By Candice Appleby, Ocean Minded Brand Ambassador
What a whirlwind this past year has been. Many know me for being dubbed the most successful female stand up paddle (SUP) racer, but there are many other aspects of my involvement with the sport that have attributed to me being crowned as Female Paddler of the Year at the 2012 SUP Awards by SUP Magazine.
Since winning my fourth Battle of the Paddle last year, I have been to Puerto Rico, Hawaii (several times), Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Nevada, Utah, Mexico (3 times), Australia and Taiwan. I have won races in flat water, downwind, rivers, waves, and was crowned the first ever US Champion of SUP Surfing by Surfing America.
At the beginning of the year, Anthony Vela and I launched a business, Performance Paddling. In between events and trips we have found time to teach intermediate to advanced SUP Racing Clinics, and have conducted free Kids Camps for over 100 youth from around the world. Performance Paddling has also donated over $3000 in cash to various charities. We also launched the Performance Paddling Competition Team, which is a group of the top 6-16 year old paddlers from around the country that we coach and mentor.
It is an honor to be chosen as Female Paddler of the Year and I am very grateful to be awarded for my hard work. There are so many deserving women, so to be chosen among such a reputable crew means a lot. It is my goal to live up to this new title and continue to be the role model that our sport needs. Ultimately, I want to be remembered for what I have done help the sport of SUP and not just for the things I’ve won.
Although Sup is an individual endeavor, I couldn’t accomplish all the things I have without the help of my amazing sponsors: Ocean Minded, Surftech, Bark Paddleboards, Quickblade Paddles, Maui Jim, FCS, Kona Red, Kona Brewing Company, Sweet Waterwear and Pualani Hawaii. Special thanks to my family and friends for all of their support and to my fans who voted for me!