THE 5TH ANNUAL OLUKAI HO’OLAULE’A
“FUN PADDLE DIVISION”
May 11, 2013 Maui, Hawaii
My mind is full of images of bright smiles and of steely strength of those who bravely earned their badges of courage this past Saturday, during the first event of the weekend long ocean celebration, the 5th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a. This entire event is truly a global event with competitors from over 10 countries, and 44 attendees from 15 mainland states. (FULL IMAGE GALLERY BELOW)
The Fun Paddle Division is our special group of water sports enthusiasts of all ages, who come with extreme enthusiasm to paddle in or on any watercraft that is humanly powered. There were loads of stand up paddleboards, a few kayaks, outrigger canoes and the incredible OluKai
sailing canoe. For many it was their first “downwind” experience and for others this was the starting ground to start their training for the infamous 8 mile Maliko open ocean course for the following year.
The Paia Youth & Cultural Center has been our gathering place for three years since this division began. They graciously host and welcome our eager paddlers from our local community and visitors from afar. The course is 3 miles and begins in Paia Bay and ends at the Kanaha Beach Park lifeguard tower.
One could see that something very special was about to begin, as the OluKai flags were flying high, and those helping under the OluKai tents were busy greeting and checking in the paddlers. This year the paddlers received official yellow OluKai jerseys that made everyone look like real racers! They were stoked.
Maui’s beauty shows in many ways, but this weekend was met with imperfect beauty as a two day rain storm and big swells, swayed and rolled the coastline with light winds that offered more challenging conditions than normal for many of our new water warriors.
Water safety was key as it always is for this event as our safety jet skis were throttling in position and our volunteer lifeguards and elite waterman were getting ready to assist the participants on the beach and into the water.
As everyone was asked to gather in the courtyard our special musical guest Mishka sang and played acoustic guitar. This was just a sample of the fabulous line up of musical talent that awaited everyone at the big backyard style BBQ that afternoon. Performers included Hawaii’s top contemporary musicians: Anuhea, Paula Fuga, Kimie Minor, Mishka, Justin Young, and Ekolu Kalama.
Next up, Matthew Murasko, OluKai’s Hawaii Ambassador reviewed the course map and highlighted the safety points and measures to keep everyone safe.
Then my favorite part of the morning was my pre paddle warm up! It’s my job and pleasure to build everyone’s confidence, pump them up and make them feel empowered and strong from the beginning to finish! I gave out lots of hugs and held hands with a few in the courtyard and at the beach to reassure them and answer any last minute questions. I shared a few paddling tips on how to manage the big surf and swell. I also had a few fun moves up my sleeve to lessen the nervous jitters and to get everyone’s blood pumping and make them laugh.
With Madelyn as my lovely assistant, the kids lined the front row ready to show their moves and make some noise. I’m not sure what people thought was coming, as we started with a few light active stretches. Then I poured on the heat and expectations.
I promised everyone would be required to drop down and give me 20 pushups if I didn’t think they were loud enough and boy that’s all it took! Hands behind the head, knees bent, elbows flat as I ordered 10 squats and everyone had to count with me out loud, very loud. I wanted to inflate their lung capacity right here and now!
I went easy on them this year, as then it was time for the gun show. I asked the participants to roll up their jersey sleeves. I wanted to see their guns! (biceps for those of you who may be confused) Then as I demonstrated with my own rifles, I gave each of them a kiss right to left and asked they did the same. They loved it and laughed out loud. Some had some cannons!
Now they were getting loose and fired up! Then, the grand finale before we sent them off, my famous warrior move. I’m not sure how I got this one started, but it’s a good one and my tradition. To assume a great warrior’s stance, we stood with feet apart, toes pointed outward, and into a squat position. With our chests out, arms up with elbows bent, I instructed that for every hop turn into our warrior pose we’d roar with a deep, big chant “hau”. This word translates to a mythical Polynesian wind god, which was very appropriate for our downwind paddlers.
Again and again we’d turn left, forward and right, land our feet hard to the earth, arms up, chest out and bellow out our warrior chant, until I felt it was time. Wow, they were really revved! Everyone departed the courtyard and headed to the beach.
The helicopter appeared and flew over the crowd as it always does before the start. Everyone was throwing shakas and waiving to the camera crew, as they prepared to launch. This was it.
The board caddies, friends and families of our paddlers helped with paddles, leashes and last minutes hugs. It was an awesome sight and a sea of yellow jerseys.
The fastest paddler would make it in in thirty minutes, others a bit more. The skies were grey but their spirits charged. They were digging in just like I instructed and they did not stop. I was so very proud and excited to see the looks of determination, tenacity and strength as they paddled up and over some pretty good size surf and swell. I’m not sure some even realized what they had just accomplished.
As a SUP coach and trainer I’m able to help some of these paddlers all throughout the year prior to the event. By emails and phone calls and even SKYPE training sessions, I often have people writing me with questions to determine if they are ready for the Fun Paddle Divisionor if they have what it takes yet to paddle out of Maliko. It’s so rewarding to see those that graduate up to the 8 mile event, like Eddie and Judy Shasek from Bend, OR. pictured below preparing their water packs before the 8 mile race.
Eddie and Judy came to Maui last year for the Fun Paddle and came back to Maui a few months after to specifically prepare for Maliko. The waves were too big but they made the best of it and enjoyed practicing on longer racing boards to get the feel and caught a few smaller waves on the West side. They even began writing about their preparation for their journey and wanted to share how they were training and cross training back home. Click here to read their story and see photos. Congrats to you both on an excellent finish!
Everyone deserves great recognition for completing the Fun Paddle. These water warriors earned their stripes that day and displayed their big badges of courage. For some this was the beginning of their right of passage up to the event at Maliko next year.
To recap the entire event, the more serious divisions were competing for equal gender prize money of $15,000, SUP and OC1/OC2 (outrigger canoe 1 man/outrigger canoe 2 man). Some of the competitors traveled from 10 countries and throughout the U.S. to compete in the Maliko Downwind run, one of the largest SUP races in the world, which spans 8 miles of infamous open ocean.
The top 3 winners in men’s SUP included Connor Baxter taking 1st place and Dave Kalama and Kai Lenny taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. Taking 1st place in women’s SUP was Andrea Moller, followed by Talia Gangini in 2nd and Devin Blish in 3rd.
In men’s OC1/OC2, Kai Bartlett finished 1st, Manny Kulukulualani 2nd, and the team of Dave Kalama and Junya McGurn finished 3rd. The top 3 in the women’s OC1/OC2 race were Lauren Spalding in 1st, Andrea Moller in 2nd and Dane Ward in 3rd. For more information and full results of the SUP race, go to http://live.pseresults.com/e/27#/. For more information on the OC1/OC2 races, go to http://live.pseresults.com/e/28#/.
And continuing with its hands-on approach to giving back, OluKai employees who qualified for travel to Ho’olaule’a by contributing a minimum of 20 hours of local service leading up to the event, wrapped up the weekend at the Maui Cultural Lands Giveback Day. Local volunteers and OluKai staff traveled to Honokowai Valley, a cultural heritage preservation site to contribute efforts towards reforestation and archeological stabilization projects.
In closing, Kerry Konrady, Director of OluKai Marketing shared:
“Each year we are inspired by the Ho’olaule’a and how it brings together such incredible people for two days of celebrating Hawaiian culture. From elite paddlers and competitors, world class musicians, volunteers from around the community, our retail partners, to locals and visitors looking to share Aloha, the event has become truly one of the world’s elite paddling and cultural festivals. We thank everyone who has supported the effort.”
We invite you, your friends and family to come next year and take part in history in the making. Come share and spread the Aloha with our Ohana and yours.
SPECIAL NOTE: Tune into to Ocean Paddler TV: The OluKai Ho’olaule’a will start to air on ocean paddler tv on the Time Warner network channel 12 and 1012 Tuesday June 4th @8pm in Hawaii, and will air the entire month of June pretty much everyday! Mainland folks can watch on the NBC Universal Sports Network on Direct and Dish TV (check local listings for days and times)
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.
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!
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui
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This is TRICIA BUTI
Powerful paddler and Amateur Champion, world ranked cutter is what we call in Hawaii a real panilo.
I didn’t know this, but time in the saddle ( literally ) translates to an amazing new stand up paddler. It wasn’t until I had the pleasure of meeting Tricia Buti who came to Maui real recently to take a SUP coaching session with me; did I learn that to be able to manage the power of such an amazing animal, a cutting horse you have to have incredible balance to look so graceful while you herd a head of steer.
Both sports SUP and cutting horses require balance, courage and strength. Learn more about this courageous gal from the great North West who has been through quite a bit. With determination and a strong will, she is now doing more than every and feels that SUP has helped her in the saddle.
I told her there would me no herding me, but I’m always open to learn new things. She opened my eyes to a whole other world as I watched her on the water, so strong, so focused with a special fire in here eye. Get ready world and the state of Washington! Meet Tricia: ( in the photos of her below, she mentioned this day was a brisk 40 degrees)
By: Tricia Buti
As a competitive horseback rider, being in sync with my horse with impeccable timing is what brings a big score and the win. Cutting horses have an innate ability to read a cow and mirror its moves, with very little help from the rider. In cutting, the horse and rider cut a particular cow out of a herd. Once the cow is moved out front, the rider then puts their hand down and is no longer able to cue the horse via the reins, and can only use their feet to cue their horse, and their seat to signal stops. The horse then mirrors the cow and keeps it from returning to the herd. Perfect sync results in high scores.
Aloha everyone! This is a special introduction post and one that I hope you’ll follow, comment on and support. I’d like you to welcome Brian Coppedge of Haiku, Maui to the wonderful stand up paddle community and encourage him to follow his adventure and goal into the year of 2013 and beyond. I hope that from this entry forward you will be inspired and help him realize his life and fitness goals. I thank you all in advance, Suzie Cooney
Welcome Brian Coppedge
Brian’s first day and already flexing the heck out of that paddle! Look out!
The concept seems simple enough – move to an Island you’ve got to get yourself a water sport. After a bit of research and tons of conversation, or should I say “talking story,” I decided that I wanted to take up Stand Up Paddle boarding. I of course have never been on any type of a board, not a skate board, not a surf board, not a paddle board, and I was assured serving on the “board” of a non-profit organizations would not translate to the water.
It was this point that a bit of serendipity entered my life, and I was introduced to Suzie Cooney. Suzie is always upbeat and optimistic, so when I approached her about training to do a downwind paddleboard event she was onboard. When I told her I wanted to do the Olukai’s Ho’olaule’a Maliko down wind event – she wisely suggested, “ why don’t you start with the 3 mile fun paddle”. Cooler heads prevailed, leaving me to wait until our first training session to tell her, “no way I want to do the full 8 mile race”. Without missing a beat she backed my decision and started putting together a training plan, both on land and in the water that would set me on my way to meet my goal.
If you will let me I would love to bring you all along with me on my journey of getting in shape, and learning the necessary board skills to pull off my goal of completing in the Maliko down winder in early May. My idea would be to post training updates at least twice a month, here on Suzie’s site, to be brutally honest about the process and hopefully have lots of new friends to share the in process with me online and in person.
I promise pictures, maybe even some videos and my best running commentary through the whole build up to the event. Now in the spirit of transparency, I must confess that only recently have I been able to get serious about the training component and I have only been in the water on a SUP twice- much more time was spent in the water than on the board!
Here are some basic stats so we can all judge my progress over the next several months. I am 49 years old, 5 foot 10 inches tall and current weight about 210 pounds. My goal is to get that down to around 180 by the time of the race. I am currently working out with Suzie on land once a week and then on my own for the rest of the week. I have been out on the board for some great basic SUP tips with Suzie once and out on my own only one more time. This week will be the first week that I start to record how much time I am on the water, and I promise to share all that data with you as I go forward.
Thanks for reading and I hope you will all check back in and follow me as I blog my experience under the careful tutelage of the wonderful Suzie Cooney.
Brian is an inspiration to me and to others. Brian is one of those guys where I need to look him in the eye and monitor the real athlete in there, because there is no off switch! His workout will consist of timed interval paddling sprints, loaded balance training, upper body endurance strength training, serious core work, and self myofascial rolling. Nutrition will be key as will rest and recovery.
So now he’s shared here with you and the world so drop a line, give him a cyber high five and be sure you’re looking over your shoulder at the next downwind race here on Maui. He’s going to do great and I can’t wait!
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For the BEGINNER to ADVANCED STAND UP PADDLER, This on-land training gear will totally increase your core and paddle power, leg strength and endurance, seriously improve your balance and reaction time.
Everyone knows that you’re coming to the Suzie Trains Maui studio or even at the beach, each session includes some serious time on the Indo Board line of training gear. For the beginner paddler, I may suggest the 24″ Gigante Flo Cushionthat compliments theRocker Board very well. For the intermediate to advanced paddlers the 24″ Gigante Flo Cushioncombined with the Kicktail Board is also a very fine choice.
In the photo above, I’ve placed my 9’0″ Naish Mana atop of the Gigante disc. More air or less air in the disc changes the exercise. ( don’t forget to removes fins )
In this photo, I’m “loading” my hips, legs and ankles with a 15lb kettle bell resting on my shoulder while I perform leg squats with 3-5s hold. WOW, burn. This helps increase total body and SUP board endurance. ( I’m on the “Kicktail” with just a little air in the Gigante to really make it work. )
I have so many videos on this website and articles that will help you advance your SUP skills and performance. So check them out!
The Indo Board Company stands behind their products and so do I.
Hop aboard and order yours today! If you need help deciding on what you may need for your health and training needs or for someone else on your list, please feel free to contact me through this website. I’m happy to help.
Maui, Hawaii: Suzie Trains Maui Studio
November 8, 2012 ( photos below of Kody & Casper training )
You think you can keep up with these two on and off the water?! Good luck! Kody is wearing out the podium and Casper too. From big wave charging to long distance to sprint racing, the training today was TABATA! I chose these exercises to help express big, explosive power at the start, core and legs for waves and high speed upper body stuff. We had two Go Pros going!
I get totally fired up training my two Naish SUP team mates , Kody Kerbox and Casper Steinfath. After seeing them both perform at this year’s Battle of the Paddle with my own eyes and following their impressive stats, as a trainer and SUP paddler myself, I’m more impressed. Get used to seeing their names worldwide.
I had a couple of days on a photo shoot this past weekend with them as we chased a winter swell here on Maui and besides putting up with their usual ( Kody mostly ), comedic antics and talk of zombies and eating chili and rice at the Hana Store, I’m stoked to have had the chance to test them side by side and see what they had off the water with me! I’ve been training Kody a bit and we’ve had some other big wave guests, but I knew this would be extra fun.
I’ve seen Kody over the years develop and push himself and he’s got the Kerbox gene for sure, but observing Casper’s quick and sharp eye and
Casper Steinfath Photo Ian Borland
movements on the water are calculated and quite intense. They are both a perfect, competitive match.
My plan was to structure a workout they’d like as competitors, friends and teammates. Pairing them up for the next hour of intensity and keeping their stats side by side was interesting. TABATA training was my choice in the studio for I had a controlled environment and they were all mine! The exercise selection was purposeful and designed with stand up paddling’s demands in mind. They had never heard of it nor tried and they were game.
After a brief core warmup, my computer was ready feeding the program through the sound system, clipboard, circuit set up and the best part, two Go Pro Cameras mounted and ready. Kody and Casper are for sure competitive.
Tabata training; see my article on shocking your body with interval training here is an extreme challenge of high endurance, high heart rate circuit style training completed in a very short time with long lasting lingering effects. Kody and Casper’s sprint racing, big wave charging and long distance races can benefit from this type of training.
Always starting with an active warm up, advanced core training, balance training on dual IndoBoards on top of the Gigante Flo Cushion coupled with reaction force training and then on to the two Tabata circuit sessions. I kept their score and they were neck and neck in each circuit. Wow. Here are the results if you can read notes.
Stay tuned for the video follow up, but for now enjoy these photos. You can see that when I was busy taking notes, Kody is busy taking jabs at Casper! And Casper had a few moments of comedic performances “ON” camera, thanks to two mounted GoPro cameras here in the studio. Got ya!
Also if you want to train like a SUP star, you can order your IndoBoard Balance Gear through my websites, or click here. My favorites are the IndoBoard Gigante Flo Cushion, used for SUP training in combination with the Kicktail Board or Rocker Board. Keep in mind, if you take out your fins on your board, you can put your SUP board directly on top of Gigante Cushion.
I hope this inspired you to get out there and shred. You too can be paddlers like Casper and Kody if you plan your training and that includes rest and recovery. Don’t forget to add balance and reaction force training; one component that is an absolute must if you’re going to stick big waves or go for distance.
Thanks guys! See you back in the studio soon and on the next swell.
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC and Naish SUP Team Rider Share and care out there!
September 30th, 2012: I’m posting this on the last night of Battle of the Paddle in Dana Point, CA. It was super fun but really hot and great waves! This weekend I witnessed the pros and the weekend warriors and you can bet these folks will have some sore muscles. From the intense levels of adrenaline and short interval sprints, to the the long distance race, some will recover faster than others.
Hydration, preparedness, planned training and proper rest are all important factors that really matter and determine how well you do on the big day or if you’re just cruising. So learning how to prepare your body before a session but more importantly, what you do after will allow you to get back on the water and recover more quickly.
In this video I wanted to share with paddlers of all levels, how to increase your performance and recovery time by resetting the muscle patterns we use most for paddling, to their natural state. By this we can increase blood supply for cell recovery, remove lactic acid and get you back on the water and help you feel energized and not do depleted and fatigued.
Paddle and train like the pros:
Let me know what you think and share what you’ve experienced with muscle soreness and recovery.
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!
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!