Exclusively For You

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for your FREE Suzie Trains Maui Email Newsletter
Get Social!

Like us on Facebook!

Follow Us On Twitter

Follow @SuzieTrainsMaui on twitter.

Follow us on Instagram!


FREE Watch Now


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


Downwind Stand Up Paddling Requires A Big Heart

Downwind Stand Up Paddling Requires A Big Heart



Aloha and welcome to the world of downwind stand up paddling. I know you are hooked on this insanely fun, adrenaline elevator element of SUP; if you are reading this article. I’ve written about this a little before some time ago, but thought I’d bring it back again in greater detail as we approach this downwind season.

In this post I’ll touch upon the importance of increasing your lung capacity to increase your endurance and paddling capacity specifically for downwind paddling.  I will also give you some cardio training tips, exercises and a special workout to help you structure your water time and gym time, so you can go the distance, get better results and have more fun.

Note: This will not be an intensely geeky, cardio technical wordy article as it could be,  (no offense to those who love that) because my message here is for you to be much more aware of your cardio capacity or lack of, relating to downwind stand up paddling skills. I do refer to heart rate monitor, AT, recovery but I didn’t want to scare you away.

Maximum Heart  = Maximum Glides = Maximum Fun!

 Like many of us who live on or frequent Maui, we know for a fact we are some of the most spoiled paddlers in the world.  We have on our N. shore a conveyer belt of downwind action, called Maliko.  Flat-water padding? What?  “We don’t do that” is what I often hear.  Those words, “flat-water” I’ll admit, I too am guilty of never wanting to enter flat-water paddle races because I’m sure I’d suck wind.  Honestly, I’d just rather surf it.

Besides Maui, paddlers are discovering other amazing places to downwind paddle like Lake Bohinj in Slovenia, or I know my Aussie friends love Snapper Rocks to Currumbin Alley and Broken Head to Ballina, or the Northern waters of Seattle, and on down to the Gorge in Hood River, Oregon.

Downwind stand up paddling has become it’s own unique element of the sport that offers fun and racing, allowing the adrenaline junkies like myself and those who love the surf; to have an “all in one” adventure. It simply doesn’t get any better.

Some surfing experience does help and will allow you to save your energy and cardio capacity for faster paddling. So if downwind paddling in high winds is your goal or dream and you want to be better at it, learn some footwork and go surfing.

The coolest thing about catching a bump or glide is that you just go. For example, once you catch a bump or glide which can require you to spend quick, intense bouts of cardio to paddle like hell to catch it, then you step back as your nose enters the trough and enjoy the scenery. But it doesn’t end there nor should your cardio effort.

However, when it comes to downwind paddling or racing, not all waters or racecourses or crossings are the same.  You’ll cardioheartfind that not always will the wind cooperate in your favor forcing you to paddle on one side or head on or in many directions; every other direction except at your back.  Or the tides can act as a mean backwash that makes you feel like your paddling in mud.  That’s when you quickly discover you may need some extra, extra heart, and I don’t mean courage.

First, I always tell my clients to train on land and to train on the water; to push to the point where you get uncomfortable and stay there for one more minute, then two, then five and so on.    Puking is not the goal, but not puking is.  Make sense?  Bottom line, the old training saying is true, “you gotta get comfortable being uncomfortable”.

If you’ve never heard of the term bonking, it’s a common term used in the endurance athlete world, which simply means hitting the wall. Your body and everything inside it is done, toast, depleted and it can even happen to the best. It’s not a pretty site.

So real quick, take note: The science or physiological meaning of “hitting the wall” is best described by Wikipedia is:

“In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Milder instances can be remedied by brief rest and the ingestion of food or drinks containing carbohydrates. The condition can usually be avoided by ensuring that glycogen levels are high when the exercise begins, maintaining glucose levels during exercise by eating or drinking carbohydrate-rich substances, or by reducing exercise intensity.”

Let’s now refer to the exiting Maliko gulch, for example.  When you first attempt it and paddle out for your first run, “standing” for those who have little to no cardio training, that’s what get’s most right at the start.  For the most part your first ten minutes or more (no warm up); you’re paddling up wind and side wind against side current and wind swell just to get out so you can turn down.

Some of you may reach your anaerobic threshold or AT which is NOT how you want to start your downwind run!  (refer to definitions at the end of this article )

Granted you’re nervous, your adrenaline is turned on high and you may be tasting your breakfast, but this is the golden moment where your regular cardio training, increased heart and lung capacity will really help you and pay off.  My heart rate rises but I’m able to control it as this is a perfect moment to get my head clear and start paying attention to my breath and rhythm as I get ready for the action.

Down we go!

A great tip I got once from Michi Schweiger of Naish one day on a training paddle, is he told me to stroke hard and fast twice then step back two steps and surf. Again, paddle hard twice, step back glide, paddle hard repeat all the way.  He is very strong and has great footwork. He also has a fierce mind set with great lung capacity and is well trained. Sometimes I refer to it as the 2 and 2 or 2-3 and 2.

Suzie Cooney dropping in Maliko

I do this now, but sometimes it’s like 2-3 strokes as I’m looking for the next bump.  So let’s break down those first two strokes. They should be very powerful, digging, fast strokes. Anyone knows that paddling with Michi you better keep up because as he always says. “you can do betta” in his deep Austrian accent.

Right here is when you need a big lung capacity check.

 First note as your paddling, be mindful of your breath. Is your heart pounding out of your chest wall, do we call 911? Or is it a nice smooth, trained, nicely elevated rhythm? Can you maintain this for 5, 8 or 15 miles?

The second part I think to the 2 and 2 is once you actually step to the back of your board in the surf stance, don’t stop paddling. Keep your blade in the water moving you forward in easy, short stroke. This stroke is not as hard, heart rate smooth and steady. This will actually assist you as you connect to the next bump, unless you get a ridiculous glide and putting your blade in the water slows you down, or the surf is so big you can use your paddle to help brace you.

You’ll find that the moment you exit or come near the end of your first bump or glide as your scanning and hunting to connect to the next; that extra time you spent on your spin bike, or doing interval padding sprints; this extra juice that can transfer to your paddle end will really help!

Now, how is your breath?

Speaking to the cardio aspect of the concept above, if I need a quick rest or a small recovery moment, I’d be so thankful to catch a long glide to pace and stabilize my breathing and heart rate so I can get ready for the next effort.  You’ll watch the most experienced paddlers do this, but you can be sure it doesn’t last too long and you should not allow your heart rate to get to that full resting state, ever until the end of the race.

I’ve also noticed that the more I’m aware of my breath and effort the more easily it is for me to keep focused at the task at hand and the goal is to get as many bumps as possible.  When I notice my heart rate dropping or if I relax too much, my mind wonders and I look around at the coast too long.  All good and nice and part of the experience for sure, but it’s distracting too.

The take away on this here is to keep moving, find a rhythm that you can maintain and sustain to keep your heart rate working at a zone level or percentage of your maximum heart rate  ( like 70-75%) that  allows for endurance. In doing so, you’ll be able to pull out some turbo reserves to pass someone or get that extra bump or glide. You’ll have more confidence.

I caught up with Manca Notar, Naish Team Rider of Slovenia; and asked her to share her thoughts on this topic.  She writes:

“Comparing flat water and downwind racing is a pretty hard work. Despite the fact that we are using more or less the same equipment, there is a big difference between flat water and downwind racing. When you are flat water racing you have to equally dispose your power through the whole race and you also have to have in mind that you need extra power when you want to pass a competitor. You don’t have any chance to rest and let your heart rate drop a little bit. When you are downwinding you might reach your highest heart rate several times (start and finish line excluded), but you also have a chance to let it drop a little bit when you catch a glide.

Manca Notar

photo: Manca Notar

Additionally at downwinders you are constantly losing your energy to stay in balance, but on the other hand you also have a help of wind, waves and sometimes currents. So, if I compare how many strokes I make to paddle one distance, the number is definitely higher in flat water racing. So, looking at stroke number and calculating the energy needed for the same distance from strokes it is more than evident that you need more energy for flat water racing. But if the paddler has problems with balance and catching glides, then downwinder can be a nightmare and from that point of view downwinders are much, much harder and they are definitely level higher. However for both, flat water racing and downwind racing you have to be physically well prepared and it is more than important to know the response of your body and its limits. It is really important for paddler to train in intervals with heart rate monitor which helps him to watch his progress.”

 Mahalo Manca for some terrific and helpful insight. Good luck this year!

As you begin to include more cardio in your training regimen for downwind paddling, your system will adapt over time. Your body, organs and your internal fluid and sugar stabilizing systems will improve overall to help you increase your cardio training load. Once all of this happens, you’ll notice a huge difference in your endurance. Your paddling will improve and so will your recovery.

Tips and Workouts Improve Cardio for Downwind Paddling:

Identify what types of cardio you enjoy  (and don’t say none of it) and build your cardio capacity gradually. Because downwind paddling employs short quick strokes and longer strokes at times, embrace interval training. Track your efforts.

For example, I like to ride my spin bike at least 30 minutes, 4-5x a week. This includes interval training within those thirty minutes wearing a heart rate monitor so I can see how hard I’m working. It’s a motivating tool for me. If a great song comes on, I really crank it up to 3rd position on the handlebars and crank hard for 30-45seconds. Never fully recovering, maybe dropping it down to 70% of my max heart rate and then up again after like 4 minutes.

Then one day a week I may walk really fast on my treadmill, but for an hour to build the other side of cardio endurance especially if the weather is bad.  On the treadmill I also include lots of visual training of paddling on the water, connecting my glides and having a good heart rhythm. I like to “see” myself paddling hard 2 and 2, catching bumps and setting up for the next. I’ll also change the elevation to allow for harder work.

Since I can’t run on hard pavement anymore, I’ll go to the beach and run on the sand and dunes and think in my mind, each step is each stroke that really puts me in like this focused moment. It’s great.

Suzie Cooney for Bluesmiths


Interval, flat-water paddling: Don’t gasp when you read that word. Before my board hits the water in the harbor, and I see Connor, Bart and Kody doing their usual early more laps, I let that totally inspire me and fire me up.  My plan, enjoy getting lapped so I’ll paddle harder!

I note the conditions and scan the water texture. Is there wind, Is there a strong current. Hmmm, makes for a great training session. I actually like paddling into the wind.

I use the water buoys as a marker from point A-B or 1-2 as my timed interval. You can maybe find a dock or boat. Now some distances may be further apart, so be mindful that it’s very difficult to train at a level of your max heart rate, say like at 80-90% for any long period. Hence is why you want to increase you lung capacity to expand and get strong with less and less effort.

Find your breath, your paddling rhythm and then think about your heart rate and how you feel. Can you push to the next buoy with reserve in the tank? You see? That’s how you have to think.

Using a heart rate monitor here to is a useful if you’re wanting to see split times between point to point, or by knowing what zone you’re in can help you push but maintain for the next effort. I like to use it for distance readings too. I use the Garmin 310xt Forerunner.

Cardio Circuits: I found that this form of training REALLY gets your heart rate up. Training note: Any exercise you perform with your hands over your head, increases your cardio effort or aerobic effort.  Try it.

When I’m training my SUP clients I try of course to select challenging exercises but ones that won’t absolutely kill them, with an emphasis on exercises that will help specifically, their padding I mix a couple of light-weight strength, coupled with explosive ones using their own body weight with maybe one of those in the prone or with their upper bodies bent over. That position alone causes the heart to work 4x harder.  An analogy for instance, running 4 miles is equivalent to swimming 1 mile. You’re in the prone position with water resistance.

Cardio circuits should not last forever but spice up your training so you don’t hit a plateau or get bored, or if you’re short of time.  They should be like 4-5 exercises, simple but challenging. You can count reps or time yourself. Count for 25-50 reps or 1 minute for each exercise with no rest in-between.

SUP Downwind Cardio Circuit Sample:  Visualize the downwind run that you love and see yourself with a stronger heart.

  1. TRX Rip Trainer Paddling Sprints ( hop on the Indo Board Gigante Cushion + Pro Kicktail for added challenge, deflate cushion to about 4 inches high.  1 minute fast each side or count to 50-60.  Try to focus on breath and obliques as heart rate rises. Suzie Cooney
    2. Get up Get Downs on Bench or Chair with or without weights:
    Sit with feet out at 90 degrees, feet straight and shoulder width apart. With no weight, hold your hands above your head. I use 10-12lbs and rest them on my shoulders. I then get up with feet glued to the ground, stand and sit down. All the way down. No cheating. Do this rapid fire. 20-25 is pretty good, or one minute. Helps build cardio and leg endurance. Beginner, no weights, Intermediate, hands above heart, advanced, with weights. 

             3.  Stability Ball Tube Paddle Breaks – 25 reps  or 1 minute  see my video here:

4.  Bent Over 2 Arm Back Rows (prone) Select light weights. I use 8lbs sometimes 10lb dumbbells. Stand with staggered stance, both knees bent. Head in a neutral position and bend over at the hips. Allow your arms to let the weights fall to the ground and with your abs drawn in tight, pull both weights up towards your chest and pinch your shoulder blades as you push your breath out. Do this is a rapid tempo.  25 reps or 1 minute. Note: After completed leave weights on floor, wait for 5-10 seconds, then rise up slowly so the blood that rushed to your heart and brain can re-equalize to a static state.Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui Back Exercise for SUP Downwind Cardio Circuit Training

Do this circuit 1-3 times and good luck! Note, if you’ve just come off the water, and you want to continue training, maybe just do one.

After each cardio session, whether it land or water record your results. Nothing is more motivating for me is to look over past notes to see what I’ve done. List the following: Training and/or Paddling Log:

Date, time of day, rate your energy 1-10 before the workout and type, length of workout.  If paddling, write down the wind condition, big surf or small surf, current high or low tide, distance and goal for session. Results to include time, HR or energy expended using a scale of perceived effort 1 being low 10 max.

Terms Referenced in this article:

Heart Rate (HR) The rate with which the heart pumps is referred to as the heart rate.The heart rate of the typical person is roughly 70-80 beats per min (bpm). A very fit person’s heart rate may be 40-60.

Anaerobic Threshold (AT)  is the point at which the body can no longer produce enough energy for the muscles with normal oxygen intake. As a result, it begins to produce higher levels of lactic acid than can be removed from the body.  So therefore, your main goal is to increase your anaerobic threshold.

Max Heart Rate is the highest heart rate that can be attained by an individual in strenuous activity, varying with fitness and, in adults, inversely with age. A ‘rule-of-thumb’ formula for the predicted maximum is 220 – your age.


Well, I hope you found this article simply riveting, so much so you are hopping up right now to go for an interval paddle on flat water, or maybe exploring a spin class or two.

No matter where you get to downwind paddle, keep your eye on the moving target, the glide!  Get to it as fast as you can because you never know if that one is the magic carpet ride you’ve been dreaming about.  Your heart strength does matter and it will help you enjoy your downwind paddling even more.

Currently I’m riding the new and amazing Naish Javelin LE 14ft for all of my open ocean paddling and racing. It is incredibly fast and catches tons of glides.

For the best SUP gear on the planet, go to Naish Surfing:

Aloha and see you on the water!
Suzie Cooney, CPT

Naish SUP Team Rider
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

If you are ever coming to Maui and would like to paddle or train with me you can reach me via http://www.suzietrainsmaui/com or via this website.

 Be sure to like me on Facebook here  Facebook

The Ultimate Winter Maui Stand Up Paddle Luxury Adventure

Sorry gentleman, this one’s for the ladies!Flower

Suzie Cooney ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2013 Everyone knows that Maui is THE place to escape in the middle of winter for stand up paddling, especially when the whales are everywhere, the winds are calm and the water an inviting warm temperature, and the beaches begging to be explored.


Along with the True Collection Team, we present the Ultimate Experience for those select few who seek a life changing experience; one that will increase their strength, stand up paddling skills, offer female camaraderie and a luxury venue sure to be a hallmark memory.

 Suzie Cooney Maui SUP Event

Plan and book now, for your special start to the New Year as space is limited. For more information and to book your reservation, click here:    or contact

  ” Come along, I’d love to meet you and paddle with you around Maui’s fabulous waters and beaches. It will be amazing! ”  

     Suzie Cooney

Supporting brands and sponsors: Naish, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear, BLUESMITHS, RAW Elements USA, Indo Board Balance Trainer, OluKai Premium Footwear, Suzie Trains Maui

Click here for Press Release.

SuzieTrainsMaui Logo  TC New Logo.jpgultimate_experience_email.jpg

A Special Women's Stand Up Paddling Event on Maui in 2014 Press Release

True Collection.jpg




Presented by True Collection & Ultimate Experience

For Immediate Release:

Media Contact: Amie Engerbretson

Tel. 530-448-1687

A Special Women’s Stand Up Paddle and Fitness Experience on Maui hosted by world-renown professional SUP athlete Suzie Cooney

(Saratoga, California) – Professional Stand Up Paddle Athlete and Trainer Suzie Cooney, along with Ultimate Experience, is proud to announce a special, women-specific experience in Maui, Hawaii, in January 2014. Beat the cold and getaway to the breath-taking Lumeria Resort for an unforgettable SUP and Fitness retreat. Cooney, a globally recognized athlete, SUP pioneer, professional fitness trainer, has put together an incredible and exclusive five-night stay at Lumeria for six women. This experience benefits Bring Change 2 Mind, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental illness, a cause Suzie is passionate about.

Located near the historic town of Pa’ia, Lumeria is one of the islands’ premiere and intimate locations, highlighted by barefoot elegance and sparkled with tropical gardens, saline pool and Jacuzzi, exquisite guest rooms and first-class yoga studios. With Suzie as your guide, tour one of the birthplaces of Stand Up Paddle as Maui reveals itself to truly be the gem of all island getaways. Fine-tune your stroke, learn water safety, board control and discover myriad health benefits of SUP on the crystal clear, blue, warm waters of Maui.

Through finely tuned training sessions with Suzie, you’ll build strength, improve balance, and get your mind in line with the ocean breeze. Between the adventures, enjoy fresh, organic farm-to-table meals artfully crafted and prepared by Lumeria’s award-winning staff, rounding out your healthy, restorative retreat.

 Suzie Cooney Maui SUP Event

Continue reading A Special Women’s Stand Up Paddling Event on Maui in 2014 Press Release

Meet Sasha Maui's New Stand Up Paddling Strong & Beautiful Talent

Sasha KinlochSuzieTrainsMaui Logo 2

It’s my sincere pleasure to introduce you to one of my new clients and new inspirations to Maui’s stand up paddle scene, Sasha Kinloch. Like many who enter the sport they discover that it’s amazing way to achieve a superior level of fitness, it’s a great cross training tool, or like Sasha they learn that this could be their newest healthy obsession!

I believe all of my clients are unique and often teach me more than I offer them.  Sasha is an interesting blend of high energy, intense focus and has a way of visualizing exactly what her goals are. For a trainer, that makes my job easy!

Her base of fitness is already on the higher side which can only help her achieve her goals faster and with greater success. She wants to compete in all of Maui’s races, which are mostly downwinders. Her first race was the recent OluKai Ho’olaule’a.  I didn’t get to meet her until the event, and learned that that day was her first time down Maliko!  What a day that was for everyone. And here we are.

When I meet a person like Sasha and I see that fire in her eyes, I feel the need to pull the reigns in ever so gently to be sure she will enjoy every step of the way and not rush the “process” of putting her time in on the water. Nothing can compare to pure paddling time, getting worked and tumbled now and then, as the time spent on the water is the real training ground.  People often ask me how many miles they need to run or cycle to equal number of miles on the water for distance or catching bumps or glides, and I simply say,  ”just time on the water.”  There really is no way to measure that.

I asked Sasha a few questions as to why she’s taken with the sport of SUP and I hope it will inspire you to set new goals or maybe enter your first local race.

What is the best health benefit you fill stand up paddling gives you?   Sasha writes, “SUP provides a whole body workout combined with the intimate connection to the ocean that feeds my soul. I appreciate the way SUP has developed endurance in my arms, while at the same time engaging my core and legs. As a collegiate athlete I Continue reading Meet Sasha Maui’s New Stand Up Paddling Strong & Beautiful Talent

Successful SUP Pro Talk Challenges Paddlers and Supports Mental Illness Campaign

SUP Pro Talk Workshop Maui 2012

Maui, HI
November 27, 2012

Stand up paddlers of all skill levels gathered on the serene grounds of Lumeria Maui on November 3rd for the SUP Pro Talk Workshop with Suzie Cooney. The educational (and fun!) land-based event touched on many important topics for paddlers, including the health benefits of SUP, water safety and ocean preparedness, SUP fitness techniques and training demos, and equipment reviews.

Clay Everline, M.D., co-author of the Surf Survival Health Hand Book, was on hand with a valuable lecture on First Aid, and pro paddler, Jeremy Riggs, heated the afternoon up with his tips on downwind paddling. Suzie Cooney, as charming as ever, kept the crowd entertained and engaged with her informative and “hands on” teaching style.

The big winner of the day was the organization Bring Change 2 Mind, as 90% of the event’s proceeds went to supporting the group’s fight to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. The organization, founded by actress Glenn Close, provides educational material and a meeting place for a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.

Suzie shares:

“We were thrilled to sell out three months in advance. That really confirmed to me that people are eager to learn and support the sport. I’m a big advocate of those dealing with mental illness, so I wanted to spread the word about the organization I support, Bring Change 2

Clay Everline, M.D. was very informative and entertaining, as was Jeremy Riggs, our local downwind pro who shared some of his helpful tips. The participants had great questions, which was helpful for the entire audience!

The event supporters and sponsors including, Naish, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear, Indo Board Balance Trainer, Pocket Fuel Naturals, Scosche Health & Fitness and CamelBak Hydration Packs, were all very generous in providing some great raffle prizes. People were stoked to win products that compliment their SUP lifestyle.” -Suzie Cooney, CPT, owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

Bring Change 2 Mind.orgFor more information about Bring Change 2 Mind, visit:

For more Stand Up Paddling Fitness Techniques, Success Stories, Workouts and Upcoming Events, visit:


Stay tuned for the soon to be released educational video of this SUP Pro Talk Workshop. This will be available to download on all platforms in December 2012.


Stand Up Paddle Off the Pounds This Thanksgiving Holiday

November 20, 2012
Maui, HI. 

Stand up paddling is sure way to fire up the metabolism and shed some holiday poundage and still enjoy a fabulous meal. You can “shred to shed”. Get your core and body revving high to stoke the fire on the inside before your big meal. Do some interval sprints, go for distance or just get out there. You’ll be glad you did.

Also in this post, you can listen to my radio show ( below ) to help you keep your SUP waistline svelte so you can paddle this holiday and fit into your bikini, board shorts or wetsuit, depending on where you live. My tips will also help you steer clear of the usual weight gain that could slow you down on your next downwinder.

Suzie is riding the Naish 14′ Glide Carbon Board

This year I’m adding the Scosche Rhythm Monitor to my SUP interval training and distance training. I can listen to my music list while I track my progress. It’s so cool. This Thursday you can be sure I”ll be either going down Maliko for a downwinder or be out in the surf.

We’re expecting a decent swell here on Maui this Thanksgiving so as tradition, I’ll be getting out there so I can charge my calorie burning engine. Just approaching a big set, the adrenaline and fear along must burn at least a few hundred calories! I’ll be catching a few on my Naish Hokua or the new 8’10″ Mana.

These are my quick tips I’ve shared today on my weekly health and fitness and all about SUP radio show, on how to enjoy this holiday’s feast and not have a guilty conscious. I was thinking of something different to offer the public, and maybe create a pre-Thanksgiving help line, but not for how to cook a turkey but to help counsel those who are already stressing about gaining weight. I think I could be on to something!

According to online surveys the average person will eat over 4,000 and 229 grams of fat, the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Yikes. Not to mention the additional increase in sodium intake that may leave you feeling bloated and miserable. Do you know how hard you’ll have to work to burn that off? Very.

So instead maybe this segment will see you through.  I know many of you who I counsel and train are getting a bit worried about how many calories they will be consuming. I try and give them all the knowledge and power so they don’t come back to me the Monday after with their tail between their legs, and crumbs on their face from pumpkin pie crust.
For example if you eat 6 ounces of white turkey at about 180 calories, it will take you approximately 30 minutes to run that off.

Click Here to Hear Suzie Live

Listen here now to my snippet from the Maui Breakfast Club, relax and please whatever you do, leave the elastic pants or skirt in the drawer at home.  ( Air date November 19, 2012 )




Go for run on the beach and charge your pre meal metabolic booster!

Tip One: Slow Down – Eat more slowly and taste each bite.  Sip water before and after and each bite. PORTION control matters as well. Smaller portions, no seconds.

Tip Two: Sit down while you eat, no mindless grazing. Standing may cause you to eat more.

Tip Three: Go easy on the booze.  These are sneaky calories! Fill a wine glass with sparkling water. Avoid alcohol as it slows down your metabolism.

Tip Four: Shift mind set to losing weight, and focus on maintenance. Don’t lose weight to eat more.

Tip Five: Don’t worry about insulting friends and family who push food on  you. Politely say, “thank you but I’m so full, or I”ll have some later.”

Tip Six: Celebrate yourself, your friends and family. Hugs are free, they make us feel good and they don’t have any calories!

Tip Seven: Get outside and surf, SUP, windsurf, kite or walk or run on the beach. This is my tradition. Depending on conditions which are usually amazing in November; I’ll grab a board and hit the water for an hour or two.

Tip Eight: Don’t skip meals so you can indulge and binge. You’ll regret it.

Tip Nine:  Eat fiber and whole grain breakfast. Fiber is filling.

Last Tip: Don’t stress, there are plenty of personal trainers that can help you get back on track. The trick is, not to go off track in first place.

Holidays are for enjoying yourself, the ocean and being thankful, but also for giving something such as a service or gift of your talent or time.  I”m thankful for so much, but most of all thankful for my health, family and friends and you.  So grab your paddle and some friends and catch some glides and waves.  Then listen to my radio show to make sure you keep that body lean and strong.

Thanks for tuning in and check back here for more holiday tips to help you hold your course and not order that second one.

Mahalo and Happy Thanksgiving!

Aloha & Happy Thanksgiving

Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

Tune in every Monday @ 7:20 AM to the Maui Breakfast Club 900 AM KNUI  Listen live also at

Suzie rides the Naish Hokua 9’0″, Mana 8’10″ 14ft Glide, 9’5″ Alana, 11’4″ Nalu and the 10’6″Nalu and many more.

Go to

Please share with your friends and family.

Advanced SUP Core Training with Hunter Joslin Founder of Indo Board Balance Trainer and Suzie Cooney on the Gigante Flo Cushion

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 train with Indo Board Flo Cusion

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.

Continue reading Advanced SUP Core Training with Hunter Joslin Founder of Indo Board Balance Trainer and Suzie Cooney on the Gigante Flo Cushion

Press Release: Announcing Announcing SUP Stand Up Paddle Pro Talk with Suzie Cooney at Lumeria Maui on Saturday November 3, 2012

Maui, Hawaii (PRWEB) August 24, 2012   PLEASE NOTE: We’ve Added One More Hour  1-4pm…


Stand Up Paddle Pro Talk with Suzie Cooney at Lumeria Maui November 3, 2012

Join Suzie Cooney owner of Suzie Trains Maui, Naish SUP Team Rider and guru SUP Fitness Training Expert for an informative “hands on” workshop and up your SUP performance. All levels of paddlers welcome.

Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui & Naish SUP Team Rider
“Stand up paddling provides amazing health benefits and will change your life. Hop aboard and discover the sport that is globally growing in every community and on every body of water.”

Maui is the perfect location for this unique venue as it is a popular destination where stand up paddling, also referred to as SUP, allows for people to enjoy and experience the fastest growing water sport in the world. People from all over, all ages and any level of fitness travel to Maui where the waves are plenty, with big open ocean swells and warm tropical waters that offer amazing paddling adventures.

Discover the health benefits of stand up paddling and learn new fitness training techniques designed specifically to increase your performance.

The workshop topics will include:

Preparing Your Body for the sport of Stand Up Paddling
Ocean Preparedness & Water Safety
Preparing for the famous Maui Maliko Downwinders
Equipment and Gear Review: Boards provided by Naish International
SUP Techniques – Fine Tuning Your Skills – Finding your “power” in your stroke
SUP Fitness Training Demos and Group Participation

Meet new padding friends and join the fun. Giveaways and Drawings for those who attend.

Supporting sponsors: Naish International, lndoBoard Balance Trainer, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear & PocketFuel Naturals
Cost: $20 per person Prepaid reservations required. No refunds.

Hurry, space is very limited. Register HERE

A portion of your registration fee supports Bring Change, an organization working to eradicate the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Additional donations are glady accepted.

SUP Naish Team Rider Kody Kerbox in the Suzie Trains Maui Studio

Maui, Hawaii

July 18, 2012

There’s a tremendous amount of SUP and surf talent on this island that is inspirational, charging, and leaves people in awe, but there is one person who is all that and more.

Kody Lake Tahoe July 2012

Most of you probably already know Kody Kerbox; Naish Team Rider and young gun born to shred and yes the son of legendary big wave surfer Buzzy Kerbox. But did you know this strong champion has had such a winning streak these past few months, you’ve got to wonder if his legs are sore from stepping up on the podium every weekend?

From Lake Tahoe to Dana Point and now back on Maui for the 7th Annual Naish International Race, he is humble and fierce and it’s an honor to have him in the studio.

Observing his explosive, controlled strength combined with a laser focus, these are just a few of the superior qualities he already possess. I’ve been watching Kody over the past few years increase his strength, power and overall body endurance, and wow it’s paying off.

See photos of Kody’s first day with me in the studio below. I made a deal I wouldn’t kill him but would on the second day!

Photos by Tracy Kraft Leboe

I’m super stoked to have Kody in the studio to help him learn more about how to capture and harness his acceleration and power from flat water paddling, downwinders and wave riding. He’s already pretty fit, so I was able to advance him quickly on his first day. We’ll also focus on fast forms of recovery in between races, eating for energy and other important things he’ll need while out on tour.

The field of competitors this year is thick but you can be sure you’ll be seeing Kody leading the pack. It’s awesome to have him on board!

To learn more about this rising star check out his blog: and his Naish Team Page.

Bring it Kody!

Suzie Cooney, CPT

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

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for your FREE Suzie Trains Maui Email Newsletter

Meet Paddler Peter Davies Stand Up Paddle Fitness Training with Suzie Cooney for Maui Downwinders

Downwinder with Peter coming into Camp One photo by Harry Wiewel

People dream of coming to Maui for many things, but one thing for sure, Maui is THE place to experience the thrill of a north shore downwinder, also referred to as a “Maliko Run.”  I have the pleasure of introducing people to SUP or help them advance their current levels with the ultimate goal of safely navigating their first downwind adventure.

Safety, strength and open ocean knowledge is my primary focus to allow for this amazing stand up paddling experience. With the popularity of the sport completely exploding, and with Maui being the hotbed of gear development, the home of incredible talent and of course year-round conditions that are so inviting, who wouldn’t want to come and train and paddle here.

In this article, I’m feature a cool cat all the way from the East Coast, Peter Davies. Peter found me through the web and in the past I’ve often given him tips via phone and email. His goal, get to Maui! Well, low and behold the call came and it was time to get the gear and studio ready!

The plan:get Peter paddling stronger, improve his technique, increase ocean knowledge and ultimately do some downwinders.

Peter training with TRX Rip Trainer

First stop, my studio. Here is where I can learn the most about someone’s state of mind, how their body performs first on land which helps me cue them more effectively on the water. If I get to know one’s personality, how they learn best and take direction this inevitably helps tremendously.  I can determine how hard to push or when to hold back and offer maybe some encourage words of reassurance.

TIme in studio includes core review ( since your power comes from there ), balance and reaction training on the cool Indo Board Balance Training gear and also some TRX Rip Trainer dynamic paddling exercises to see where we are starting and what we need to do out on the water.

Peter was ready for anything and everything I would literally throw his way.  Surrounded by Naish boards everywhere, paddles, cool action posters, trades blowing hard with the music cranked, I cracked the whip, all in preparation for the big day.

We couldn’t have asked for better conditions. The trades were blowing a nice, steady consistent ENE direction ( perfect ) at about 25mph+.  The first test, was paddling in the harbor to see what he had, and wow, strong, focused and quick study.  I could see this guy was determined to get it right.  He was getting his groove, reaching like never before and putting together all the technical aspects into one smooth stroke.

Then off to Paia Bay for the downwind number one. This is a mini downwinder of 3 miles that offers a bit of everything. As we carried our boards to the water’s edge I offered some tips and absolute requirements to assure a successful journey. Peter was ready to rock it.

For someone who is very new to water sports in general, the ocean was a new playground and a new arena.  Peter, a former professional squash player was used to pressure and intense action. I knew he’d do well and that he did. Coming into Camp One over the reef was an eye opener, but he handled it like a pro.

Peter Davies Reflecting on his first Maui Downwinder: Stoked!

Our finish at Kanaha Beach Park was spectacular and a total rush for him and me as a coach and trainer. This to me is my biggest reward. I could tell he had a flush of adrenaline pumping through his veins and the look in his eyes read that he definitely, absolutely wanted more.

Peter writes:

“My ultimate goal is to compete in the Maliko 8 mile race and as I am relatively new to water sports  I was looking to work with a trainer that was not only familiar with local conditions but could also help me elevate my paddling skills to the next level and was not disappointed in hiring Suzie.  She is both extremely knowledgeable and very personable, we worked in her studio where she designed a fitness program specific to my ongoing paddling needs and spent time on the water. I did two, 3 mile downwinders where we started at Paia Bay, paddled down past Spreks, then over the reef into Camp One and finished at the lifeguard tower at Kanaha beach.

It was an incredible  experience  that is hard to describe in words the thrill of catching bumps and glides but  was also reassuring to know that Suzie was close by to help me safely navigate the swells. Once you have experienced a Maui downwinder you are spoiled forever and when I return I cannot imagine not hiring Suzie to help me continue improving my paddling skills in the ocean.”

Continue reading Meet Paddler Peter Davies Stand Up Paddle Fitness Training with Suzie Cooney for Maui Downwinders