Joshua Riccio

I grew up on the gulf coast of Florida, so as a kid I was always frothing at the chance to surf when the gulf coast rarely produced rideable waves. Being a surfer in the gulf coast of Florida it was very difficult because there sometimes are months between swells so I eventually found my way out to Maui at 21 to live in a place more conducive for my lifestyle. Shortly after I moved to Maui I was introduced to paddling when a friend convinced me to join Napili Canoe Club. It took a while for me to really enjoy paddling but after my first channel crossing from Maui to Molokai on a 6 man outrigger canoe I was hooked.

To me open ocean paddling, especially downwinding is what gets me the most stoked on paddling. Downwinding and crossing channels is and always will be my biggest passion in the ocean. The first Sup I ever bought was a 14′ downwinder in Fall 2012. I started entering local races on Maui in early 2013 and decided to attempt my first solo channel crossing in July 2013 at the Maui 2 Molokai race. I ended up getting 3rd in the 14′ stock class which gave me the confidence I needed to go to California that fall and compete at some really competitive Sup events like the HB grand slam (waterman league) and the Battle of the Paddle to see how I match up against the worlds best SUP paddlers.

Although I didn’t crush it like I wanted to in the events, I had some moments of greatness, I knew there was a lot of room for improvement in myself and I have always been a really competitive person so it was during this trip that I really committed myself to becoming a professional paddler. Since this trip in 2013 I have been in the constant pursuit of bettering myself as a paddler, I have competed in over 75 sup races in the last 3 years, when I’m not training or competing I’m usually teaching SUP lessons on Maui or playing in the ocean on some kind of board. There are so many aspects of SUP that I love, I truly feel like paddling is something I will always be enjoying for the rest of my life.

About the author

Standup Journal is the world's first and highest quality sup publication that is passionately following and writing about this special lifestyle, the culture, and the adventure and lifelong friendships we share!

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