425pro Ambassador Erika Lane: How pure SUP love turned her into a TOP Instagram Influencer

10th September 2019

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Florida-based Erika Lane, a 425pro Team Ambassador, a SUP athlete, and now an Instagram sensation known as SupLuv is the epitome of a real-life mermaid spreading Aloha vibes and love for the sport and the Ocean. Her videos of paddleboarding in the company of dolphins, manatees, stingrays and sea turtles have a huge Instagram following with an epic fan engagement and posts reaching up to 100k views! Erika is without a doubt one of the most influential SUP girls and sport ambassadors in the SUP industry…and a truly modest one. TotalSUP caught up with Erika to find out more about her inspiring lifestyle and her powerful social media presence.

Hi Erika! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your history with stand up paddleboarding?

Hi! I started paddling in 2012. My whole life I was a horsewoman and a polo player until I broke my neck in a horse accident where my horse flipped head over heels. After recovering, I decided to search for a new and possibly safer sport. I thankfully found a new passion in paddling. I started renting boards. At some point when I was renting 6 days a week, I decided it was time to buy my own board. And a whole new world opened up for me. The amazing gift for me was how my fear of the ocean and sharks and stingrays seemed to melt away the more I was out there. Now it is complete love and excitement for everything I see.

You have absolutely mastered the visual storytelling on Instagram. How did you get started?

I started on Instagram after a SUP retreat in Belize in 2016. I wanted to share all the beautiful photos with my friends and family, so I finally decided to start an Instagram account. I kept it private at first. I really didn’t like social media. Now I love Instagram.

 

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… and how did you become such a rock star? How do you connect with your audience?

I have not reached rock star status, in the world of social media I am no Clark Little or Fathomless Life. I am very thankful to have followers that enjoy what I’m doing. Creating, sharing, interacting with and supporting and cheering on friends has become a true passion for me. I love when people get something positive from my posts and even more when they take the time to share that with me. When people take the time to comment or message me, I always reply and comment back with everyone. It’s so important to me. When I write to someone and they don’t reply, it makes me feel bad…I would not want to make anyone feel bad like that. I genuinely love it and I hope that comes across.

Would you call yourself an influencer in relation to SUP? Do you feel you are playing an important role within 425pro’s brand strategy?

I am so thankful for the opportunities, so I hope I am helping my sponsors with their marketing. I only work with companies I believe in like 425pro, Bluesmiths, AXIS foils and Shred Ready Helmets. They all make high quality gear that I use and love. This way it is easy to share how wonderful the equipment and gear are. As far as influencing, I want everyone to be as happy as I am with their gear. My goal is to showcase the gear and encourage everyone that they can do what I’m doing too, it just takes dedication. I wish to inspire more than influence.

 

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You have 10s of videos with dolphins and manatees… We’re so jealous! What are the best locations in your area to spot them?

Oh the sea life…I think my favourite aspect of SUP is all of the beautiful animals you can spot and paddle with. SUP is so amazing because we are standing tall so we can see everything around us plus we don’t have any loud motors to disturb them. I think I encounter a lot of sea life because I’m out on the water a lot and I’m becoming more and more observant in spotting animals and their behaviour in my presence. I am always respectful of their space and unless they approach me, I don’t get too close. Every encounter brings me so much peace and happiness. I hope everyone can experience this wonder.

What are your all-time favourite posts from your Instagram collection and why?

My favourite posts are:

The first day I got my first 425pro board, I was so excited! The post really celebrated that and I had so many cheers of support from my friends!

 

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Dolphin swims along…Such an amazing encounter and a wonderful response from everyone.

 

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Fun downwinder surprise. I love the happiness of this video. It celebrates the ocean.

 

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Incredible dolphins playing with my paddle…This encounter was the one I will never forget, made my heart melt.

 

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Eagle rays. This was such an amazing and rare encounter.

 

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Sea turtle…Another beautiful surprise and wonderful experience.

 

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The sweetest manatee ever…This has such a special intimate feeling to it. I truly love manatees.

 

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Thank you for sharing your story Erika!

To follow Erika’s paddle adventures, visit www.instagram.com/supluv and her YouTube channel.

About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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