As you know, promoting multi-craft paddling, is one of the core goals at Cali Paddler. So when Chase Kosterlitz, who we consider an absolute stud SUP paddler here in California, concluded his first season of paddling OC6, we were really stoked to ask him his thoughts on the new sport. We polled a bunch of SUP paddlers we knew who have always been a little curious about outrigger, and came up with the following QA session.
Lets get the most obvious question out of the way first...was it as fun as SUP?
After 7 years of year round intense SUP racing and training, I'd have to say outrigger was way more fun for me this year. It's a refreshing new way to get out on the water and a great way to mix up my SUP training. I think I've done about 20 SUP training sessions this year and at least three times that in an outrigger.
How did the stroke differ?
The stroke is pretty similar but I feel that there is more 'sitting up' in outrigger while SUP tends to have more of a 'falling down' onto the paddle.
Do I need to have strong legs in OC?
Yes! This was one of the more surprising elements of OC technique for me. Leveraging your power off of the pedals and through your legs seems to be essential to the OC stroke. Now I just need to develop more cushion in my butt for all of that sitting!
Did you find that it helped or hurt your SUP performance?
Helped big time! OC has given me more confidence in my stroke and has 100% made me a better stand up paddler. It's not a secret that the top SUP paddlers in the world come from outrigger paddling. There is a reason that outrigger translates so well to SUP.
What was your favorite thing about OC6?
It would have to be the team aspect. Coming from a competitive basketball background, SUP racing is a very individual sport. I love bringing the best out in myself in others in a team setting.
Is it true your rear end takes a beating?
Haha. Yes! I always made sure I had extra cushion in my seat. However, I flew back from a SUP trip to compete in Catalina and found that we had no cushions! I was on the bare seat for 3+ hours and I think I am still recovering in my rear!
Do you get wet a lot? What about the canoe flipping...how often does that happen and how do you deal with it?
You don't get too wet unless you are in rough ocean conditions. We didn't huli in the oc-6 but I certainly had my share of huli's in the oc-1. It's not a big deal really. It is just another new skill to learn and work on.
How was the competitive transition from individual sport to a team sport?
I love it. I'm used to the team sport atmosphere so this is one of the aspects that I especially enjoy. You are only as good as your weakest link so everyone has to work together to make things happen.
What from your SUP were you able to apply that helped a lot?
My physical conditions was already at a higher level from my SUP training. I was able to apply some of my stroke technique as well. Reading the bumps in the ocean was also an area that I felt confident in from my SUP paddling.
What would you tell someone on the fence about trying outrigger?
Don't wait another day! Get out in an outrigger to help your stand up paddling. Also, be aware that you may not ever want to go back on your SUP after a good OC session!
Any other neat observations and tips you picked up you can share?
However you like to spend your time on the water does not matter. Give outrigger a try, or if your an outrigger paddler, give SUP a try. It's all about getting outside, active and enjoying life!
Thanks so much Chase! Can't wait to see you on the water...standing, sitting, maybe next time on a prone paddleboard! :)
For everyone out there suddenly curious to try outrigger, please check out our Group/Team Directory page. Find one near you and give it a spin. You ust might find a whole new way to enjoy paddling even more!
Chase Kosterlitz - I live in San Diego, California where I surf, hike and train in between traveling around the world looking for adventure. I got into water sports as a professional kiteboarding and stand up paddle instructor, where I learned to kiteboard in 2005 and began stand up paddling in 2008.
After a collegiate basketball career, I became an avid water sports enthusiast–dedicated to living and promoting an active lifestyle on the water. This passion led me to establish my Florida-based business, Water Monkey in order to promote this lifestyle. In five years of competition I have several championship titles and multiple wins across the United States and around the world. In addition to competition I enjoy writing and traveling to find new and challenging places to paddle, surf, kitesurf and explore.
I am also the president and founder of the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA). In January 2014 SUPAA was launched with the mission to help promote excellence in the sport of stand up paddling. In pursuing this mission, SUPAA seeks to establish organizational standards to improve the quality of events and instruction, promote rules to ensure fair competition and endeavor to establish a standard of excellence in all aspects of stand up paddling. For more information visit SUPathletes.com.