Interview with Hello Kitty (Patrick Broemmel)
Patrick is a wealth of knowledge in this sport. He designs and builds boards, races super hard, and adds to the glue of the East coast paddle community. If you only make one new friend during Chattajack this year look for Patrick.
What was life like for you 10 years ago?
Honestly, I was doing the domestic American dream thing, just kind of going through the motions thinking time was this infinite resource. Many lessons there but I’m glad to be beyond it.
Tell us about your day job
For the last 6 months I’ve been building race boards full time. It’s been really cool be able to shift careers and learn a new skill set. Even if it ends tomorrow, I was able to spend the better part of a year being fully present and engaged in my days. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been a pretty amazing experience.
When was your first SUP race and what was it like?
A 19 miler in Boston in 2010. There were six portages totaling about a mile and a half of running. There were only 5 of us. I was hooked.
It is race day – what do you do to get ready?
Get hydration and gear in order and make at least five trips to the port-a-potty. I must be part cormorant or something. Purge before flight.
Do you eat anything particular before a race?
Depends on the length but usually I try to get something food down a few hours before. Complex carb stuff that will trickle off energy.
What are 3 things important to you in order to go into a race with confidence?
Mindset. Just try to not take it real seriously. Have fun. Less stress equals less tension and you can go harder when you’re having fun.
What’s your most embarrassing race moment?
BOP 2011. Hands down. I went totally unprepared. Borrowed an unlimited for the distance race and got schooled hard. 15 strokes in fell. I stopped counting at 50. The board was not designed for the task and i got destroyed. 13 years old girls were passing me on surf shapes.
At what moment did you know you were totally hooked on SUP?
I don’t think it ever really happened. I love it but I do lots of other things too.
What’s the first thing you do after you cross the finish line?
Usually congratulate my fellow racers. Last year at Chattajack I gave Jeremy, Steve, and Zack high fives then paddled over to the bank and cried for a few minutes.
What are 2 things you’d like to improve upon this season?
Be more consistent power wise for the length of the race and break five hours.
If you could have custom graphics done on your board without any limits what would you like?!
I love graffiti and street art and would love to have a board painted by Barry McGee aka Twist. His stuff is incredible. But for now hello kitty is my thing.
Where’s your favorite place to paddle?
What’s the one piece of paddle gear you can’t live without?
Mesh back cap.
What do you do when you’re not paddling or working?
Build things or think about how to build things. Usually water related fun things like boards , foils and paddles.
If you could be a rock star who would you be?
If you could be any animal which one would you choose to be?