Emerald Isle gold – Peter Kosinski interview

Battle of the Thames pics by Dave White – http://davewhite.me

Peter Kosinski is one of Ireland’s finest SUP exports. Being equally versed in riding waves as he is racing Pete is a regular podium finisher at events in his native Ireland and across the water in Blighty. Having recently won the Dublin Battle of the Bay for a third year running SUP Mag UK thought we should hit up Mr K and get the lowdown on what makes him tick.

Peter Kosinski

Firstly where’s your surname from? That’s not a typical Irish sounding one? Do you have heritage from overseas – if so whereabouts?
Poland, My Dad came to Ireland 30 years ago and brought the name with him. I personally don’t speak Polish but I have visited loads and I love to ski there.

How and why did you get into SUP? We know you do a variety of other watersports so what was it about stand up that appealed?
Since I was small I have always been involved in watersports from kayaking to sailing. I got really addicted to windsurfing when I was around 12 but lived 40 mins from the beach. I got a SUP soon after which allowed me to get on the water everyday. I hardly windsurf now only a few times a year due to the versatility of SUP as a watersport. I can go out in 0 knots and 30 knots and still have fun.

You’re based in the Dublin area which is slowly gaining a reputation for being a quality stand up paddling location. What’s so great about the area and why should SUPers head over and check it out?
I am actually based 40 mins inland from Dublin in a university town called Maynooth. Dublin as a destination to paddle is incredibly unique. There are spots to paddle in every weather condition. You can be paddling in the centre of the city on Grand Canal dock and 15 mins later be riding the longest wave of your life on the ferry wave.

Where else in Ireland do you paddle? We know the west coast fires on a good swell – do you head over and charge juice when forecasts line up?
Luckily enough I am fortunate to have a summer house on the west coast of Ireland. It is in a area called Mayo which provides epic conditions when the winds and swells align. I recently started my own SUP School in the area called Summer SUP School. It’s the perfect location to paddle with surf, downwind and flat water conditions all within 5 mins drive.

Who’s your normal SUP crew? Do they push you during training or is it more of a relaxed social affair?
My normal SUP crew is all the guys down at Surfdock in Dublin. They helped me get to where I am today in terms of training and sponsorship. Now we just go for social paddles and talk kit, events and what paddle is Kai and Connor using this week.

Preparing for big races is a hard slog. Talk us through your pre-event routine and how you get into the zone for a big race?
It depends on the race but I normally try stay really relaxed because the worst thing for me is to stress about it.

What class do you tend to prefer for SUP racing? We can see from your results you’ve mixed it up in the past – why is this?
Generally it is 12,6ft race but sometimes I will hop on a 14ft if the conditions are looking fun.

Peter Kosinski

From online videos there’s obviously more to your SUP than just racing. If you had the choice what part of stand up would you be doing the most of and why?
Hmmmm, honestly I could not decide. I enjoy racing, surfing, downwinding, exploring and everything in between.

Tell us a little bit about Ireland’s SUP scene. Is it growing as quick as in other areas of the world or is there reluctance to get involved? Which pockets or the country are seeing the biggest participation numbers?
This year SUP is exploding all over Ireland with lots of people getting into it as their first watersport. Dublin is seeing the biggest growth with lots of quality SUP providers well established.

Where’s your favourite part of Ireland to paddle and why?
Down at Old Head beach in Co. Mayo. It is were my SUP school is located and has the best downwind run in the country.

And as far as the rest of the world goes; which spots do you have any your bucket list? Have you done much travelling to paddling or is that a work in progress?
I have a few spots on the bucket list. (Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji and Western Australia)

Talk to us about the kit your currently rocking. What boards and paddles are you using and why – for surf and race?
I am sponsored by Starboard so all Starbie gear. 12,6 AllStar 25” wide (this board suits 95% of the conditions); 12,6 Astro Racer; 7’7 Pro Medium High Aspect (this is my everyday paddle); Large High Aspect and Small Enduro paddles.

What events have you got your sites on for the rest of the year? Any plans to tackle some overseas comps?
Yeah, I missed some big events this year with having surgery early on in the season and exams commitments. Finland, Rome, Suffolk SUP, Norfolk Broads and UK Club Champs are on the cards.

Who’s your SUP inspiration?
Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Danny Ching, Travis Grant and Dave Kalama.

Any final shout outs?
My family, sponsors, friends and everybody that has helped me out.

Peter Kosinski

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