At 6’3”, Chase Kosterlitz towers over most competitors in the Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) arena. His height led him to a memorable college basketball career and the discipline ingrained from years of competition has propelled him to the top of the field among professional SUP athletes. “I love the fact that paddling gets me out on the water surfing, training, exploring and competing. The sport is so dynamic in the ways in which you can enjoy it,” said Kosterlitz during a break from competition after his fifth place finish in the Elite Distance Race at the 2014 Battle of the Paddle – Salt Creek in Dana Point, California.
The Florida native currently finds himself at home in San Diego, where he has accumulated a string of victories this past season in events along the West Coast at the Battle of the Bay (San Francisco), Round the Rock (Seattle) and Salmon Classic (Washougal, Washington), in addition to finishing fourth in the prestigious Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. “I still remember my first race five years ago,” he said. “I was on an 11’ surf SUP and my main goal was to not lose to the top female paddler who was racing there. I managed to beat her, but had to earn it!”
Although Southern California is where he resides for now, Chase Kosterlitz still yearns to paddle back home at Ft. Desoto State Park in St. Pete Beach, Florida where the fields of mangroves and grass flats go on for miles.
Tips from Chase Kosterlitz
The accomplished athlete offers the following tips for paddlers:
Less is more. If you are training for a race, listen to your body and rest when you need to.
Making a new board purchase
Try before you buy. If you are purchasing a board, try to demo the board or one similar before you buy it.
Practice good surf etiquette. If you are a beginner SUP surfer, don’t surf around prone surfers! Find a wave away from the crowds and learn the skills and etiquette of surfing before you surf with others.
Chase Kosterlitz is the president and founder of the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA).