Maui, Hawaii: Suzie Trains Maui Studio
November 8, 2012 ( photos below of Kody & Casper training )
You think you can keep up with these two on and off the water?! Good luck! Kody is wearing out the podium and Casper too. From big wave charging to long distance to sprint racing, the training today was TABATA! I chose these exercises to help express big, explosive power at the start, core and legs for waves and high speed upper body stuff. We had two Go Pros going!
I get totally fired up training my two Naish SUP team mates , Kody Kerbox and Casper Steinfath. After seeing them both perform at this year’s Battle of the Paddle with my own eyes and following their impressive stats, as a trainer and SUP paddler myself, I’m more impressed. Get used to seeing their names worldwide.
I had a couple of days on a photo shoot this past weekend with them as we chased a winter swell here on Maui and besides putting up with their usual ( Kody mostly ), comedic antics and talk of zombies and eating chili and rice at the Hana Store, I’m stoked to have had the chance to test them side by side and see what they had off the water with me! I’ve been training Kody a bit and we’ve had some other big wave guests, but I knew this would be extra fun.
I’ve seen Kody over the years develop and push himself and he’s got the Kerbox gene for sure, but observing Casper’s quick and sharp eye and
Casper Steinfath Photo Ian Borland
movements on the water are calculated and quite intense. They are both a perfect, competitive match.
My plan was to structure a workout they’d like as competitors, friends and teammates. Pairing them up for the next hour of intensity and keeping their stats side by side was interesting. TABATA training was my choice in the studio for I had a controlled environment and they were all mine! The exercise selection was purposeful and designed with stand up paddling’s demands in mind. They had never heard of it nor tried and they were game.
After a brief core warmup, my computer was ready feeding the program through the sound system, clipboard, circuit set up and the best part, two Go Pro Cameras mounted and ready. Kody and Casper are for sure competitive.
Tabata training; see my article on shocking your body with interval training here is an extreme challenge of high endurance, high heart rate circuit style training completed in a very short time with long lasting lingering effects. Kody and Casper’s sprint racing, big wave charging and long distance races can benefit from this type of training.
Always starting with an active warm up, advanced core training, balance training on dual IndoBoards on top of the Gigante Flo Cushion coupled with reaction force training and then on to the two Tabata circuit sessions. I kept their score and they were neck and neck in each circuit. Wow. Here are the results if you can read notes.
Stay tuned for the video follow up, but for now enjoy these photos. You can see that when I was busy taking notes, Kody is busy taking jabs at Casper! And Casper had a few moments of comedic performances “ON” camera, thanks to two mounted GoPro cameras here in the studio. Got ya!
Also if you want to train like a SUP star, you can order your IndoBoard Balance Gear through my websites, or click here. My favorites are the IndoBoard Gigante Flo Cushion, used for SUP training in combination with the Kicktail Board or Rocker Board. Keep in mind, if you take out your fins on your board, you can put your SUP board directly on top of Gigante Cushion.
I hope this inspired you to get out there and shred. You too can be paddlers like Casper and Kody if you plan your training and that includes rest and recovery. Don’t forget to add balance and reaction force training; one component that is an absolute must if you’re going to stick big waves or go for distance.
Thanks guys! See you back in the studio soon and on the next swell.
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC and Naish SUP Team Rider Share and care out there!
By Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
It’s no doubt that Hunter Joslin, Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder and developer of the popular Gigante Flo Cushion, entertains and trains with me at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point. Hunter was wowing the crowd with some tricks this weekend as Chip Martoccia, VP of Operations, and I cheered on.
Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney having Gigante fun at 2012 BOP, Dana Point
I’ve been a team rider and ambassador for Indo Board Balance Trainer for some time, and thoroughly enjoy my time with Hunter and crew. We never miss an opportunity to play around and challenge one another. He’s quite the surfer and in very good shape. We’ve shared a few waves together on Maui, and I can say he is just a little competitive!
As a SUP Team Rider for Naish, Hunter asked if I’d do this photo shoot and share some new tricks I’ve been working on in my studio here at SUZIE TRAINS MAUI to improve people’s stand up paddling strength. Of course! Turns out he had never tried or seen any of these so I was stoked but under the gun to give him my best.
These exercise are a bit advanced, but I encourage everyone to try them.
As one advances in stand up paddling technique, racing long distance or sprint racing or those who charge JAWS and other big waves, these folks understand already “where” their power is coming from.
Suzie Cooney Weekly Health & Fitness Radio Segment from the Maui Breakfast Club: KNUI 900AM Every Tuesday 7:30am
The Health Benefits of SUP
As a health and fitness specialist specializing in SUP performance and a sponsored SUP professional, I encourage all my clients to get on the water and enjoy all the benefits of stand up paddling. I’ve written many articles on the topic, from how people are shedding weight, managing depression and believe or not, improving their marriages!
Tune in here to my show recorded on July 17th, 2012:
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Health Benefits of SUP:
Shed Amazing Amounts of Weight
Increased Core Strength
Great Cross Training
Mindy Body Connection
Total Body Workout
Reduce Stress & Anxiety, Depression
Make New Friends
Saves Relationship ( seriously )
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this segment. I do have many other health & fitness radio shows. Listen to more here: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/blog/category/radio-show/
I hope you get the chance to discover SUP also called stand up paddling. I promise it will change YOURlife!
I specialize in SUP and watersports performance training. I also give private and semi private SUP Lessons should you be visiting Maui.
You don’t have to be a surfer, be in tip top shape or know anything about SUP to learn. I do recommend you know how to swim.
Stay tuned for my show airing August 28th, 2012 all about: How to Prepare Your Body for SUP. You can listen live:
or more SUP Fitness Training Tips/Videos: go to my SUP Fitness Page: http://www.standuppaddlingfitness.com/sup-fitness-tips/
I am available for SUP Fitness training, SKYPE coaching and consultations. Contact me through this website.
This video was made for NaishSurfing.com to help all levels of stand up paddlers learn how to strengthen the muscles specifically used for SUP or stand up paddling, to avoid common injuries and overuse issues. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE and like! http://bit.ly/LCNoWo
This video is Part Two of an earlier article I wrote for Naish called: BALANCED SUP TRAINING TO HELP PREVENT INJURY: Read now here: http://www.naishsurfing.com/2012/balanced-sup-training-to-help-prevent-injury-part-one.html
The training equipment I use in this video can be purchased on my website : Indo Board Gigante Flo Cushion and the Rocker Board. Also recommended, Suzie’s favorite ( more advanced the Pro Kicktail )
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
A Simple Training Tip For SUP to Maximize Leg Strength and Endurance with the Indo Board Training Gear
By Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui
More and more people are stand up paddling and I get flooded with emails on how to strengthen the legs to help reduce fatigue, increase performance for distance, wave paddling and simply cruising. There is not one answer but I have a tip that can help all the above at some level.
From beginners to professional paddlers, everyone can benefit to learn how to maximize your leg strength and endurance to you can enjoy paddling longer, possibly reduce injury or to push your limits and improve your performance.
I’ve been a Team Rider for Indo Board for years now and love how the sport and gear have evolved together to allow for smooth paddling and more water time. I’ve had numerous major injuries over the years, and seriously, my Indo Board gearhas brought me back faster and stronger than ever.
When folks are making transitions from flat water to wave paddling, it’s all footwork and water reading. It’s pretty awesome when you can train your body to connect to your brain’s intention and have it all right there. Connect your body to the waves, bump or trough if downwind paddling.
This simple tip I offer will wake up all the fine muscles around the feet, ankle, knees and hips independently of your other leg. I like this exercise ( see blow ) because although all the muscles of your body work together, by breaking it down and loading up each joint; we can then maximize each point to perform with it’s own strength and consistency, then ultimately allowing for every joint to excel in unison.
Additionally, the strength you gain will then allow for quicker reaction times to changing conditions, increase muscle endurance and hopefully minimize injury or overuse syndromes and other compensations. ( I am not a physician but have worked in sports orthopedics. Always consult with your personal specialist with regards to any injuries or if embarking on a new fitness routine.)
Even though I’m a “regular” surfer and paddler surfer, funny thing is I skateboard and snowboard “goofy”. So fortunately I will benefit from training with left foot and right foot forward. My point is, even though you may be one or the other, train both legs.
Inflate the Gigante Flo Cushion with less air for more difficulty or more air to slow it down. Place the Indo Board Rocker or Indo Board Kicktail on top with nubby side up for maximum traction of board to cushion. I also suggest that you kick off your shoes because any rubber will act as a false barrier between you and the real thing.
Step onto board slowly in a surfer’s stance with kettle bell or dumbbell in the hand of the opposite side of the foot your approach with. So if goofy or right foot, step up and hold weight in left hand.
To maximize results, hold weight “above” the joints we intend to stress, so up to shoulder. My joint targets: ankles, knees and hips.
I suggest “time” your set. For example, beginner would hold for 5-10 seconds, and advance to 30-60 seconds in each direction or with each foot.
Lower body into squat position, gaze forward, breathe and hold. Burn to fatigue. Shaking is okay and expected.
You will begin to feel your ankle, knee and hip burn and or shake! This is good! Hold on to this position as best you can and time yourself now. See how low you can go. Relax your feet and don’t look down.
Rise up slowly, step off the back of board onto ground rest then switch it up over to the opposite leg. Repeat.
If you have the opportunity to try both boards, the Ying and Yang (links here) and then the Kicktail, wow what a difference. The Kicktail, which is my favorite, is very challenging and offers a lot more ankle and foot action. This requires the small, tiny stabilizers to fire and fatigue, which is the result you want.
Again, the point I’m also attempting to illustrate is that by holding a weight over and above the joint or muscle group that you’d like to strengthen and train, you will maximize the benefit and outcome. The fact that we also get to add the variable of an unstable platform gives us the ultimate opportunity for your training. If the weight is below or at joint level it will produce a different result.
This kind of training is efficient and I promise you that you will definitely notice a difference the minute you get on the water. People who train with me are blown away of how much easier it is to literally step onto the wave, or last longer in channel crossing, or for any distance paddling.
Kevin Vangritis of NCarolina and regular Maui visitor paddles in very cold conditions but also trains in his home studio on the Indo Board Balance Trainer
With winter conditions here on Maui or on the mainland, from super big waves to brisk chilly mornings on a lake you need to keep your legs strong and fine tuned even when conditions may interrupt your stand up paddling. Keep those paddling skills sharp and hop aboard the Indo Board Balance Trainer. Tweet
As owner of Suzie Trains Maui, Naish Team SUP Rider and Indo Board Team Rider, I’ve written many articles ( see links below ) on stand up paddling fitness for all levels and I’m a huge advocate for functional training, as it is the most important part of your balanced approach to better paddling. This kind of training is also known as proprioception training or brain training where basically we are training the brain to fire immediately in the right order, the correct nerve impulse to the appropriate muscle in all plains of motion.
If you’re just getting started in SUP and you’re stoked about how your body is transforming so quickly, don’t lose that loving feeling of seeing a new lean and ripped body, when the weather turns sour. You can keep it real simple and that’s why I recommend to get the Indo Board Original Packagein addition the 24 inch Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion to create your paddling training indoors.
The Indo Board Balance Trainer will improve your core strength, tone and strengthen your legs, and really improve your balance and reaction time. It’s simply astounding how I notice a difference from land to ocean. I can tell when I’m off or on and it relates so much to my cross-training in the studio.
Suzie is training with one Gigante disc under her 9′ Naish Mana
I also recommend for real SUP action, the 24″ inflatable Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushiondesigned with SUP in mind to capture that 4 way water action from land to water. Sometimes I’ll even put two under one board with minimal inflation and wow, it’s crazy! One disc also offers the feeling of paddling down a wave. Check it out!
(side note: you may want to take out fins as not to rip out the fin box)
There are many uses for the Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion and I’ve got lots of video coming in the New Year that will show you exactly how I do it. ( see below for additional training articles on the Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion) For example, just by sitting on the Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion and holding an 8 lb medicine ball will really get that core and abs to fire up. Also by putting your toes on the Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion and then assuming a plank position, from one leg to two, look out! This photo of me was taken for article I wrote for Naish International for my SUP Fitness Page, Called “More on the Core”.
I had the pleasure of training my good friends (pictured above )Kevin and JenneyVangritis from North Carolina. They really dug the live-like feeling they got when we were all training in my studio. I was preparing Kevin for a Maliko run and he wanted to do and know absolutely everything and best prepare his body. He’s a racer and now his studio is filled with the Indo Board Balance Training gear and he’ll be rock’n it ( when it’s snowing outside). He paddles in all extreme conditions and had some fun with me this past November:
Here, besides surfing in the studio, Kevin is learning how to perform a plank with hands in push up start position on Indo Board roller and board. To control board left to right he really has to engage his entire body and core muscles. To advance this move, he can lift on leg a few inches off the ground, and hold for 15 seconds then switch. Joining us was his lovely wife who also paddles, Jenney! She is simply sitting on the Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion and wow her abs and core are work’n. Later we tossed a 4 lb medicine ball while I was on the other one. Great fun, great training.
The core Bug
I also introduced to them the sensation of sky diving, or what I call “the bug”. It requires you to contract your glutes or butt muscles, lift your chest up off the Indo Board IndoFLOGigante‘ Cushion, while keeping your head down or in a nuetralposition and then squeezing your shoulder blades nice and together and this offers a killer core exercise. The bug! You can make more challenging by holding 3-5 lb dumbbells in your hand and increase hold time.
I have also included in this photo theIndo Board Kicktailwhich offers a very sassy training platform and allows you to really strengthen your feet, ankles, knees and up to the core and hips. I like to switch my stance from goofy to regular and then feet side by side. In this photo I’ve included a 15lb kettle bell held at the top of shoulder to add more force production down to the disc. A KILLER workout on the legs. This same exercise can be achieved nicely with theIndo Board Original Package. I’m just lucky to have all the toys! This is a simple loaded squat. To add to intensity, hold your squat, increase weight, deflate disc.
In this exercise I’m holding a 4lb medicine ball in the surf stance with the Indo Board Kicktail, arms extended on top of the Indo Board IndoFLO Gigante’ Cushion . Here you can practice your strokes with a ratio of like 3:3 and change the tempo and time yourself for several 30s or 1 minute intervals. Increase challenge by adding heavier medicine ball, squat lower, reduce disc inflation, or if you’re really brave ( advanced only ) close your eyes. WOW.
It’s really endless of all the incredible exercises you can do when the weather is cruddy, or if you simply want to mix up your current routine. These exercises are fantastic even if you don’t surf or SUP.
This equipment featured here by the Indo Board Balance Trainer company is designed to increase your enjoyment while at the same time provides an incredible training platform to perfect any specialized sport. I also use this gear to help my clients who are post op from hip or knee surgery along with the guidance from their physician. The low impact offers great stabilizing training for the major joints. It’s easy, or incredibly challenging. Your core, legs and arms get an amazing workout and it’s never ever the same.
Kevin & Jenney in Suzie Trains Maui Studio on Maui They rocked the Indo Board training gear and now are all set up in their home studio in NC. Great Maliko run Kevin. Keep those bodies strong!
I love to introduce my clients and you to the new way to train or to add to your current routine to keep you on the water longer. Building your body also builds your mind. Your mind is the key to your best performance. This is the ultimate in physical fitness conditioning for SUP or stand up paddling and surfing.
Share and care when you’re out on the water and don’t let a day of snow or extra big surf interrupt your training and fitness goals!
Here is where you can get your Indo Board Balance Training Equipment. Also, here are additional links to other SUP Fitness Articles you may find helpful that include the Indo Board Balance Training Gear:
No matter where you live, what kind of paddling you enjoy cross-training like this is fun, challenging and can be performed by anyone at any fitness level. You will notice a great improvement not only in your paddling but in your everyday activities. Functional training is taking the world by storm like SUP and is not really new, it’s just becoming more accessible. The family of boards and rollers and disc offered by the Indo Board Balance Trainer company is sure to change your life, like SUP. Training can be fun!
Stay tuned for 2012 for my new short HD videos that will show you how I train on the Indo Board Balance Trainer!
Stand up paddling is no doubt taking the world by storm, and while you don’t need to be in the greatest shape to paddle, you’ll soon discover the benefits. As you begin to improve your technique, experiment with new gear and maybe decide to enter a race or wave competition, it’s a good idea to learn how to train in a balanced way to prevent injury so that you can enjoy paddling even more and stay on the water.
As the sport continues to evolve, and as a trainer who specializes in educating people how to paddle stronger and better improve their performance, I’d like to share with you first an overview of some of the known complaints and injuries that I’m seeing and helping people manage. I’ll also share with you many training strategies designed to help you better approach your SUP training in a balanced manor as a way to avoid injuries.
This article is part one of a two-part series that will illustrate a more in-depth review of the anatomy and how your muscles function while you paddle and how injuries might occur. Part two will be the actual exercises and training approach I recommend to help recover from some of these injuries and/or avoid them.
I’ve also gathered some helpful insight from one of our Naish Team Riders, Karen Wrenn, on how she trains to help her better perform. In addition, I’ll be highlighting another paddler, Kevin Vangritis from North Carolina and new racing competitor and long distance paddler, with his personal story and struggle with a unique injury and how he’s managed to come back on the water.
Common SUP Injuries
Overuse injuries and strains from SUP are common and include mostly the muscles of the shoulder and/or rotator cuff muscles, the knee joint, foot and ankle and low back. It’s good to have a knowledge base of the anatomy and function of each group so you can better adapt your SUP training to avoid these injuries. There may be more to mention, but in my practice and I too have experienced things such as a nagging bicep tendonitis issue in my right arm and on occasion after long distances over 20 miles, my traps (trapezius) have cramped a bit and my feet have fallen asleep.
Injuries that are more common where there are waves are fin lacerations to the extremities and face, paddle handles giving bloody noses (mine), and leash wrap-arounds I call them, that can cause sprains to fingers and other body parts from wrapping around you after a heavy wave wipe out. Also, as these boards are much heavier than surfboards for example, if you get hit in the head you could suffer a good blow or even a concussion. In addition, some super heavy hold downs at some of the bigger breaks can wreck havoc on your back and lower extremities.
Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Injuries:
Stand up paddling works a lot of muscles and is well known for being a great core workout. It also requires a lot of work from the stabilizers of the shoulder girdle. The paddle stroke is a combination of medial rotation and abduction (of the top hand). The deeper rotator cuff muscles included are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and the teres minor. This requires the work of the subscapularis, latissimus dorsi, pec. minor, pec. major, and teres major along with deltoid and supraspinatus to lift the arm up. The bottom hand is mostly stabilizing to transfer the rotation of the trunk to the paddle the muscles used to stabilize are mainly latissimus dorsi rhomboids, triceps, and middle fibers of the traps.
One client complaint was that of a burning sensation radiating from his elbow up to his shoulder and down to his hand, and another, with numbness radiating down from his shoulder through his pinky finger. These can be common nerve entrapment injuries with chronic tension and overuse of certain muscle groups.
Rhomboid & Trapeziums Strains:
The rhomboid muscles interact with and help support the shoulder blade. Your trapezius (also referred to as your “traps”) are the connective muscles from the neck to the head of the humerus or top of the shoulder, and are responsible for stabilizing your neck and shoulder while you paddle. These muscles require a great deal of endurance. This is also where we tend to hold our stress and the area that can fatigue and cramp up on long distance races. I often hear of muscle fatigue and recently of a tear of the rhomboid as described by Kevin Vangritis. Read more of his experience and how he recovered:
Kevin Vangritis is a friend of mine from North Carolina and is just getting into SUP racing. Over the summer, Kevin was training for a big 50+mile-long distance SUP crossing in Chicago (with Windy City Waterman and Matt Lennert). Prior to the race, he was helping a friend with an exercise and felt a pop near his right scapulae or shoulder blade. At the time, he thought that to simply take an anti-inflammatory and ice should do the trick.
I should note that Kevin is in amazing shape and has a very consistent, well planned and executed training and paddling routine, so this was a bit of a surprise. Kevin is also well versed in the field of sports orthopedics as he assists surgeons and medical teams and knows the anatomy which is also helpful when recovering from an injury.
He writes, “Over the next couple of days, I began to develop a large knot in my trap as well as radicular pain down my right arm into my hand, which was my major concern. This is a classic sign of a herniated cervical disc. The knot began to limit mobility in my neck. Our endurance paddle of crossing Lake Michigan was fast approaching, and I had to come up with a plan to get better. Continue reading Balanced SUP Training to Help Prevent Injury Part One by Suzie Cooney for Naish
For Beginners to Advanced Paddlers
by Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui and Naish Team SUP Rider
This has been a full summer of paddling for sure, whatever your style: downwinders, flat-water, waves or the Moto X of SUP: SUPCross. I’ve been getting lots of emails from you as you improve your SUP skills and increase your strength. That’s awesome! I’m glad the SUP-specific fitness tips I’ve designed for you are working and will continue to help you each and every session. By now, your core, legs and upper body are getting stronger and you are learning the fine dynamics of building your strength specifically for stand up paddling. So it’s time to go to the level of power here. In these exercises, we’re not only going to engage our core to the highest degree, but I’m going to give you the power to learn how to get the most of each stroke so you can really turn on the juice!If you haven’t read my earlier series on combining balance with upper and lower body endurance, I recommend you add this article to your SUP training tools. Click here for the article:UP your SUP Performance by Combining Upper Body Paddle Endurance with Balance and Core Training
I’d like to add a special thanks to my Naish teammate, Dave Kalama, for really hammering home the concept of reaching with everything you’ve got. Thank you Dave! He’s absolutely right. So now that we all have that ingrained in our minds, let’s see what it feels like to reach with more power.
Training Note:It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.
Recommended Equipment: INDO Board Gigante Disc, INDO Board Pro Board or Ying & Yang (as pictured below), TRX Rip Trainer (I use the heavier chord in this training series).
Select a sturdy object to secure your TRX cord to the ground. For this series, I attached it to a stake in the sand. The combination of INDO Board Gigante Disc with the Ying & Yang board, in addition to the TRX Rip Trainer requires unique training, just like stand up paddling. This is a functional and dynamic workout to the highest degree. Since the core is what stabilizes us while paddling, we now have a power source delivered through the core and transferred directly to our stroke.
Like Dave, I need to drive home the idea that there’s more to the “core” than just abs. It’s absolutely everything, and I mean everything, excluding your arms and legs – but not to say that your arms and legs don’t help to stabilize you as you paddle.
When I’m on the water or in the studio teaching people how to really engage their core, I take the time to break down their stroke as well. Then, when the light goes on and they have an “ah ha” moment, it’s cool. Connecting the dots from the top of your stroke, through your bottom shoulder, leading hip and finally passing through your core to the blade as you exit your feet, finally makes sense when you have more paddle power from the strength of your body. This comes from specific strength training for SUP and it’s what we’re going to do right now in these exercises.
Progression Variables: Floor to sand, traditional paddling stance to surf stance, discs under INDO board, less air (easier)-more air (faster action) in discs, light – medium TRX chord to heavier gauge TRX chord, speed of stroke, reach distance, slower-faster paced, number of strokes per side, change stance position during set.
Exercise 1: Power Strokes: Regular Stance, Feet on Ground
Maliko gulch, Maui and the history that surrounds it, is one to be respected. Not only will the steep cliffs and the sounds of the wind whirling inside take your breath, but you’ll also experience a rush of adrenaline as you paddle out of it, into the open ocean of huge swells where you can catch glides up to 300+ yards long. (If you want to read more about Maliko, see my article:“The Magic of Maliko” I wrote for Makai Ocean Lifestyle magazine here. )
TweetAs the popularity of SUP grows, especially down wind paddling here on Maui, I’m compelled to write this small blog entry, not to only share in the beauty and the intrigue that draws thousands of eager stand up paddlers and OC1 adventurers to this place, but also to give a heads up to the hidden challenges that can be very dangerous and can make for a disastrous run. If you think you are ready to attempt your first Maliko “down winder”, I say, that if you don’t know, don’t go. I’m not at all discouraging people, I’m just sharing how Maliko appears on the inside of the bay, is not what goes on just 50 yards on the outside.
photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Footwear
Being an experienced paddler, every time I paddle out of the gulch down the coast 9 miles, it is never the same and that’s exciting! I’ve gone down with a wall of water breaking across the gulch over head high, near the ramp, and other days it’s as calm as a lake. So what I’m saying is what may appear calm on the inside is typically very different as you exit into the open ocean waterways. Unless you go with an experienced paddler, and I mean experienced with someone who’s done many Maliko runs in all kinds of conditions; you best have lots of water time in big swells and heavy winds, and you better have upper body strength, combined with a good cardio base and have the knowledge on what to do IF you get in trouble.
I’m seeing more and more folks showing up for their first, unescorted Maliko run and it concerns me that some of them are not experienced enough. Sure they’ll probably be fine, but from some of the emails and stories I’ve been reading and hearing about as of late, it’s not a casual paddle on the lake. Besides the huge, jagged rocks on the shoreline that the swell may push you into, there’s wind shifts and tide changes, and if the winds are off shore and East, you can bet that it means trouble or at the least a very un ideal experience.
As a SUP instructor, competitor, and as a fitness specialist specializing in SUP conditioning, people ask me to take them down Maliko. I often pause and tell them nicely that it’s a good goal to have, but first let’s get your board skills down , your body endurance and strength up to handle those conditions.
I really want people to have a good experience and get the thrill of the long glides and rides; I’m just saying use common sense. Get yourself in tip top shape, paddle some timed, endurance distance on flat water to get your body used to paddling at that intensity, strengthen your leg, work on your balance and learn water safety.
Me coaching Barb before her run
Practice paddling in all types of weather conditions; rain, big chop, side chop, light to heavy wind, gusty wind and even practice paddling directly into the wind. Learn more about rail pressure, foot work (changing foot position on board to surf stance) and maybe even rent a downwind board and practice on flat water. I might also suggest that you do some “mini” downwinders at a shorter distance to get your legs used to the chop and learn about how you can improve your paddling and maybe your fitness at the same time. Study the wind patterns and know the difference between on shore and off shore winds, trade winds, wind swell direction, know if it’s low or high tide where you enter and where you exit.
Downwind paddling is a blast and very addicting. Better to share with a safety buddy and to go with someone who knows the path. He/she should be very very experienced and know how to pick the right line, read the currents, tide and weather conditions. It’s not a great idea to go alone, and if you do carry your cell phone in a water proof casing and tell someone where you are coming out at your anticipated time. If you don’t feel right, feel tired or whatever, listen to your gut. Prequalify yourself and make sure that you have water confidence, experience and strength along with of course better than decent SUP skills.
Here are some resources to make your downwind paddling experiences safe and fun:
Suzie Trains Maui: SUP Fitness Tips: Leg conditioning, upper body endurance exercises
If you’d like to train with me and build your stand up paddling endurance, fine tune your paddling stroke, foot work; give me a call I can help you. Having a body that is strong and prepared for anything will give you miles and miles of more fun on the water! Be safe and see you on the water!
Left to right: Gigante Disc, Suzie, smaller 12″ disc, 6.5 in roller, 8.5 in roller, INDO Board Pro, Ying & Yang Rocker Board, Kicktail
Aloha! Everyone knows that trains with me or reads my blogs and articles that I ‘m a huge fan of the INDO Board. It has brought all my clients to new levels in fitness and is always exciting and fun; meanwhile allowing me to cater to each individual and their unique needs. I’ve been a team rider and contributor for INDO Board for some time, and their product development, trainer curriculum and application continues to blow me away. My surfers, stand up paddlers, kiters, windsurfers and those also coming off of injuries have enjoyed building their strength on the different INDO Boards and platforms. Even those reentering fitness again or for those who want to freshen up their routine, love the challenge and discover new things about their abilities which allows me at any level, help them reach their personal fitness goals.
TweetFunctional training is the key focus of my practice and it’s how I’m sure that when I’m training a surfer or a new mom, all of their kinetic checkpoints are tracking properly before we embark on any new fitness program. The INDO Board training equipment offers me the expansive opportunity to test, observe and ask folks to perform on different, unstable platforms and is part of every assessment for each individual. It allows me to really measure one’s core strength, balance and reaction ability while I’m developing their unique program in my mind, all the while watching them discover new abilities they thought they never had. As a trainer, this is my biggest reward!
Suzie Cooney on Gigante Disc photo by Darrell Wong 2011 All Rights Reserved
The Gigante Disc, which has been a dream come true not only for training my SUP clients on land before we train on the water, but I’ve discovered so many other modalities and exercises that I’ve never before knew one could do. I often make up a lot of this stuff as I go based on the individual’s ability. You will see this piece of gear as one of my favorites and now on Naish’s website with my fitness articles. My mind is always thinking in that direction as I develop more and more exercises and also combine other tools and weights in conjunction with. It’s literally exponential on what you can do for your own training.
My second favorite new deck is the simple INDO Board Kicktailand the INDO Board Ying & Yang Rocker Board, which is very loose and wide, offering my more advanced clients a lot more freestyle action on a larger surface, but I’ve already implemented other uses! For example, today, setting up my hard core windsurfer, Tim Ellison loves it when I place the INDO Board Kicktail board on top of a semi-inflated Gigante disc in the surfers stance. This is his way of practicing his foot work for wave sailing. Then I fire at him an 8lb medicine ball in all planes of motion. He loves it! The INDO Board Kicktail is narrow and challenging, while the Gigante forces him to keep his knees bent and manage the force production and movement caused by the weighted ball. He’s be happy and completey satisfied if we did this the entire session!
The photo above shows me on my Naish 9’0″ Hokua. This is quite a sassy quad fin and with the INDO Board Gigante disc inflated almost to the max, I’m able to push my body to the max. ( beginners, remove your fins and I may suggest you place two Gigantes with less air at first, one in front and one in the back of board ). Aquiring upper body endurance with a medicine ball or weighted bar, while at the same time challenging all the finite muscles from from my feet, ankles, knees, hips to the core. This will get your heart rate up and burn your legs! AWESOME!
Advanced INDO Board Core Training. Not just for surfers or paddlers! Everyone can benefit!
SUP paddlers, you can take your paddling to the next level with just a few pieces of key INDO Board equipment. This kind of training REALLY transfers to many different types of water conditions. Flat water, to big waves, to Maliko down wind coast runs, require all muscles to fire and this type of training also known as “propreocetion” work is key. You want your body to respond quickly and naturally. That’s why this gear makes that difference. Be sure you take your time and train your brain with the new reaction benefits that will challenge you. Safety is paramount and as you progress in your leg, core and even upper body strength, go back to the basics and start from the top.
Progressions should be safe, managable and always proper form. Progressions are as simple as two legs to one, less air in disc(s) or more air. Tempo, speed shift, holding weights below your knees or resting on your shoulder as you might perform squats on top of the Gigante disc while standing on the Rocker Board.
Hunter Joslin, Chip and Georgette at INDO Board, thank you for all that you do to help us trainers help more of our clients and water sport enthusiasts, and putting smiles on thousands of hard training folks, and for providing a most excellent quiver of fun under the sun or studio lights!
Mahalo and in good health,
Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
While visiting Maui, Suzie is available for professional private training sessions. These may include on and off water sessions should you like. She will take you through all the progressions based on your current level of fitness and assist you safely to success. Call at 808-283-2121 or go to: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/suzie-cooney-certified-personal-trainer/