Riccardo Rossi has been in the Infinity Speedfreak squad since he was racing as a junior SUP racer in Italy. As he prepares for the ICF World Championships in Thailand he took some time out of his schedule to talk to Chris at TotalSUP
Hi Riccardo, welcome back to TotalSUP, it’s been a while. For new readers who is Riccardo Rossi
Hi Chris and the TotalSUP team! My name is Riccardo Rossi, I am 22 years old and I come from Italy where I live in the beautiful Piombino, a city in front of the sea, you may come here to have a paddle around the Italian coast you’ll enjoy it for sure.
I’ve had a look at Piombino on Google and YouTube and it is beautiful! What a fantastic place to live and to paddle. Being so close to the sea and in that location it is no surprise that you are a paddler, how did you get started with SUP?
I started paddling when I was 12, Paolo Marconi invited me to try this fantastic sport and it was love at first sight!
The first board I used was a Jimmy Lewis race board, a Stiletto 10.6, and after 3 years I had my first 12.6 board also from Jimmy Lewis.
Riccardo with his Infinity Whiplash and Infinity Blackfish race SUPs
Then Infinity boards landed in Italy in 2017 when I was 17 and, thanks to JLID Distribution I was one of the first to have an Infinity board in Italy, racing around with 12.6 whiplash. I had three more 12.6 boards and raced 12’6” at the ISA World Championship in China at Hainan Island in 2018!
Later ISA decided that 14ft boards would be the standard for the World Championship so I changed my board to the new standard and have been on 14’ infinity boards since.
That is a really long time with Infinity, can you tell us why you like the brand so much?
That is easy, the boards are fast, and the secret is you may understand and feel in touch with it since the first time, I think is what makes it special. I worked this year with Dave Boehne (Infinity Boss) on the new board, the ‘EVERREADY’, sharing different concepts with other Infinity riders like Itzel Delgato we have created a board for all …choppy conditions, flat water, sidewind, waves, don’t worry, the board you need is coming. I’m waiting for it anxiously, and we are working to improve the boards year after year.
I think there are a lot of paddlers waiting for the EverReady! As well as working with Infinity on their new race board you’ve been busy racing, how did your season go?
2023 has been pretty good, so far. There are always highs and lows but more highs! I had some great results with the EuroTour including 4th Place in Scharbeutz and 4th Place in Punta Ala which is not far from my hometown. And this year I claimed first place in the Italian Championships which I was super happy with, it’s a great feeling.
There are always some lows in racing, for example, a race that did not go as you want. When that happens I work out where I went wrong and come back home to work on that and be ready for the next one. I can always improve.
I’m now waiting 2024 Euro Tour calendar, I am hoping to put more international races in my programme next year and now that I have graduated I have a little bit more time for racing and I am looking forward to having a really good season. Better than the last one.
Wow, your 2023 season was very good and other racers better watch out if you will have a better 2024! How do you get ready for races?
I am trained by Federico Esposito, he has known me for a long time now and I love working with him. We plan the races to do together and then work out my training programme.
I think that the secret to good training is to always find happiness in what you do, you need to go on the water for fun but ever focused on your goals, training with all your energy and your mind.
That’s great advice, it is always better to enjoy training. You’ve been racing at the top level for a long time now, what changes have you noticed?
Many things have changed in this sport since I started racing, and other things are coming. I hope that ISA will be able to get SUP included in the Olympic program one day, it would have been fantastic if SUP had been in the 2028 Olympic games in L.A. But I hope one day to race at the Olympics, it has been a dream for me since I started to paddle at age 12!
For the moment we need only to paddle, have fun, travel around the world, get to know new people, meet friends again and race every time in different spots.
Thank you, Riccardo, for taking the time to talk to TotalSUP as you prepare for the ICF World Championships in Thailand, we hope you have a great competition out there and hope to see you on the podium.
You can keep track of Riccardo and his Infinity boards on his Instagram and Facebook profiles.
Infinity Surfboards are a family-owned and family-run business based in Dana Point, CA, USA. The Whiplash is their flatwater speed machine and theBlackfish is aimed at technical races. TotalSUP will have the lowdown on the brand-new Everready soon!
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