October 16, 2010 Maui was the place to be! Stand Up Paddling, or SUP is sweeping all around the world but a few wonderful, special women, got the glides of their lives and experienced a new found passion for a sport they can own and share with their friends and family. ( photos below in slideshow )
I had the pleasure of meeting so many dynamic, inspiring women today; all with the desire to learn or improve their skills in stand up paddling. There is something very cool about gathering a group of women together and sharing and adventure that is new and exciting. They all showed up right on time and at 6:45 on the dot, boards were off the cars and lined up on the beach.
After introductions, it was right into some active stretching with our paddles to prepare for the morning ahead. I promised no heavy push ups or sit ups, this time.. ! There was a small south swell running, and safety was on top of the agenda. I reviewed board safety, board features, paddle features and water safety. With experienced Maui waterwoman, Deb Driscoll, big wave SUP surfer, assiting me, we lined everyone up, and one by one, out we went, some for the first time ever experiencing what it’s like to paddle over a wave! All made it just fine past the break and then they got the thumbs up to STAND UP and go.. To help capture the day was Maui’s professional waterwoman and photographer, Julia Schweiger. Check out her website: http://www.jdphotofairy.com/
I have never had such a group that were such fast learners. It was so rewarding to see Susanna conquer her fears and before you know it, she was up and hoot’n and yelling and we were all clapping and whistling! Susanna, you are a shining star! She said that she was so thankful for Deb helping her and staying with her. All of the gals really did great. The winds never really came up too hard which allowed us to stay out longer.
Elizabeth charged! Mary I think you could have gone to Lahaina. It was the first time I was able to take a new crew on a little long distance challenge. Laurel and Mary and Gill leading the way. Julia Schweiger, our photographer and SUP racer herself; had to paddle hard with me catching them at the turn! What a workout. To really test them, we did some push ups, core planks and leg squat. Great job everyone!
As we came in, a few of them caught their first waves! Doesn’t matter if you’re on your knees, standing or sitting down.. you guys caught some rides. Now you know what it feels like!
We wrapped up the day with high fives and now with our new water friends, it was time to refuel and review what we learned. As their reward, my sponsors and supporters helped me fill a nice goody bag to add to the SUP experience. To be a proficient SUP paddler, you must have the right gear!
Here’s what some of the women had to say about the day:
Where do I begin….How can I express my sincere feelings of gratefulness to you. I cannot tell you how happy I was to be in your presence. Your energy was so moving, your sincerity was inspirational, and your beauty (inside and out) was amazing. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge and your love of the sport, (SUP) with women here on Maui and around the world. Thank you for empowering us with the tools we need to be strong, be fit, and be beautiful, healthy, women of the world. I totally appreciated your professionalism, your sweetness, and your true commitment to the sport. Thank you for enforcing safety both in the water and safety pertaining to our boards. Very necessary and important to always be aware that safety comes first. And most of all, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to participate in this past Saturdays’ clinic. I am so blessed to know such an amazing, compassionate, and beautiful woman. God’s blessings to you as you continue to empower women!!! Go for it Suzie!!!!! My Aloha Always, Sandy
Our love and aloha to Deb Driscoll for her love and encouragement as well. She was absolutely fabulous to all the women.
Thank you so much for the clinic yesterday morning. For me the group and your leadership as well as Debs’ created an atmosphere that enabled me to push myself beyond my fears and see my strength emerge. The paddling was more fun than I can remember having in a long time and planted a seed to further my own growth as I look forward, stand up straight and paddle in the V shape as though I was flying free amongst a flock of birds on the wing.
What a lovely morning we had yesterday, with your SUP Women’s Clinic. You established such a friendly and relaxed tone, so “first timers” like me felt reassured and emboldened to simply “get up and paddle!” I was sure I’d be wobbling and falling but you connected with each one of us, and with your gentle enthusiasm you imbued us all with confidence. In no time at all we were paddling over coral-heads and out to a boat that was moored in the bay.
By starting early, we enjoyed calm conditions and fresh morning air ~ and our convivial group of ladies sure made for a very pleasant experience! It was very satisfying to learn a new skill, and be able to view our beautiful beaches from a whole new perspective.
Thank you so much for your sincere enthusiasm, the generous ‘goodie bags’ and for being such a kind and helpful instructor. I look forward to getting more info on your Makena Paddling excursion, when we’ll hopefully have a group reunion and discover another beautiful stretch of coastline…
Aloha and sincere thanks
from Gill (“Jill”) McBarnet,
Author and Illustrator of Hawaiian Children’s Books:
OMG, what a blast! What an amazing group of women. I had a great morning with you, all. Thank you, Suzie and Deb, for this wonderful clinic. I can’t believe how much I learned today. I’ll be at Puamana with my family tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to practice the quick turn and teach that to my family! Gabi, Laurel and Susanna are meeting me there, too. Hope rest of you can join us. Puamana is the last beach park before Lahaina.
I’m planing to join the full moon paddling.
Also, Gabi, Laurel, Gill and I like to do a longer distance puddling at Makena soon. I’ll let all of you know when so you can join us, too.
Happy puddling. ?(^o^)?
Thank you, Suzie, for the goodie bag, too.
Thanks so much for the fun morning of SUP. I learned some great tips. My 16 year old son wants to come with me for the full moon paddle and bring a friend. Is that OK? They are experienced. What a great sport when a teenager will participate with his mom.
Thanks for putting together such a nice gift bag.
Yes, I agree with all that has been written about the fantastic clinic that you ran yesterday. It was exactly what I imagined and hoped it would be–an invigorating and fun morning learning a new skill on the beautiful oceans of our paradise. I thank you kindly for you patient and thorough approach. Between you and Deb I felt very protected. I think I might have the bug now…I went again today with Sachi! It was thrilling to be out on the water today with my husband and my youngest son (they are wave surfers). Can’t wait until my oldest son comes home from college so I can be out there with him too. You’ve opened up new and incredible opportunities to me.
With a heart-felt thanks,
Gabrielle Galler-Rimm, M.D.
Developmental &Behavioral Pediatrics
Thank you so much, for everything, Suzie! Bringing this group of women together made a perfect opportunity for me to get myself out there and try something new. All of the women were fantastic and so, so sweet. It’s always great to learn something in an atmosphere of such support — being the youngest one there, it was almost like I had a network of mothers to help me through it. Even after claiming the trophy of falling first in the water, the little, encouraging tips you offered me got me in line right away! I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this clinic, and I know that anyone who wants to try SUP can do it, and they’ll love it! You are such an inspirational person, Suzie. Thank you so much for doing all you do to show us what we are capable of!
Hi Suzie, I can’t thank you enough for today. I have been so frustrated trying SUP without even knowing how to stand, hold my paddle or how to get in and out of the surf. You are such a delightful teacher-the stretches, the comraderie, the expertise out on the water, trying to catch those waves. I am absolutely sure that I now have a lifelong passion thanks to you!
Wow, I’m so grateful to be able to experience a day like today. I will continue my mission and through these lovely women, the sport of SUP will continue to grow and be recognized as not only a great way to get in shape, but to spread to the world that we must take care of ourselves and our health. Might as well have some fun doing it!
A big mahalo to Deb Driscol, my assstant coach who shared such an enthusiatic, postive way of teaching. Julia, the photos say it all! Thank you for taking the time to stop by my website. I have one more clinic this year with just one opening, November 13th, 2010 here on Maui. After that, it’s off to Costa Rica and other fun places across the globe!
Get out and paddle and STAND UP for your health.
Suzie Cooney, CPT
Suzie Trains Maui http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com
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