January 30, 2013
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Coming To A SUP Race Near You Soon: Anthony Vela & Candice Appleby’s Army Of Elite Juniors

Performance Paddling Competition TeamCandice Appleby and Anthony Vela are two of the most recognisable faces in the world of Stand Up Paddling. Sure, it helps when you’ve won the Battle of the Paddle more than anyone else (Candice has taken out the Elite Race 4x), but it’s not just the racing that makes these two so well loved.

More and more the two are putting back into the sport, especially through their coaching. Just over twelve months ago the pair stepped up that commitment when they created Performance Paddling. The initial focus was on hosting SUP coaching clinics at the big races they travel to, though right from the start Candice & AV also included something called the “Performance Paddling Competition Team“, which is basically an elite junior squad of Stand Up Paddlers.

The Team started with 10 youngsters in January 2012 and added another 8 during the year. Applications for the 2013 season have just gone out with a maximum 24 future SUP stars set to make the cut. Candice tells us that the Competition Team is now taking up most of their focus within Performance Paddling and that;

“Our goal with this team initially was to create a safe, fun environment for these young paddlers to improve their skills, and to also feel a sense of team camaraderie in what is mostly an individual sport.

We have also created a great network for the parents. Now these kids and their parents have friends and teammates that they can communicate with and rely on around the country.”

Performance Paddling Competition Team by Candice Appleby Anthony VelaDuring the last twelve months, members of the Team have had plenty of coaching and guidance from both Candice and AV, and a lot of them have been a part of big races such as the Battle of the Paddle. From the pics below, it looks they had a lotta fun as well.

Members of the Performance Paddling Competition Team range in age from as young as six years right up to 16. Some of the names you’re probably very familiar with, while others you’ll no doubt be seeing a lot more of in the future. In addition to looking after their elite youngsters, Candice & Anthony have also held a bunch of free kids’ SUP clinics through Performance Paddling, helping out over 100 disadvantaged kids from California to Carolina and Miami to Mexico.

Candice and AV’s goal is to not only train the next generation of elite Stand Up Paddle racers, but to also give these kids some good life skills, which includes:

Performance Paddling Competition Team by Candice Appleby Anthony Vela– Team Work
– Leadership
– Sportsmanship
– Professionalism
– Event Preparation
– Technical Skills in Racing and Surfing
– Realistic Goal Setting
– Doing well at school
– Community Service
– Priorities
– Health/Fitness

So next time some polite, well-spoken, over-achieving 12 year old flies past you during a SUP race, you can blame Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela…

We’ll find out who made the cut for the 2013 Team in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime you can follow Performance Paddling on Facebook, check out the official site or take a look at some happy snaps below.


Candice Appleby & Anthony Vela’s Performance Paddling Competition Team:

Original 2012 Team Lineup…
Team Captain: Tucker Ingalls, 16, Santa Barbara, CA
Bailey Rosen,16, St.Pete, Florida
Jayson Campbell,16, San Clemente, CA
Jason Plunkett, 15, San Clemente, CA
Nick Scheel, 14, San Clemente, CA
Alleanna Clark, 13,  San Clemente, CA
Josiah Brackett, 12, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Seachelle Rivera, 10, Honolulu, HI
Joshua Brackett, 10, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Trent Carter North, 10, Lake Tahoe, CA

New Team Members added during 2012…
Dalbert Rivera, 16, Honolulu, HI
Vanina Walsh, 15, Honolulu, HI
Riggs Napoleon, 15, Pearl City, HI
Travis Baptiste, 15, Maui, HI
Josie Mawae, 12, Molokai, HI
Alex Mawae, 10, Molokai, HI
Sasha Ka’uhane, 10, Ewa, HI
Jacob Brackett, 6, South Lake Tahoe, CA

2013 Team Lineup…
Announced in a couple of weeks.