All surfers who reach the upper levels of competitive achievement are bred for years to become champions. When they take the jersey off forever, the fire that burns doesn’t die easily.
Todd Kline, formerly a surfer on the ASP Qualification Series (QS), has turned a post-competitive career into one of significance in the surfing world — first as a an industry executive and now as part of the ASP Broadcast team. But when the mic is off, Kline dons his cape and cowl… or rather, his fishing rod and hat as one of the country’s premiere competitive fishermen.
Recently honored as Rayovac Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Series Co-angler of the Year, Kline opened up about his history both in the water and on it:
ASP: What’s your background in fishing and surfing?
Todd Kline: I was born and raised in South Florida, I began fishing at the age of 5 and began surfing at the age of 14. My father got me started fishing, and my older brother, Rory, got me into surfing.
ASP: Let’s start with surfing.
TK: After learning to surf on a boogie board, I bought my first surf board a couple of months later for $75. I was at the beach with my brother and his friends when I found a gold ring with a diamond in the sand. It was a small diamond but nonetheless, I sold the ring for $75 and that’s how I bought my first board.
I turned pro at 18 years old and began surfing local pro events and ASP East. After some success competing at that level, I then moved to California at 21 and went after professional surfing 100 percent. I retired from competition surfing rather early — at the age of 25 — as my sponsor then (Quiksilver) offered me a marketing position.