At 6:00 am on Saturday morning, I was driving towards Kihei, admiring a spectacular plum-colored sunrise over Haleakala, and trying to imagine what to expect from a “Beach Fitness and Paddle Challenge”. Having ultimate faith in Suzie Cooney, I knew that whatever it was, it was going to be FUN.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the Naish/Cooney crew already in full swing setting up tents and flags, marking off big areas of Mai Poina Ole
La’u Beach with pylons for fitness stations labelled mysteriously “Zig Zag” and “Taco Roll” (huh?). At 7:00am, the paddlers began to roll in. Men and women of all ages and fitness levels showed up to participate. The Naish Maui Pro Center was on hand to demonstrate the latest SUP boards and paddles, and TRX and INDO Board had their own stations to showcase some SUP-related cross-training equipment.
After an intro speech from the ever-enthusiastic Suzie Cooney and a special guest appearance by 2x SUP Surf World Champion, Kai Lenny, we were off to the starting area. The airhorn sounded and 55 paddlers charged into the water with boards and paddles in hand. Although it was a non-competitive event, that didn’t stop everyone from trying their best and pushing themselves through the course. Around three buoys, back up to the beach, on your knees through the “Crawl” station (butt down!), up again, run side-to-side in the “Zig-Zag” station, down again, on your bellies for 10 “Pushups” (real ones!), up again, flop down to the “Taco Roll” station for a horizontal roll down a 10m stretch of flat beach (nope, it wasn’t a sushi-eating station, sigh) and then back up again to do the whole thing…all over again.
Suzie grins when she remembers the day: “I’ve never seen such a sight in my life. People covered in sand, almost puking and still smiling!”.
It was fantastic. Everyone had a blast of a time, made even more special by a raffle draw of some amazing prizes. This was my first “Beach Fitness and Paddle Challenge” and, I have to admit, I’m hooked. Can’t wait for the next one!
Thank you Suzie Cooney and Nitsan Solomonov & Dave Wissink from Naish for putting the day together. Thank you to all who participated, both paddlers and volunteers. You guys made it such a special event. Aloha!
- Christy Stesky, Naish International See article on Naish here.
Check out more of Suzie’s SUP Fitness for Naish here: http://www.naishsurfing.com/2012/lifestyle/sup-fitness.html
See lots of photos and other write up: Naish & Suzie Trains Maui Delivers FREE Unique Stand Up Paddle Fitness Challenge as One to Remember.