Ready to walk on water? Pro standup paddleboarder Candice Appleby showed us how

When world champion and pro stand up paddleboarder Candice Appleby is asked what she loves most about her sport, the answer is clear. “You’re walking on water.”

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It’s also one of the most accessible. Whether you’re a total beginner or pro waterman or waterwoman, SUP will challenge you, make you laugh and fall in love with the ocean. And that’s what we are all about at Big Blue Collective.

Our guides have learned from the best like Hawaiian legend Dave Kalama. Recently, Candice came by our shop to teach us some pro tips and tricks to help us help you to get gliding across the waters in no time. Here’s a few to wet your appetite for the next time you paddle out with us.

Paddle Board Tips and Tricks

Use the right paddle. Make sure it’s not too tall! (We’ll help you with this. We’ve got a variety of Quickblade adjustable top of the line paddles to suit all heights and abilities.)

  • Bend your knees. This will help you keep balanced.
  • Shake your legs. Once your knees are bent, rock side to side to get acquainted with your board.
  • Work that core. With each paddle stroke, hinge forward with a straight back and engage your core muscles to avoid any back strain.
  • Slap the water. Anytime you feel unbalanced turn your paddle so the non-power surface of the blade faces the water and slap it. Basically, tap the surface repeatedly until you feel ready and steady to go again.
  • Stop at your feet. Don’t pull past your feet. If you do, your paddle blade will act as a rudder and steer you off course.
  • Don’t be afraid to fall! All of us do. The important thing is that you get back up and try again. We’ve got you.

Once you’ve got these basics down, we’ll teach you some fancy footwork Candice showed us that will make you feel like a pro, yourself.

Take in the view

In the meantime, we’ll practice our skills together on one of our Paddleboard Eco Tours or Backcountry Paddle Safaris. As you embark on either of these adventures right from our marina you will be astounded by the views above and below the water’s surface. Standing tall atop a paddleboard allows you to easily peer down and see the myriad fish and other marine life teeming around you. It won’t take long before our resident green and hawksbill sea turtles pop their heads out to check you out, as well.

As you paddle your way through the narrow passageways of Mangrove Cay and beyond, you’ll be face to face with sea birds and your feet just inches from harmless lemon sharks, beautiful green turtles and other juvenile fish enjoying the protection of the mangrove’s web-like root system.

Apart from admiring the wildlife, don’t forget to give yourself credit for getting yourself to this point. It takes strength and confidence to paddle the ocean’s waters. Take a breath and soak in that magical sensation of surfing, floating and maybe even walking on water. Just imagine- if you can walk on water, what else can you do?