A native of Barnstable, Vecchione split his childhood living here and in Hawaii—his mom’s home. He started surfing when he was 14: Friends and family drove him to the beach and he surfed on the fickle Outer Cape coast, chasing waves sculpted by the tides and the shifting sandbars underneath. Vecchione’s aptitude for board sports spawned a three-year career as a pro snowboarder that lasted until he was 21. But when he suffered a back injury on the mountains, he bid farewell to the cold and arrived in the surf mecca of Hawaii. He honed his surf skills and brought them back east, surfing rigorously and earning a top-ten ranking from the Eastern Surfing Association while in his early 20s. In 1993, he opened the Boarding House surf shop in Hyannis. Six years later, he sold the business and returned to Kauai.
Bobby Allen, an old-school Kauai surfboard shaper better known as Basa, taught Vecchione the basics of sanding and glassing boards. He was recruited to work under Max Medeiros at Hawaiian Blades Surfboards. Vecchione had a talent for working with his hands, but he never entertained the prospect of shaping his own board from start to finish. One day, Chris Champion, a friend and accomplished shaper, paid a visit to Vecchione and convinced him to try.