At 6:00 am on Saturday morning, I was driving towards Kihei, admiring a spectacular plum-colored sunrise over Haleakala, and trying to imagine what to expect from a “Beach Fitness and Paddle Challenge”. Having ultimate faith in Suzie Cooney, I knew that whatever it was, it was going to be FUN.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the Naish/Cooney crew already in full swing setting up tents and flags, marking off big areas of Mai Poina Ole
- photo by Tracy Kraft
La’u Beach with pylons for fitness stations labelled mysteriously “Zig Zag” and “Taco Roll” (huh?). At 7:00am, the paddlers began to roll in. Men and women of all ages and fitness levels showed up to participate. The Naish Maui Pro Center was on hand to demonstrate the latest SUP boards and paddles, and TRX and INDO Board had their own stations to showcase some SUP-related cross-training equipment.
After an intro speech from the ever-enthusiastic Suzie Cooney and a special guest appearance by 2x SUP Surf World Champion, Kai Lenny, we were off to the starting area. The airhorn sounded and 55 paddlers charged into the water with boards and paddles in hand. Although it was a non-competitive event, that didn’t stop everyone from trying their best and pushing themselves through the course. Around three buoys, back up to the beach, on your knees through the “Crawl” station (butt down!), up again, run side-to-side in the “Zig-Zag” station, down again, on your bellies for 10 “Pushups” (real ones!), up again, flop down to the “Taco Roll” station for a horizontal roll down a 10m stretch of flat beach (nope, it wasn’t a sushi-eating station, sigh) and then back up again to do the whole thing…all over again.
Suzie grins when she remembers the day: “I’ve never seen such a sight in my life. People covered in sand, almost puking and still smiling!”.
It was fantastic. Everyone had a blast of a time, made even more special by a raffle draw of some amazing prizes. This was my first “Beach Fitness and Paddle Challenge” and, I have to admit, I’m hooked. Can’t wait for the next one!
Thank you Suzie Cooney and Nitsan Solomonov & Dave Wissink from Naish for putting the day together. Thank you to all who participated, both paddlers and volunteers. You guys made it such a special event. Aloha!
- Christy Stesky, Naish International See article on Naish here.
Check out more of Suzie’s SUP Fitness for Naish here: http://www.naishsurfing.com/2012/lifestyle/sup-fitness.html
See lots of photos and other write up: Naish & Suzie Trains Maui Delivers FREE Unique Stand Up Paddle Fitness Challenge as One to Remember.
Maui, HI., Saturday December 3, 2011 was the place to be as a very entertaining, free, unique SUP ( stand up paddle ) event took place in North Kihei’s Mai Poina Ole La’u Beach Park, where participants were greeted with mild, calm conditions and a small south swell. The purpose of the event was to allow those new and experienced to the wildly, ever-growing popular sport of stand up paddling also known as “SUP”; participate in a very interesting and challenging fitness beach course and ocean paddle challenge. ( photo galleries and sponsor info below )
The event attracted over 55 participants men and women and was hosted by Naish International and Suzie Cooney, fitness specialist, Naish Team Rider and owner of Suzie Trains Maui. To wow and inspire the crowd local Maui resident and recently crowned 2011 SUP World Champion, and Naish Team Rider, Kai Lenny also demonstrated his skills on the water and then
Suzie and Kai
showed off his nose riding techniques atop of the Indo Board gear that was available for people and the public to try. In addition to the Indo Board demo by Suzie Cooney and Indo Board Team Rider, Leighton Nakamoto , a TRX Fitness Rip Trainer demo was also conducted to show how it can be incorporated into one’s stand up paddling fitness training.
Suzie Cooney TRX Rip Trainer Demo
Stand up paddling is drawing great attention world-wide but is also helping people of all fitness levels to embrace a more healthy lifestyle. This non-competitive event was designed to challenge, inspire and bring people together in an environment that offered something different than racing without any pressure. The mission of Suzie Cooney and Naish and all of the wonderful volunteers was to provide a fun venue that offered a sort of bonding experience through a little literally, heart pounding action.
The course: 3 buoys in a triangle format marked the water action as a mass start began at the sound of a horn! Off to the first buoy paddlers were met by Maui’s own downwind champion, Jeremy Riggs who cheered and helped people navigate, some for their first time ever near a buoy, around turn number one. Then as paddlers began to spread out with some of the more experienced paddlers, such as Donnie McGean, Bill Hoffman and a few more in front, it was time to land on the beach and begin the crazy fitness obstacle beach course that consisted of 4 stations with volunteers to cheer, encourage and assist if needed.
Donnie, crawling left, writes, ” As for the funniest moment it had to be trying to stand up and run after the taco rolls. As for what I enjoyed the most, it was meeting new people that were interested in SUP. My goal is always to give 100% and still have fun. As for what I found inspirational, it was that some of the best in the SUP world came out to help and share their knowledge and love of the sport. Thanks again for a great event.”
Donnie On the beach, participants hopped off their boards and ran to station number one, a 20 foot long by 8 foot wide crawl area. Here people had their own unique strategy and style as they crawled, dove on their bellies or some on all fours under yellow caution tape. Then up to their feet to run a zig-zag cone course, then drop immediately at the pushup station where Coach Leighton Nakamoto, resident of Makawao made sure people did 10! Boy, was he tough!
The most spectacular entertainment of the day, was the sandy taco roll. Here, immediately after the pushups, participants had to drop and roll for
about 20 feet while trying not to get dizzy or roll into the ocean. Tommy Callan, creator of this station cheered and helped people up to their feet and guided them to the two Naish flags where one then had to run through and then run or jog back down the beach to get their boards and hit the water for one final lap and then one final spin through the course.
Although this was marked as a non-competitive event, one had to take notice of Maui’s Donnie McGean who managed to stay in front and finish in the lead. My other buddy and downwind training partner, Bill Hoffman of Pukalani was hot on his tail and finished 2nd. Everyone finished and everyone at this event were winners. Anyone who could simply finish this grueling course deserves a round of applause. I’m totally proud of all of them. People were laughing, grunting and looking at me with the look of “you’ve got to be kidding”, but they kept going. It was great. Continue reading Naish & Suzie Trains Maui Delivers Unique Stand Up Fitness Paddle Challenge As One to Remember
There’s something happening world-wide on lakes, oceans, streams and even on the Colorado Rapids, Alaska and now, even on mainstream TV, like Bravo TV’s Millionaire Matchmaker, and that is stand up paddling! You wouldn’t be reading or listening to this segment if you too weren’t drawn into the explosive new craze of stand up paddling or SUP as is it a great way to get healthy.
Suzie Cooney Radio Show Segment: September 20, 2011 Maui Breakfast Club. Every Tuesday @ 7:38am Health & Fitness Segment
Why Stand Up Paddling is So Healthy Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney
Now, thousands of people are discovering that you can as I wrote in my article “Shred to Shed” and blasted on the airways just as recent as this past August.
It’s really true. SUP or stand up paddling is a known way to get healthy fast. People are rehabbing after hip or knee
Kevin V. is in amazing shape and now races nation wide!
surgeries faster, meeting new friends and new soul mates and all of this makes you healthy. Going to the gym is still great, and don’t forget, eating the right foods is paramount to eating for energy while your paddling, but wow, look what’s happening to your spouse, your friends and movie stars! Hop aboard and get healthy with SUP.
Stand up paddling is a part of all my clients’ cross-training requirements and believe me, their bodies have transformed and so has their lives, cardio health and I’ve seen waistlines shrink. Don’t think about, watch it from the beach, get on that board and paddle. You too will soon discover the joys and amazing benefits of SUP.
Another article you may enjoy talks about how SUP is helping people cope with depression. It’s a mind and body experience gliding across the water. Read my article here titled: SUP For Your Mind’s Health: Aqua Therapy For Depression.
You are one paddle stroke closer to health. Write us and let us know how SUP has changed your maybe unhealthy life, into a way of life!
Aloha and see you on the water!
Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui
Suzie Cooney is a sponsored Team SUP Rider for Naish International and is supported by OluKai Premium Footwear & Kaenon Polarized Eye-wear. She is also a Team Rider for Indo Board, certified personal trainer, radio host for the Maui Breakfast Club, Model, True Collection Athlete and hosts FREE SUP Events on the island of Maui and within other communities.
To learn more about Suzie and she can help you get healthy with SUP click here.
July 24, 2010 : Maui, Women’s Free SUP Clinic with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui
Wow, we couldn’t have asked for a better day here on Maui! Water clear and calm, and lots of smiles of success! We arrived at 7am and boards off the car and ready to rock! In the line up, Lark, Karen, Amy, Suki, Joan, Elaine and Rhonda was my assistant “sweeper”.
I was so impressed with the enthusaim and immediate skill with these eager gals, I just couldn’t believe it. We started with some light stretching and then we discussed the importance of water and board safety, followed by land instruction and off we went past the small break.
( see comments below from participants)
A special thanks to “Coach” from the Naish Maui Pro Center, for filling our goody bags with awesome beach towels. Also a big thanks to Matthew from OluKai Premium Footwear for our special VIP cards. I love my OluKais! And lastly to Amy Hampton who also joined us, who is the director of the Maui American Heart Association, and gave us healthy recipe books and walking pedometers to encourage our goals of living a healthy lifestyle!
Here’s a fun slide show that shows off these sporty wahinee’s SUP skills.
“Today was really special, made so by a beginner’s Standup Paddleboard lesson for women by a woman, Suzie Cooney — fitness trainer/paddleboard racer/and model.
I have to admit, though, that I did have some deep reservations. Would I be able to standup without repeatedly falling off? Would my inexperience keep me from the experience? And, more importantly, would I still have my two front teeth afterward?
Well, I’m happy to say that my worries faded away almost as soon as I met Suzie, who with her calm and confident manner shortly had me feeling much the same way! We started with stretching exercises, water awareness and proper board techniques, all of which gave us a better understanding of what we were about to face. Then with boards and paddles in hand, off we slipped into the ocean, belly butterflies in tow.
Within minutes we were all standing and paddling this way and that. Photos were taken, laughs were shared, boards were traded and at one point we even did pushups on them! How’s that for new-found confidence?
I guess it proves the theory correct, that if the instructor is all she should be, so shall we be all we can. Funny how that works because today, one woman – Suzie — instilled new confidence in six other women — through Standup Paddleboarding! Now that was really special!” Elaine from Lahaina
I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful morning. As you know I’m not a regular “water person”. My first time trying SUP, I wouldn’t have imagined I would have had such a good time. Your instruction and coaching made it a great experience. As you saw when we were out there I couldn’t stop smiling. Your tips and encouragement made all the difference. Meeting all the girls was great, what a great way to spend a beautiful morning. I’ll be looking forward to the next time I can get out there with you. Thanks for being such a good teacher, friend, and example of an empowered woman. I always feel so cared for when I join you on one of your adventures.”
With Love and Aloha, Lark from Makawo
“If you haven’t taken a SUP clinic from Suzie yet, I highly encourage you to do so! Her enthusiasm for the sport is infectious and very obvious in the way she handles both herself and the participants. She takes great time and care in helping us to prepare both mind and body through stretching exercises and safety awareness before we enter the water. And she does it in a way that is fun and enjoyable. Once we are on the water, the fun continues and I can guarantee that you will lose track of time and not want to get out. Thank you, Suzie, for your time and patience in empowering women to be healthy and active through the sport of stand-up board paddling!”
“Thank YOU so much Suzie! I had such a great time with you and ladies out on the water yesterday! It can be intimidating to try a new sport like SUP (especially for women) but your safety briefing and instruction instantly put me at ease as a first-timer. I appreciated your taking the time to tell us about all the different options for equipment and the goody bags were amazing! I look forward to paddling with you again soon!
Thanks again!” Amy Hampton, Kihei, Director of Maui American Heart Association
“Aloha Suzie, Thank you and Naish for sponsoring a truly special day. The day was everything I could have imagined and more. You are such a professional from the first phone call to the follow up emails. Your love for life shines through and makes everyone around you happy to be out on the water with you. (even when you had us doing 20 push-ups on our SUP boards!) Your SUP instruction was why I came to a SUP clinic and I was not disappointed. However, it is the joy I felt sharing the day with such an amazing group of women that I will remember always. Suzie’s love for the ocean and desire to share health and fitness is inspirational. Mahalo for a wonderful experience!!!” Karen Gallagher, Paia
I am so glad to know these women and may this special day inspire you and everyone you know to be as healthy as you can be. Now get out there and paddle!!!
See you on the water, your fan, Suzie Cooney.
Join me my Face Book Page: http://www.facebook.com/suzietrainsmaui.com
Stop by and see Coach and the rest of his great team at the Maui Naish Pro Center, 111 Hana Hwy in Kahului.
It’s no wonder people love the Naish 14 foot Glide. It’s width of 27 1/4″ and thickest point of 5 3/4″ and the nice hard rails and squared off tail, allows one to glide and connect swell after swell, espcially on a good day with 30 mph winds at your back! Or even if your just cruising the lakes for a tour, the board is steady and has the nicest sweet spot. Dropping into Camp One, the swells actually had some size. I loved how the board handled a decent size drop and held good top speed without hesitation or drag.
Here’s a couple shots Maui photographer, Simone Reddingius snapped as we passed Hookipa, on Maui’s N. shore. The conditions were perfect, with a NE direction of winds averaging 20-25, and occasional gusts to 30!
The new bamboo composite carbon paddle was incredibly comfortable and the blade width, perfect. The smaller diameter, matte carbon finished shaft and friendly handle is a good combo. It was stable, allowed for a quick paddle entry and exit.
If you want to test-ride the Naish Glide or any other board, contact the Naish Maui Pro Center in Kahului:
Suzie Cooney is a sponsored Maui SUP Team Rider For Naish and professional fitness specialist on the island, owner of Suzie Trains Maui of Maui. She is also a sports model and lifestyle model and is represented by Laster-Heathman Media.
For media inquiries/press kit contact: email@example.com or http://www.lasterheathmanmedia.com