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Performance Paddling with Anthony Vela and Candice Appleby

Performance Paddling
Performance Paddling
Performance Paddling

As a young girl growing up in San Clemente, California, Candice Appleby quickly ascended as a shining star in the surfing scene. With her wave riding skills already honed to perfection she literally jumped on board when Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) hit the California shores and spent countless hours on the water at San Onofre State Beach, henceforth known as ground zero of SUP surfing, and quickly mastered the craft. “Candice inspired me”, said Anthony Vela, a Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguard and respected waterman. Moving forward to 2014, the pair has teamed up and will be bringing their Performance Paddling program to Los Angeles this coming weekend for a two day SUP race clinic hosted by Pro SUP Shop in Marina del Rey. Highlights of the event will include: video stroke analysis, Indo Board drills, buoy turns, interval training and more. “It is a real treat and a pleasure to have them back for the third year in a row”, said Pro SUP Shop owner Mike Vaughan. “They are both highly trained professionals who are passionate about teaching. You improve a lot when you have the opportunity to go out and paddle with someone who is better than you. There is no substitute for being out there and this weekend is about being out there.” Each day of the clinic will involve a four hour session of both dryland and on the water instruction. The pair will be joined this weekend by special guest Matt Becker, a formidable paddler in his own right, in what is sure to be an exciting and informative two days.

Performance Paddling was launched in 2012 out of Anthony and Candice’s passion for meeting people and sharing their enthusiasm for the sport of SUP. “We both have long backgrounds in sports and love interacting with people and raising the level of their skills to raise the level of competition”, said Candice. They both thrive on witnessing the reactions of the people they work with, people who had a great time and are able to walk away with “a lot of new tools in their toolbox”, she said. Since its inception they have held approximately six clinics a year for paddlers 17 and up throughout the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico. Anthony said, “We saw a lot of people teaching beginners and wanted to target the intermediate to advance paddlers”. True to its name, Performance Paddling takes a holistic approach and teaches not only efficient on the water paddling techniques, but also incorporates tips on proper nutrition and hydration to prepare your body leading up to a race. In addition to their adult race clinics, Performance Paddling hosts a ground breaking number of clinics for young paddlers ages 8-17. Through the Kids Camps they aim to create a safe environment for kids while teaching them proper sportsmanship in order to develop young athletes and ensure a future for the sport.

In May 2013, Performance Paddling hosted its first annual Junior Pro and Youth SUP Fiesta in Huntington Beach, California. The highly successful event marked the first SUP event dedicated solely for kids and received recognition from leaders in the SUP industry such as Quickblade Paddles and Surftech, among others. The event featured seven different age group events and equal gender prize money – a first on the SUP event landscape. The day long festivities drew youth participants from eight different states and international competitors from as far afield as Australia. This year, Performance Paddling will return to Huntington Beach and host its second annual Junior Pro and Youth SUP Fiesta on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

As Performance Paddling enters its third year, Anthony is not necessarily inspired by the young, fit 20 something guys or girls competing in races, but rather the 40 or 50 year olds out there on the water trying to lead a healthy life. “At the clinics we get a chance to see how the sport is growing and the types of people getting involved”, he said. Performance Paddling plans to continue to expand its offerings in the years to come with more weekend clinics, such as the two day event this weekend in Los Angeles. Both athletes know they cannot continue competing forever and as their race schedules open up they would like to begin offering luxury, destination type all inclusive clinics taking clients to exotic locales around the globe. Anthony and Candice have been involved in the sport of SUP from the beginning and their accomplishments on the water have inspired a generation. Working together through Performance Paddling they are poised to shape the sport’s future.

For more information about the programs offered by Performance Paddling see