Karen Rinaldi

My name is Karen Rinaldi and I’ve enjoyed suckitude at many things before I found surfing, among them skiing, horseback riding, boxing, running, and roller-blading. The rest of the time, I’ve worked in the publishing industry for over two decades. I live in New York and New Jersey with my family. I’m far from perfect, and I’m not working on it. If you’re curious about it, you can find out more about what I do besides sucking at For now, I want to stick with the pleasures of suckability as I am on a mission to celebrate the joys that it can bring. Please read on…

About Suck at Something

We’re living in a time of aspirational psychoses, with everything pushing us towards some perceived weighty relevance. Social media is all about it. And, contributing more bogus incentives to the crapheap of our insecurities, everywhere we turn we are bombarded with messages telling us to “be the best or nothing at all.” Where does that leave us? How many “bests” can there be? It’s time to put aside our need for reward and stroking and instead embrace our lesser talents. In the process, we’ll discover freedom and have a good laugh at ourselves.

I’m here to promote the power of practiced irrelevance. Here’s mine: I love surfing and I spend way more time doing it than my skill level would have you believe. I suck at it. But, no matter. I have organized the last twenty years of my life around something that is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and something in which I will never, ever surpass mediocrity. The ocean reminds me of this each time I paddle out. But what I lack in innate talent, I make up for in persistence–some might call it stubbornness, some might call it folly—but in the spaces between whatever you call it, there’s a lot of good stuff hiding. In my suckitude, I have learned a lot more than just how to take a wave on the head.

My surfboard may be your guitar or saxophone, your pottery clay or knitting needles, your putter or tennis racket, your bag of latex twisting balloons or karaoke machine. The instrument or action is simply the means by which we practice transcending our usefulness. Whatever the tool or method, by allowing ourselves to suck at something, we’ll have more patience with ourselves for getting better at the things that really matter. Like finding joy in unexpected places and busting down the doors of perfectionism, workaholism, cool, and so many other false paeans to true success. I hope to help get you started on your journey to suckitude. Or, if you are already on the way, share your story with us!