Daniel Kereopa is a special person. You’ll hear it straight away. His messaging is subtle, captivating and deep. He’s disarming with his humour and self-depreciation, but behind it is real authenticity and humility. And he’s got an incredible story to tell.
Daniel was one of New Zealand’s best surfers across the late 90s and early 2000s and travelled the world competing against the best. But in 2008 his world came crashing down. Across two years he lost all his sponsors, his marriage fell apart, he lost connection with his kids and came about as close to death as possible after a freak accident.
In the midst of a deep depression, and a burnt heart, Daniel fell out of love with surfing, but used the structure and discipline of karate to help piece his life back together. After becoming a black belt, he returned to the water in 2015 to be crowned The Ultimate Waterman – beating nine of the world’s best water-athletes across five different ocean disciplines.
Now Daniel’s life is all about helping. Teaching kids to surf, to love, and be safe, in the ocean and become better people – through his DK surf school. But he’s also under-utilised. He’s keen to do more public speaking, mentoring and ‘helping’.
Show notes | Episode 96 | Daniel Kereopa
2:04 No Wikipedia page, memories of 90s and 00s DK
5:10 The ability to read people
8:39 From farm to ocean: Building a picture of DK the surfer
18:31 Becoming a professional surfer
29:03 Losing it all
36:21 Coming back from the dead and leading with aroha
50:42 The Ultimate Waterman win
1:01:49 DK Surf School: Teaching people how to connect with the water
1:06:31 DK on asking for help, helping others, parenthood, and Raglan
1:13:48 What does the future hold?
1:17:09 Living in the real world
1:20:52 Gratitude and last words from Steven, Seamus and DK