Nothing is better than when your passions merge together! I love water. I love RockTape. And I love Stand up paddleboarding!  I had the opportunity to work with Mark Athanacio, an elite stand up paddle board racer, to see how RockTape would make him go stronger, longer. This is what I learned.

Mark Athanacio has been an elite paddle board racer for seven years. He surfs, kite boards, fly fishes and more. He is a true waterman. He built a “Tiny Home” on the Imperial River in Bonita Springs Florida, which was featured on HGTV, so he could have access to H2O at all times. We met a short 6 minute paddle from his house. Mark first started stand up paddling (SUP or SUPing) when he moved from Encinitas California to Naples. He needed a way to be on the water when it was flat and calm. At that time SUP was not mainstream and he had to use a bigger, more buoyant tandem surfboard to stand and a canoe oar as a paddle. He is now 50 years old, in phenomenal shape and rides for Hovie SUP, which is one of the largest paddle board manufacturers in the world! 

It was easy to talk shop with Mark because like myself, movement MOVES us. We talked about demands of training and racing as an elite SUP athlete and how RockTape could assist him. Some of the effects of RockTape are to decrease discomfort* and improve circulation, posture and body awareness (proprioception/motor control).  

Here’s what we came up with.SUPback

RockTape Decreases Pain:

SUPing creates stress on the inside of the arm, similar to what is commonly known as golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis. The downward stroke and rotation of the paddle required for a clean turbulent free exit, puts a high stress on the inner elbow. Now times that by 700 strokes per mile. The tape stimulates mechanical receptors throughout the skin and underlying tissues that when stimulated override the discomfort*.

See stress on elbow on the extended arm as it drives paddle downward.

RockTape Improves Circulation:

Properly applied, RockTape creates a lifting or decompressive effect on the skin and underlying layers. The decompression creates space for inflammation, blood and lymphatics to move away from the taped area. Tape can be used during activity to assist the body to flush cellular waste and improve circulation as well as after activity as a recovery tool to minimize soreness.SUPback2

See the convulsions and lifting of the tape on Mark’s back.

RockTape Supports Posture:

As we fatigue, posture tends to degrade and we become less efficient movers, losing strength and potentially setting ourselves up for injury. In order to maintain better posture, we used a taping method for Mark’s knee and shoulder. People start to collapse their knees inward (internally rotate) as the feet, hips and back fatigue. When this occurs, posture can break down, performance decreases and they may be more prone to injury. To reduce internal rotation of Mark’s leg, we used the tape’s mechanical properties in a spiral pattern. Postural taping also provided a kinesthetic que (slight pull) when the wearer fell into a bad postural position, thus giving them some feedback and body awareness. This application will protect the knee from undue stress and allow for power transfer into the hips and torso for the paddle stroke. Postural control principles were used for the shoulder as well.

RUNNER UNDER WATERMore About Mark Athanacio can be found at and find him on Facebook.

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Danny Porcelli is a Master Instructor for RockTape and owner of XOC Chiropractic in Naples Florida. He believes we should incorporate quality natural movement in our daily lives and that movement is medicine. Learn more about him by reading his bio on, or check out his website:, follow him on Facebook: XOC Chiropractic, or Instagram:xoc_chiropractic.