Surftech team rider returns after surgeries
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 July, 2014 - Candice Appleby competed in a limited number of races last year due to being sidelined by a chronic hand injury. After two successful surgeries, Appleby’s hand is nearly 100% healed and she is back on the SUP race circuit.
Since winning the US SUP Tour event on March 23rd in Huntington Beach, CA., Appleby has finished on top of the podium in her last six major races, including most recently the Race the Lake of the Sky in South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Appleby has another podium opportunity at the 38th Annual San Clemente Ocean Festival where she will test her SUP surf racing, swimming and prone paddling skills against many of the worlds top females.
She talked recently about her repaired hand, the 2014 season and her training.
Q: Do you feel that your hand is completely healed at this point?
After two hand surgeries and more time off the water than I would ever want to experience, it’s a bit frustrating that my hand isn’t 100% or “normal”, and it may never be. I’ve come to grips with that reality and in the bigger picture, I have the whole rest of my body to get me where I want to be. My heart and mind are stronger than ever, and that’s what really counts. At the level that I’m competing, all the athletes have an extremely high level of fitness, but it will be those who have that extra level of mental strength and fortitude combined with natural talent, that will finish the race on top.
Q: How are you feeling about your fitness level this season after taking much of 2013 off?
I’m getting stronger everyday. It feels good to be able to do all the things that I love. There are still a few things that my hand injury doesn’t allow me to do, but I’ve stopped focusing on what I can’t do, and I’m much more appreciative and motivated with the things that I can do.
Q: To what do you attribute your success so far this season?
Candice Hennessey RaceI have changed my mindset about competing. I still want to win just as bad, but I’m focusing on doing my personal best every time and improving my skills with every session. I have chosen this career path because it’s what I love, and I’m making sure to enjoy it more this time around, rather than stress about the possibility of not winning. The real difference this season is that I’m finally experiencing what the joy of winning feels like, rather than just feeling relieved to have won, which is what I was experiencing in seasons past. Winning is the easy part, it’s learning how to lose that’s hard. That’s what I figured out last year and now, it’s all about enjoying the ride, working my hardest, and not entertaining any thoughts of doubt. Having the best equipment combined with my personal growth has been proving to be my winning combination.
The hours of play that I put in on my new 10’6” Sprint board have helped my fitness, agility, water knowledge, surfing skills and balance more than anything. The durability and speed of my 12’6” CA/Bark Raceboard, has enabled me to train without holding back. To be prepared for BOP, you have to put in time in the surf, and you can’t have any doubts. After countless hours of surfing my race board in a variety of conditions (in the dark, next to piers, big waves, small waves, wind, etc.) I’m more confident than ever. It’s really important to mix it up though. Too much of anything, isn’t necessarily a good thing. The new 12′ Commander helps me get in extra miles, core training, endurance, while giving my SUP muscles a rest. In actuality, I’m pretty much obsessed with the ocean and anyway that I can enjoy it. The superior equipment that Joe Bark designs and Surftech provides me with, allows me to feed my water addiction, and ultimately I will find any way possible to justify it’s use, but really I’m just always having fun!
Q: What are you doing to prepare for the big upcoming races?
On any given day, I load up my truck with at least 5 different boards a head to the beach for a full day in the water. Mixing things up keeps me fresh, happy, and driven to improve my skills in a variety of ocean disciplines. I’m not a “one trick pony” and don’t want to be labelled as just a “SUP Racer”. I have many goals within SUP, but many goals outside of SUP in other ocean sports. With that said, I still want to be at the best SUP athlete I can be. I still have to put in the hard miles, so I’m stoked to be able to train with the PaddleFit crew every Wednesday morning in Dana Point. Usually the boys are on 14′s and I’m on a 12’6”, so that helps push me to be faster. Anthony Vela and I have started a fun (free) prone workout group that meets every Thursday night at Baby Beach in Dana Point. An hour of sprints on a prone paddle board does a lot for me. Beyond that, I’m putting in more mileage throughout the week and getting in the strength and cardio workouts I need to stay fit. I’ve been nursing a sprained ankle from stepping off my board in a wave pool at the Abu Dhabi All-Stars event in April, so I haven’t been able to run for my cardio, which has been a bit frustrating. It’s getting much better, so I’ll be able to add running back into my regime in the next week or so, so I’m excited about that.
Q: What’s up next for you race wise?
My next big event is the San Clemente Ocean Festival, which is right in my backyard. This event is a long day of competition, so I’ll make sure to make my days long leading up to the event. The SCOF is aimed to highlight the Lifeguard/Ocean Athlete lifestyle with a variety of events. To train, I take my 10’6” Sprint Prone board, 12’6” SUP Raceboard, a swimcap and goggles down to my local beach break and do a series of “In and Outs” or Ironman workouts. This builds my endurance, technical skills and ultimately is a lot of fun. The more fun I have when I train, the more successful my workouts are.
Race the Lake of the Sky:
1st Women’s 12’6″ SUP – El Dorado 5 Miler (3peat in as many years),
1st Place Women’s Prone Class – Emerald Bay 14 Miler
Payette River Games:
1st Place Over-all Female (Used B-1 in SUP-Cross and Surftech Production CA 12’6” for Downriver Sprint)
Surfing America US Nationals at Churches:
Open Women’s Champion
Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Festival presented by Tommy Bahama:
1st Place Women’s Stock Paddleboard Class – Distance Race
1st Place Women’s SUP Cross Surf Race
1st Place Women’s Paddleboard Cross Surf Race
* note: only female to do both the Prone and Sup Cross!
Hobie/Hennessey’s Waterman’s Challlenge:
1st Place Women’s 5 Mile Distance Race
1st Place Women’s SUP Surf Race
Overall Women’s Champion
Downwind Ryders Cup:
1st Place Women’s Stock Paddleboard Class