As part of the Conquer Your Fears Win A Dream Vacation ( sponsored by KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles ) featuring a contest giveaway at Maui’s beautiful resort retreat, Lumeria Maui; I had the pleasure of taking our their morning anchor/reporter Lynette Romero and crew for a fun filled morning of stand up paddling.
As you’ll learn from the video, she was first introduced to the water later in life, at the age of 18. Since then she’s had a big fear of things related. I assured her she would have success and be hooked! Well, see for yourself!
We loved hosting Lynette and her family and crew. Lynette, you keep up the good work! You are an inspiration to me and to thousands! You and your daughter Olivia and darling hubby can share stand up paddling together. We look forward to having you back on our beautiful island of Maui.
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC Team Rider for Naish SUP.
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.
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.
“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.”
In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a and anytime you venture into the ocean, open ocean endurance is not something to take for granted and it is a required physical and mental element that all water sport enthusiasts must have, especially when faced with huge walls of water moving and changing conditions. Besides navigating current changes, surface wind speeds, waves or deep troughs, often experienced and non-experienced folks can get into serious trouble or lose critical momentum needed to paddle over, in and through some of the roughest patches that can form underneath you, near you, in front of you or behind you.
This article is helpful if you’re a prone paddler, surfer, kayak paddler, canoe paddler or stand up paddler. Are you ready if your canoe hulis and you lose your paddle? How to you react if you fall of your down wind board on a big day on Maliko? How prepared are you? Do you carry a waterproof pouch with your cell phone or better yet, a GPS unit? Do you have a regular cardio routine that includes intense bouts of intervals? Do you cross-train? If you’re pausing to think about anything of these questions, then it’s time you take good inventory and learn all you can and implement now. ( See tips below ) Also contributing, is Stacie Thorlakson, MCKC Maui Canoe & Kayak Club board president.
1.Equipment Check: Check integrity of leash, tighten all fins, repair any major dings, tighten drain plugs, charge and take cell phone, fill Camelback, pack extra energy gel, waterproof whistle, wear sun protection, if a one man canoe, strap on an extra paddle.
2. Fuel: Charging the ocean requires food in your belly and hydration to reduce cramping. I like to suggest oatmeal or any complex carb at least an hour before departure. What’s great are two pieces of a nutty whole grain bread with a protein spread like almond butter or low salt peanut butter. Coconut water is a favorite of mine that offers lots of potassium which allows you to hydrate more quickly. I also squirt a full pack of an energy gel before a Maliko run. I avoid caffeine or super charged sugary drinks as these can actually dehydrate you and cause your energy to crash hard.
3. Body: Strength, stamina and cardio, and more intense cardio. The biggest thing I notice when training my sport specific athletes or weekend water warriors is the lack of cardio and cross-training. It’s a common component that get’s overlooked but it’s so important. Strength and body stamina takes time to build but is necessary too. There are many formulas on the how to and it’s based on your sport, your goals and your current level of fitness so I can’t write one program to fit you all. You’ll have to come train with me for your specialized program.
Join Us Saturday April 28th, 2012
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 )
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.
PRACTICE 3 MILE FUN PADDLE:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Aloha ladies! We invite you to our exclusive luxury, stand up paddling health and fitness experience on the worldwide SUP island destination Maui, Hawaii. Four (4) women will enjoy tropical warm waters, personalized SUP coaching and instruction, expert fitness training, organic meals prepared by Chef Ben Diamond, massage, yoga and premium products representing the SUP lifestyle, while staying on the beautiful N. shore at Maui’s new stunning and tranquil retreat center, Lumeria Maui.
“Suzie Cooney combines imagination, inspiration and perspiration. She’s a one-of-a-kind waterwoman; a brilliant and patient teacher. Oh, and she is also a complete badass, which is the highest compliment I can possibly give.” —Susan Casey, bestselling author and editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine.
If you’d like to reserve your space, please contact us by submitting your information here. It it required each guest have some SUP experience and is comfortable in the ocean or large bodies of water. Once your registration is complete and approved, you will receive more detailed information.
I have the pleasure to add to my quiver of Naish boards the two new 2012, gorgeous, high performance boards designed to grab the attention of those who appreciate fine quality, great lines and wow, shaka throwing graphics. This one featured here (left) is called the Alana. It’s designed for women as it’s easy to carry too. Dimensions: 9’5″ x 31″ x 4″ 3/4 The construction is a sandwich wood composite.
This three fin or tri fin board compliments the already extensive line of 36 boards manufactured by Naish International, based here on Maui. If you want stability, effortless wave riding this board rocks it. The pad is very comfortable and the kick-tail pad is handy when you’re carving deep on larger waves.
Second in the line up of the Alana series is the way cool, single fin, 10’10″ by 32″ wide super stable great all around board for strapping on snorkel gear, dry bag and can also impressively handle the waves. I couldn’t believe how well this board tracked and allowed me to paddle 13 times or more on each side. This board is perfect for first timers, those seeking a smooth elegant ride. Check out Robby Naish in the video below as he explains all the features!
I think Naish has done a fine job bringing these boards to the forefront of the stand up paddling world that gives women what they want. Ease of use, fun wave riding or cruising and exploring with friends and family. The Alana Series is beauty and versatility.
If visiting Maui, you can rent these and try them out from the Naish Maui Pro Center located in central Maui on Hana Highway. Call them at 808-871-1500. Or go to their website here:
Thanks for stopping by and if you’d like to post your comments, questions, please feel free! We’d love to hear from you.
Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui Naish Team SUP Rider I also ride the 14′ Glide, 9’0 Hokua & 9’0 Mana.
Maui, HI. Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui ( photos by Lisa Marino )
Suzi Tucker in training!
I want you to take a good look at the next competitor at the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a this next year in May racing down Maliko Gulch. My client, former sponsored skateboarder, amazing long board surfer, Suzi Tucker is up for the challenge and I’m thrilled to be in her corner as her coach and trainer. Not only is she riding the board I won my division on last year, but man oh man is she strong and laser focused on and off the water.
Our first paddling experience on her race board was impressive. We did a double session on her first
day out with me, after I quickly discovered how much talent and strength this gal had. Nothing could knock her off her board, side swell, chop and strong head winds. I looked back and there she was right on my butt.
Suzi is new to Maui and has embraced our incredible lifestyle and is a natural beauty. She is one of these athletes I have to hold back and look her in the eyes to make sure she’s okay, as she smiles through some tough workouts.
Her footwork is amazing and sheer determination I wish I could bottle. We are hard at work in the studio as she prepares for Maliko. We train her legs, do lots of loaded balance work, upper body and cardio. I tell all my clients, your first 15 minutes out of that gulch can either suck your energy or you can leave people in the dust. Your choice. Cardio, cardio and focus. She’ll be fine!
Also, for those of you new to SUP downwind racing, especially those who want to attempt Maliko here on Maui, check out this article so you know before you go – safety first: Know Before You Go Down Maliko
We have some training to do out there on Maliko, but she’s a quick study and I know I’ve got my own new competitor to keep an eye on! I’m real proud of her progress, dedication and healthy lifestyle. She gets lots of sleeps, eats no sugar and leads a simple life.
Please drop a line and say hello to Suzi. Leave a comment to help prepare her for the big day when she’s at the start with me at the OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Cheer her on with me here and let’s get her ready.
Keep up the great work Suzi and your laser focus. See you training Friday! Let’s do it!
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!