Where you were born and where you live now?
I was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, hometown of Frank Sinatra but he never paddled or made the Mullet. I now live in Briarcliff Manor, New York which is in Westchester County just north of NYC.
What is your occupation?
I am a Family Physician, which means that I see a myriad of people but make no money.
Where do you SUP the most?
I usually SUP on the Hudson River out of Croton Point Park. Theres a small beach that I can launch from and it’s away from most other people so it feels like I’m on a deserted stretch of beach in the middle of the mayhem. It’s also sand, not a lot of rocks, which is rare in this area. I also paddle the back bays of Margate, Ventnor, and Atlantic City, NJ
Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?
As far as a favorite paddleboard shop I would have to go with my first ( you never forget your first one) Stacey’s Surf and Paddle in Margate, NJ. That’s where I got my first instruction and first board but Carolina Paddleboard Company is a very close second and I can’t wait to go out to South Shore Paddleboards and check that place out – Karen Vaccaro Marvin has posted such beautiful pictures of her store it just may entice some friends to take up the sport.
What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?
I use my BARK 14 foot Eliminator for everything – it’s a mammoth of a board with great stability. (Sorry, I cant attest to its speed because I’m so slow- I know its not the board!)
Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?
I originally bought a Starboard (ASAP) from Stacey my first year and this is a great beginner board. It’s 34″ wide, 12’6″ length and I can actually move around on it a bit. I take that out with people I’m trying to convert to this sport in the hopes of getting more paddle buddies in the area.
What paddle do you use?
I have a QuickBlade Trifecta 96 and a Naish Race LE 8.0 but the Quickblade is much better. The Naish has a lot of give in it and with my lack of skills I cant “give” anything away.
Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?
I started to enter races and the starboard ASAP was just not one for those challenges I need all the help I can get in that category so I needed something that I could look like I belonged( it certainly isnt my speed)
If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?
This is a loaded question since I have just seen all those videos of that race in Paris down the Seine and that looks like a bucket list item. I definitely would love to paddle somewhere in Australia and since I could never get away for long enough to go there I will say Australia because it would have to be when I retire so that hopefully will keep me paddling for a few more years.
Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?
John M. Ahern gave me two pieces of advice: join the 100/100 Paddle Challenge and it’s a water sport so expect to get wet. ( Great advice for someone who falls in as much as I do.)
Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?
I swear I saw a baby dolphin swimming alongside of me for about 10 seconds in the Hudson River. It swam off too quickly for me to get my phone and take its picture but it sure resembled one and kept surfacing for air. Since I haven’t had any encounters with mermaids this will have to do.
Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)
Margo Pellegrino won a case of Skrach hydration mix at Greenwood Lake and gave me a packet since she now had more than she would need for the rest of her life (and that included her paddle from NYC to New Orleans) and it tasted ok so its been my go to mix. I love the Cliff Blocks since I have a terrible sweet tooth and they certainly give me that sweet taste.
Goals for this next year?
I would like to finish Chattajack with a crowd of spectators still present at the finish line. I would also like to just get into the pack for a while during some races
Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)
I’m happy with anything especially if its sweet. I would probably resemble a paddler if I could manage my diet better.
Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.
Everything seems to revolve around paddling ( just ask anyone I speak to) and as an example I am an avid Bruce Springsteen fan and just recently finished reading his autobiography. Of course my take away is he’s one of us just refer to page 486 where he talks about his paddling to help him through his depression.) I would love for him to paddle the 3rd annual Pirate Paddle in his back yard of Point Pleasant, NJ so if anyone has a contact person please invite him.
What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?
I would love to have a way to return the rudeness of boaters and Jet Skiers who don’t respect the water and who is enjoying it at the same time. Not to get on the soap box but I would like to see if there is a way that people couldn’t get on their boards if they didn’t have a PFD and leash properly outfitted.
What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?
Getting better – it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks
What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?
Just being at these races and events! Everyone is always so nice and inviting from the top pros in the world to all us Joe/Jane Paddlers. We have such a fantastic community of people! It is just so much fun to be involved. But one of my proudest moments was finishing Chattajack in 2015 for the first time. It was so much fun being out on the river and when I finished in plenty of time from the cut off it was an especially good feeling soon thwarted by James Lindemann posting how he beat me with a broken rib.
Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.
Truly everyone I’ve come in contact with through SUP has been fantastic. From meeting people in line for registration to seeing a fellow SUPer with a board on his car and finding out we were going to the same place to paddle. It has truly been a heartwarming experience.
What was your best SUP travel tip?
Don’t take your paddle on an airplane without major precautions and a back up plan.