landed a couple but they weren’t quite there yet. I’m mainly envisioning some combos with a triple, and from what I’ve seen from Damone’s triple and Suksan’s they take up a lot of hose and so I can see quads having a hard time being pulled with the hose we have now but I’m not sure. Flyboarding has not reached its limits with tricks and we are going to be seeing some new things from new competitors in 2015.
Well Hunter we have no doubt you’ll be one of the riders bringing new tricks and combos to the table. Finishing 5th in your first Pro Flyboarding competition was very impressive and we look forward to seeing you fly again real soon. Thanks for taking the time for H2RO Magazine.