Meet Jane Paddler: Joanie Sapienza, Manasquan , NJ

Where you were born and where you live now?

Trenton, NJ and live in Manasquan , NJ

What is your occupation?

I am a critical care nurse practitioner on the night shift in a busy intensive care unit! Being in the water after a crazy night is so therapeutic!!!

Where do you SUP the most?

The ocean! I primarily Sup surf but also flat water paddle in the lagoons where I live! I also go out all winter and it gets cold here!


Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

I am currently on a women’s surf team at a local surf shop called NJ Surf Show here in Manasquan and there is a Sup shop called Endless Sup in Belmar, NJ close to me which has everything for Sup!

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

My fave boards are my 7’2 Starboard Hypernut, my 7’10 Starboard Airborne and when the waves are bigger I like to ride my Starboard 7’4 Pro ! That board is a tricky one!! My race board is a 12 foot Starboard! I am also a surfer and love to long board!!

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

My garage is like a surf shop! Besides my sups I have quite a quiver of surfboards! I love to surf!

What paddle do you use?

Starboard Enduro and a Shaka USA paddle.

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

Yes! When I first started sup surfing I had a 10’6 and it was too big for me so I began to go shorter for surfing waves and progressed down to my newest board which is the 7’2 Hypernut! It is my baby!! I love it so much! It is fast and responds well in the surf!


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

Tavarua, Fiji!! It’s on my bucket list!

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

Stay safe in the line up and always wear a leash!

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

Saw a shark swim past me one morning! He was big and heading south so my friend and I quietly headed north!

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

Sambazon acai bowls! I live on them and also protein shakes for recovery and a lot of water! I get dehydrated easily!

Goals for this next year?

I would love to win first place in SUP at the Eastern Surf Association Easterns which is coming up next week! Also want to enter more larger scale contests here on the East Coast and go back to the Surfing America Nationals in California next year!

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

Acai smoothie or grinds at my favorite organic eatery! Or just sometimes in the mood for a Jersey burger which is pork roll, egg and cheese on a roll!

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

Surf! I have been surfing for 30 years! Love to longboard! Another thing is yoga!

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

It’s a tough one! A totally scratch proof board!

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

The wind! Also when the surf is choppy! One time in a contest we did our heat in north east storm surf and my board chased me out of the water! It was crazy! Had many new bruises!

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

I won Iron Woman for the whole East Coast in 2015 at the ESA Easterns in Nags Head, NC for doing well in 3 disciplines-sup surfing , long board and short board surfing! I occasionally race and I won the first race I was ever in last year -The Pirate Paddle here in NJ! I was so stoked!

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

My girlfriends all surf and sup as well! We have the best times out on the water ! Some of us are taking a trip to Barbados to sup surf this winter! Can’t wait!’


What was your best SUP travel trip?

Rincon , Puerto Rico! My boyfriend and I go every winter and love it! He loves to paddle too!!!



Lisa is managing editor of and is an avid paddler of all the things - including sup, SurfSki, outrigger canoe and prone, though she especially enjoys paddle surfing and downwinding. She is a former journalist with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and in government communications. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. When not paddling, she is an outdoor instructor.



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