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Reduce Leg Fatigue, Improve Balance & Carving for SUP! Add the 24″ Gigante Disc to the Indo Board Original Package

Maui SUP Wave & Downwind Action

Waves are a force of nature like no other. Susan does a superb job to illustrate this and more. A great read!

Cool Jewelry by beachgirlmaui


Register Now for the World Famous 6th Annual Olukai Ho'olaule'a SUP & OC1 Maui Hawaii


Register Now for the 6th Annual Olukai Ho’olaule’a SUP & OC1 Maui, Hawaii
May 10-11th, 2014
Click here for all the details and to register.

This is THE downwind race of the year that celebrates the ocean that we live and play in and shares the Hawaiian culture with an amazing luau, Hawaiian games, canoe rides and entertainment. Some of the best athletes from around the world will converge to compete on 8 miles of open ocean known  Maliko; surfing and catching monster glides.  All levels are welcome and be sure to check out the Fun Paddle which offers a friendly and fun 3 mile paddle for anything you can paddle!
Highlights from 2012:

And here was last year’s event:


Aloha and see you there!
Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
Spokesperson for Olukai

Weather on Maui Is Shaping Up For OluKai 5th Annual Ho'olaule'a SUP & OC1 Race

With only five days until the OluKai 5th Annual Ho’olaule’a SUP & OC1 race approaching this weekend, the weather forecast is soon to be taking shape! The normal trades are predicted to return as competitors will be competing for a purse of $15,000. We’ve had an unusual spell of  Kona breezes that look like they’ll be on their way out!

Here’s a peek at the forecast for May 11th & May 12th:


Register now or day of event. For more information click here.

OluKai Premium Footwear Presents The 5th Annual Ho'olaule'a SUP & OC1 Race

The Biggest Downwind Event & Race in the World: MAY 11 -12TH, 2013 

The 5th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a 

REGISTER NOW HERE! Sign up before May 4th and receive a free pair of premium OluKai sandals.

Ho’olaule’a – literally, it means “celebration”, but for us, it’s also an expression of gratitude. Each May, we hold our interpretation of this storied Hawaiian tradition on Maui’s north shore. The event blends elite competition with family-friendly cultural activities and gathers some of the world’s best SUP, OC1 & OC2 paddlers to race the legendary 8-mile Maliko downwind run. Friends and families come together to enjoy canoe sailing and surfing, ancient Hawaiian games, traditional luau, hula, and live music. We take this opportunity to recognize and honor our ‘Ohana Giveback partners, as the community shares collective gifts of time, energy, and spirit.

I hope to see you there!

Suzie Cooney
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui

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MAUI Free Three Mile SUP Downwind Practice Paddle for 5th Annual Olukai Ho'olaule'a

MAUI: FREE Three Mile Stand Up Paddle Downwind Practice Paddle in Preparation for the
5th Annual Olukai Ho’olaule’a Fun Paddle

Sunday April 21st, 2013  9:00am

OluKai Fun Paddle Maui


IMG_1351Olukai Fun Paddle11

It’s that time of year again to get your stand up paddle board, canoe, kayak, Oc1, prone paddle board; and if you’ve ever dreamed of doing your first downwinder with a hundred other first timers or downwind beginners,  come out and join us! Now you can experience Maui’s epic North shore with an experienced safety crew to guide you.  Experience what it’s like and prepare for the May 11th, 2013 real Fun Paddle. Or, maybe you’ll be brave or are ready for the longer distance of 8 miles from Maliko to Kanaha Beach Park.

There is NO registration required for this practice paddle. All levels of paddlers are welcome. Recommended board length is 10 ft or longer.  You are responsible for board and transportation to and back to your car from initial starting point, the Paia Youth &Cultural Center. Please do not contact PYCC for details. Contact Matthew Murasko  808-214-4349 or Suzie Cooney 808-283-2121. You may also email me through this website.

It is highly recommended you have stand up paddling experience. If you are unsure you can contact me. There is no shame in being on  your knees should you feel more comfortable.


TIME:  9:00am   Please arrive by 8:15 to sign safety waiver,  unload board and prepare for skippers meeting at 8:45

WHERE:  Paia, Maui   Paia Youth & Cultural Center ( see map below )

FINSIH: Kanaha Beach Park  First paddler in, usually 30-45 minutes, beginner novice 45 min +  Weather dependent.  Course length 3 miles.

What to bring: Board, leash, paddle, rash guard for sun protection, sunscreen, courage and enthusiasm!
OluKai Paddle Maui0111

Don’t wait, register now for the real deal, May 11th, 2013 here at the official registration site at OluKai.  For $25 you get a t-shirt and ticket for luau and live entertainment!

Map to Paia Youth Cultural Center:

View Larger Map

For those seeking transportation for the event, Moore Watertime is available!  RSVP NOW!

Moore Watertime will be providing shuttle service from Kanaha (end point) to Paia Youth  & Cultural Center before the paddle.
cost- $10         Text: (808)250-1984 or email kellyonmaui@gmail.com
* Sign up now to reserve your seat. Space is limited to first 11 paddlers
CHECK IN WITH FACEBOOK and let us know you’re joining! Spread the word!



Love to see you all there!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Aloha and Mahalo, Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

Eddie's SUP Fitness Journey Part One: Goal OluKai Ho'olaule'a SUP Race Maui 2013

Suzie Trains Maui – and Eddie!   Get Inspired and set your SUP fitness goals.

I have the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world who are full of Aloha and who want to conquer our famous 8 mile stretch of downwind stand up paddling, known as Maliko. We are approaching OluKai’s 5th Annual Ho’olaule’a SUP & OC1 Race  in May of 2013 and there will be one more competitor to add to the line up, Eddie from Bend OR. Mark your calendars: Saturday, May 11th, 2013.

Follow his journey here as he prepares his body and mind for this monumental physical SUP adventure.  Judy, his adoring fan and lovely wife and bad ass paddler, will document his training and preparation.

Together with Judy and a little guidance from me, Eddie will go!

by Judy August 28, 2012

Eddie on Maui 2012


Back in the day – 1967 to be exact – Ed and I were playing at surfing the mushy calf-high waves we had in balmy South Florida. From 1970-2007 we didn’t surf, using our ocean time to sail, scuba, windsurf, fish and raise the family.  2001 found us moving life to Oregon, and by 2007 we discover standup paddling and were back in the surf 4 decades later!

In the natural progression of things, two diverse events influenced our Summer 2012.  One was Ed’s second rotator cuff surgery (yes, he was brave enough to go through that torture twice) and our trip to Maui to try the short version of the Ho’olaule’a event. Four days after the coolest downwind adventure either of us had experiences poor Ed went under the knife. But not before we were hooked on downwind, open ocean fun!

In the pictures above, it’s easy to see we are still the happy ocean-loving “kids” we were back in 1967 but it’s also easy to see that our abs are a bit worse for wear at age 63. Fortunately, just before the start of our event, Maui local and globally respected standup paddler/athlete, Suzie Cooney, provided a pre-race warmup. That gave us a chance not only to meet Suzie but to get to know a bit about her dedication to training a diverse group of clients from the casual paddler to elite athletes. As Ed went from wearing a sling to hefting the 3 lb weights he’s now using in PT we both made a commitment to getting into our best functional fitness over the next 8 months.

As much as we already know about exercise and nutrition, we realize that insights, motivation and programming provided by a respected professional is mandatory, especially as we embrace our seventh decade. Over the summer, Suzie Cooney has been kind enough to listen to our plan to follow her training “at a distance.” Nothing can replace actual time at her training facility with her customized training delivered face to face. Just the same, we have made a decision to glean as much as we can from her blog and conversations.  We have a solid goal in mind. We plan to be at the start line on May 11, 2013 ready to enjoy the full Olukai Ho’olaule’a downwind run from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha.

“Pie in the sky” – This Saturday I plan to join other hopefuls as I buy a couple of lotto tickets – would be cool to win $5000 or so. We’d probably jet off to Maui in November and prepare for Maliko at Suzie’s upcoming clinic. Meanwhile, training in Oregon is underway. The “training table” is becoming ever more healthful and an Indo Board is on its way to our home.  The digital age could very well allow us the best connection with our partner in preparation, Suzie Cooney. Most watched film this week – this training session from the Suzie Trains Maui blog. YES! We want endurance, core strength and balance. This is an excellent overview of some training options. Bring it, Suzie!

Please feel free to leave your comment for Eddie.  Eddie and Judy, thank you for sharing and I’m looking forward to hearing the latest after his course of physical therapy.  I know Eddie will come back stronger!

Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

Also, to join my confidential mailing list and receive lots of great tips and more, go here:

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Maui, Hawaii:Fourth Annual OluKai Ho'olaule'a Highlights, Photos and Race Results

Fourth Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a May 12th & 13th, 2012

An amazing turnout of over 500 ocean enthusiasts and competitors from around the globe converged on the beautiful island of Maui this weekend May 12th & 13th, 2012 to celebrate OluKai Premium Footwear’s highly revered fourth annual downwind SUP and OC1 race, called the Ho’olau’le’a which translates as “celebration.”   The community and visitors came together in the spirit of “ohana” to share, give, and celebrate the ocean.

This highly anticipated event brought beginners, novice and elite ocean athletes together to experience the famed 8 mile stretch of open ocean paddling known as the Maliko downwind run. This stretch of water is fast and offers a unique perspective of racing and spectacular views of Maui’s North shore.

(Full Results link & fabulous photos below)

Part of the proceeds raised benefit the OluKai ‘Ohana Giveback Program; beneficiaries include Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program. Click here to learn more about the OluKai Ohana Giveback Program.

A special pre race event offered to those who weren’t quite ready for the 8 mile race, was the non-competitive Fun Paddle Division that was as popular as ever, held prior to the main SUP event. The three mile course from Paia Bay to Kanaha Beach Park gave a taste of the big course to those who aspire to one day advance to Maliko. I had the pleasure of preparing this group with a practice paddle a couple weeks before to get those a little anxious, relaxed and ready.  ( see photos and highlights here ). The Fun Paddle Division allows any age, all levels and anything humanly paddle powered.

The OluKai Team greeted and checked everyone in at the Paia Youth & Cultural Center where the paddle began. Music played in the courtyard, safety skis arrived, boards were everywhere and there some nervous jitters as well. After the safety meeting, I lead the group with a few warm-up exercises as 80 paddlers prepared for their downwind experience. We had participants that traveled from Delaware, Oregon and as far away as Australia just for this fun paddle.

As the blow horn sounded, and to everyone’s surprise, a low flying yellow helicopter appeared sweeping the beach and exciting everyone as they hovered for photos. With a small shore break to navigate over, everyone safely and successfully paddled off. Also joining was the beautiful OluKai Team racing canoe, Kamakani Eleu offering it’s own adventure for a few lucky participants.

Just 3.2 miles up the coast at Maliko Gulch, the premiere downwind staging area above Ho’okipa Park, 300 stand up paddlers readied themselves for the 12:00pm start.

Continue reading Maui, Hawaii:Fourth Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a Highlights, Photos and Race Results

OluKai & Suzie Cooney Host A Free 3 Mile Practice Fun Paddle April 28th 2012 in Preparation for the 4th Annual Ho'olaule'a

Join Us Saturday April 28th, 2012
Maui, Hawaii
OluKai and Suzie Cooney host a Free 3 Mile “Practice” Fun Paddle
Paia Youth and Cultural Center 9AM

(no pre-registration required)


In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, and the Fun Paddle Division, join us again for the 3 mile “practice” fun paddle, mini downwinder that everyone can enjoy. Build your water confidence. Anything paddle powered can enter as this is not a competition.  The start is at the Paia Bay Youth and Center and will finish at the lifeguard tower at Kahana Beach Park.  ( Details below )

  Here is a link to one of last years ( 2011 )second practice paddle.

All ages, all levels of paddlers will enjoy an escorted practice paddle with me and other safety folks. This is a great opportunity for those who desire to experience Maui’s N. shore in a fun and safe manor. Here’s a video from one of last year’s practice paddles:  ( 2o11 ) 

So, grab your stand up paddle board, kayak, 4 man, 6 man, prone paddle board, canoe or anything you can paddle! This is your chance to get ready, test your paddle skills, meet some new friends and join the OluKai ohana. The paddle will take the fastest paddler approximately 30 minutes or less to complete and the average time will be about and hour. Take your time, soak in the sun and paddle with your friends. This is not a race, paddle at your capacity.


DATE: Saturday, April 28, 2012

WHERE: Start –  28 Hana Hwy:  Paia Bay Youth and Cultural Center   Finish: Kanaha Beach Park Lifeguard Tower

TIME:  Start time is 9:00am  ( please arrive by 8:00am to sign in and for course review and safety meeting )

We suggest paddlers carpool and prearrange transportation after the paddle so you can retrieve your car from the Paia Bay Youth and Center. You will need to provide your own board or gear to paddle.

Any questions, please contact Matthew Murasko, OluKai Premium Footwear Hawaii Ambassador  mmurasko@olukai.com

To register for the OluKai Ho’olaule’a Fun Paddle on May 12, 2012, click here. The cost is $20 and includes your entry and luau dinner.

More about the Fun Paddle May 12th, 2012: 

The ‘Ohana Fun Paddle, is a non-timed, non-competitive 3-mile fun paddle designed for all members of the community to get out in the ocean for a good cause. The shorter course is less strenuous, and a great way for paddlers of all skill levels to experience a portion of the legendary Maliko downwind run. No timing chips, no age divisions, just come out and paddle! Maui’s own fitness and training expert, Suzie Cooney, will lead paddlers on the 3-mile course.

Represent your ‘ohana in coordinated colors and outfits, or wear your best Hawaiian warrior costume. This is meant to be a fun event! The most festive participants will receive special prizes from OluKai.

A portion of proceeds from the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle go to our ‘Ohana Giveback Program benefitting Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program.

Also for those who are interested in the 8 mile SUP race May 12th or the OC1 race May 13th click here.

Suzie Cooney, CPT  owner of Suzie Trains Maui




Press Release: Race Registration Online Now OluKai's 4th Annual Ho'olaule'a Race & Celebration


Paddlers, Families and Enthusiasts Welcomed to Kanaha Beach Park, Maui
MAY 12 – 13, 2012

(APRIL 6, 2012 – ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) — Race Registration is now open for the OluKai Ho’olaule’a, a celebration of the ocean and surrounding cultures. The event will be held at the Lae ‘Ula O Kai Canoe Club at Kanaha Beach Park, Maui, May 12-13, 2012. For the schedule of events, click here: http://www.olukai.com/Hoolaulea/schedule.

Elite watermen,waterwomen and paddling enthusiasts of all ages will have the opportunity to race the legendary Maliko downwind run on Maui’s North Shore, an eight-mile stretch from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha Beach Park.

A $15,000 prizepurse will be shared equally between the elite men’s and women’s divisions of the SUP and OC1 races, while recreational paddlers will compete in age groups for trophies and prizes. The SUP race will start at 12:00PM on Saturday, May 12. The OC1 race will start at 12:00PM on Sunday, May 13.

Space is limited, register online by May 4TH to receive a Premium Race Package including luau dinner, race jersey, and, a pair of OluKai sandals. Online registration closes May 10TH.

Not a serious paddler? Ocean enthusiasts of all skill levels are invited to register for the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle. This 3-mile, non-competitive, non-timed paddle starts at 9:00AM on Saturday, May 12, and runs downwind from Paia Youth and Cultural Center to Kanaha Beach Park. All human-powered ocean craft are allowed, a portion of the proceeds go to the OluKai ‘Ohana Giveback Program benefiting Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program.

About OluKai
OluKai is a true premium ocean lifestyle brand with a distinctively different point of view and deep values. We are committed to building a unique and better class of products that blend ocean heritage with modern performance while leaving the smallest footprint possible on the planet.

In every facet of our business, we are committed to respecting the people and the environments we touch. Inspired by the strong tradition of giving an offering or tribute in Polynesian culture, we established the ‘Ohana Giveback Program to support the efforts of those who continue to give back to preserve local cultures and traditions.

We are committed to being an environmentally responsible company as well aspledging to actively support and work for a clean environment and a better quality of life. Visit us at http://www.olukai.com.


Event Details Contact:
Matthew Murasko | Hawaiian Islands Ambassador | 808.214.4349 cell | mmurasko@olukai.com

Media Relations:
Bailey Cronin | Marketing Coordinator | 949.334.0575 | bcronin@olukai.com

Publisher's Note: Stand Up Paddle Magazine Summer 2011 Suzie Cooney OluKai Race

Summer’s Edition of Stand Up Paddling VOL3N3 2011: Publisher’s Note:



“It’s summer. It’s Maui. It’s hot. Paddler Suzie Cooney during OluKai Ho’olaulea 2011


Suzie won 1st place in age division and is sponsored by Naish International, Kaenon Polarized, INDO Board, and supported by OluKai and others.

Also, see articles written by Suzie regarding this event:  The Magic of Maliko. Written for Makai Ocean Life Magazine

Follow SuzieTrainsMaui on Twitter

You Want It? You Have to Train For It! Kevin Vangritis and Jenny Ryan Wanted It and Got It

With the OluKai Ho’olaule’a wrap up complete, I’m a bit late in writing this post, but as I was shaping this follow up article on my friends and SUP racers, Kevin Vangritis from North Carolina and Jenny Ryan from Australia; it occurred to me how true it is that if you want to place you can have it. But, you’ve got to REALLY want it, see it and train for it. ( See my article on What You See Is How You Perform )  

Jenny Ryan, my charging friend from down under; trains rigorously back in Australia and just won her age division here at our OluKai SUP Race May 14th,2011. Like Kevin, her training is intense, planned and has an end, and anticipated result.

Congrats to you both for applying what we’ve talked about and just being the fierce, disciplined competitors you are; and all the while being two wonderful humans to know. It’s  a pleasure to see you both doing doing so well and inspiring us all.

Jenny Ryan photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Foowear

First up Jenny: I really enjoyed training with her and watching how she get’s into her “real” zone. Man can she paddle in a mighty way. I asked  Jenny to write a follow up for us, so you can enjoy through Jenny, what it feels like to train, prepare and then win! She confesses that she actually just came to have a few good “runners” as she calls them, but she paddles to win!

Jenny writes: “After arriving on Maui and getting a few Maliko training runs under my belt race day had arrived! I jumped on Kelly’s Maliko shuttle – filled with fellow pumped and excited competitors! The closer we were getting to the Gulch, the stronger the winds were getting! This only meant one thing, the race would be fast! When we all got to the Gulch and registered it was starting to hit me. I was back and I was about to race again!  I kept seeing faces from last year’s Naish race, with fellow paddlers Andrea Moller, Devon Blish, and T surprised to see me! It was great knowing that some of the top Maui paddlers were stoked to see me back!
After the Pule (prayer ceremony) we all started to enter the gulch and get ready for the start of the race and before I knew it the race started!
The first 3/4 of the race was amazing! Dodging turtles, flying fish, and catching some of great runners! Everything was going great till I noticed something the runs

Jenny Ryan photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Footwear

 were getting further and further apart. The wind was dropping which meant the last 1/4 of the race was all paddle power! I started paddling hard and was getting closer to Kanaha. Before I knew it I could see the yellow OluKai buoys and it was time for the 300 yard dash! I jumped off my board and started sprinting to the finish behind 2 other competitors. I finished the race in a time of 1:08:17 which placed my 1st in the 30-39, wahine 14ft class and 2nd place 14ft class overall! I was stoked!! It was my best result in an international race!
The vibe after the race was amazing. Everyone was congratulating one another, new friendships were made. The lunch provided was great and so well earned after an hour of solid paddling! The OluKai race brought everyone together. It was great to witness a Luau in a non commercial environment – something I personally have always wanted to see!
This trip back to Maui was better than I could have imagined!
I have to thank so many people – as they were my support! A huge thanks to my mum – she is my biggest support, my friends – love them lots and ALWAYS supportive, Iron Phil – my trainer, ALL the Maui crew – especially Suzie Cooney, Kelly Moore, and my sponsors Laguna Bay Stand Up Paddle, and Secret Agent Sup.”

Kevin Vangritis 2011 Carolina Cup!

Kevin Vangritis, I want  you to know, trains like an animal. With his grueling 24/7 on call schedule guiding orthopedic surgeons in cutting edge technology in surgical instrumention,  he still can be seen in any type of weather conditions putting in his board time. If the weather conditions are a serious health hazard, Kevin will invent new time zones to hold his dedicated course in intense training. 

Like many, he has the bug. His first exciting win was the Cold Stroke Classic. ( read more here ) Recently, he took a real strong

Kevin leading the pack!

lead in 1st place and was up against a talented pack in the very popular Carolina Cup. He finished an impressive 3rd place in the men’s open 6 mile class.  Nice job Kevin!

Kevin took a moment from his hectic schedule to write about his training style and his commitment to himself and to the sport:

“In life, I have excelled in many different areas.  My desire to excel in standup paddling is no different. Many of my friends and coworkers have seen my achievements both on and off of the water. Often commenting “You are the luckiest thing I have every seen.” However, it has nothing to do with luck.  It has to do with a strong drive, determination, and commitment to excel.  I have held the same job for 20 years and have won every top honor within my company at least once. What many people don’t realize is all of the hard work and planning I put into my achievements. Being in the medical device industry, as Suzie knows from her former life working in medical sales, you are married to your job. I am on call 355 days a year and the only time I am not on call is when I am out of town or on vacation. For this reason, everything I do outside of work has to be well planned with a contingency plan in place just in case things don’t quite work out. My schedule changes so often with just a moments notice. This really affects how I plan everything I do in life including my leisure time on the water, my training routine, and even my race schedule.

 I begin each day with a workout. I think it is really important to find the time of day that works best in your daily routine to get your workout in and make a commitment to get it done. For me, I prefer to get my workouts done early in the morning for several reasons. In the morning, I feel fresh and ready to get my day going. When I am done working out, I feel great and ready to take on the day. It’s personally satisfying to know I have taken time for myself and my health.  Additionally, there are noworries about procrastinating later in the day. If I were to wait until I got home from work, I am much more likely to have many distractions that could keep me from getting a really great workout in or none at all. I may be either too tired, too hungry, still have work to knockout, have to make dinner, complete household chores, run errands or just want to spend quality time with my wife. The excuses are endless. 

 My workouts average an hour or so. On days when I am really pressed for time, I do one of two things. I either try and do a fast paced workout where I super set several exercises and focus on just two muscle groups, or I do a quick workout in the morning and then try to do another quick one when I get home in the evening. My workouts include 30-45 minutes on the treadmill to get a little cardio and a core workout using either the BOSU Ball and/or a balance ball. Then I target two to three muscle groups using free  weights. On days when I have a little more time, I simply add a few more exercises to target additional muscle groups.

 In addition to my daily workouts, I try to get on the water every chance I can. My time on the water is spent practicing and crafting my technique, doing distance paddling for endurance or just going out for a fun paddle with my wife to enjoy nature or relieve a little stress. I believe if you want to excel in life, you have to put forth a greater effort than what you actually want your reward to be. Or, you could be just plain lucky as many people think I am. I truly have SUP fever and am happy to say there currently is no known cure.”

 Kevin, thank you! This is very inspiring and very helpful.  You’re awesome and so is your lovely, Jenney. See you soon my friend.

Training Tip: Next time you step on that board and before your blade enters it’s first catch, visualize yourself as a strong, fierce competitor.  You must feel it and see it before you make that first reach. Winning isn’t everything, but it sure feels good and gives one a sense of terrific accomplishment. You just may surprise yourself. Set your goals and hold your course.

Keep an eye out on the leader boards for both Jenny and Kevin. ( no pressure!! ) See you on the water!

Aloha, Suzie Cooney   http://www.standuppaddlingfitness.com

Jenny & Suzie photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Footwear