Joe Paddler Craig Stepnowski

Where you were born and where you live now?

Born Oceanside, NY. Now Residing in Massapequa Park, NY

What is your occupation?Joe Paddler Craig Stepnowski

I am an FDNY firefighter and owner an SUP outfitter company called Perfect Cadence Paddle Fitness

Where do you SUP the most?

I mostly paddle out of Alhambra Beach in Massapequa, NY or in the ocean in Long Beach, NY

Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

South Shore Paddleboards in Babylon, NY

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

I use a 9’2” Riviera Turbo Nugg for basic flatwater paddling. I race on a 12’6” Riviera RP and paddlesurf on an 8’0” Riviera Nugget.

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?

Definitely buying OC1 this spring!!!!

What paddle do you use?

I use an R8 Bump paddle by Riviera for racing and an R8 Vantage paddle by Riviera for surfing

Joe Paddler Craig Stepnowski

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?

I have used Riviera Paddleboards for my business and personal use since I began paddling.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?

I would love to paddle the Napali coastline of Kauai and Lake Tahoe.

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve received?

Train in choppy conditions and because its almost never flat on race day

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

One day I saw something floating in the water and thought it was a couple of plastic bags so I paddled over to grab them but when I got close I realized it was a group of Cownose Rays swimming in formation. They looked like the Blue Angels at an air show with their wings tip to tip. So cool.

Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)

Would have to be clif bars. Its all I eat out on the water

Goals for this next year?

After an injury plagued season this year my main goal is to be 100% healthy. I also want to push myself into bigger and bigger surf on my SUP

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)

Ralphs Italian Ices. Everytime I take my kids paddling they make me stop there on the way home.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

Surfing and hockey

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

Not sure if someone made one yet but, I would like to see a rash guard with a built in inflatable PFD in the back. Might also be cool to do some downwiders with some type of wingsuit

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

One of the biggest challenges in SUP is getting people to wear PFD’s.

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

My proudest moment in SUP has to be finishing the SEAPaddleNYC race a few years ago. Being a part of this great event and raising money for autism charities was a truly rewarding experience. Crossing the finish line was priceless.

Joe Paddler Craig Stepnowski

Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through SUP

Too many to list. The paddling community here on Long Island is full of the most genuine and good hearted people you will ever meet.

Joe Paddler Craig Stepnowski

What’s your best SUP travel tip?

Make sure you take your CO2 cartridge out of your belt pack before you go to the airport.

Joe Paddler Craig Stepnowski