One of the many rewards of helping people with their stand up paddling stroke/fitness/technique is getting emails, photos and updates of their stoke and even better, wins in their local events. Makes a coach proud!
I had the chance to catch up with Scott Boyles at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point where I could see from the fire in his eyes, discipline and strength in his body that this was only the beginning for him.
Suzie & Scott2012 BOP Dana Point, CA.
Scott came to Maui with his wife Cheryl last year and took a lesson with me to improve his stroke. He was incredibly technical which I enjoyed all the more. He got it and he got it fast. As a student, he was a quick study and understood the finer nuances that take most people a little more time to grasp. With his anatomical knowledge and practice, I knew he’d have big breakthroughs too.
As he was already in excellent shape, it didn’t take him long to find his true core power ( about 5 minutes! ). He was able to understand how to use and transfer that power directly to the board and water. Impressive.
“I had paddled[only twice in my life. My wife Cheryl and I went to Maui, called Suzie Cooney. She invited us on a community downwinder from Paia Bay to Kanaha. Could barely stay on the board! Then I took a personal paddle lesson from her, and she demonstrated the great ability to coach technique, but more importantly communicate in an effective way. She was also so laid back as was the community she introduced us to, it really made it a awesome experience.
Went home, bought a board and set the goal to complete the 22 miler across Tahoe race (supported by a lovely wife who knows I need a "focus" on a physical activity). [I] achieved that in 2011. Did a number of other races, many sponsored by South Lake Tahoe Stand Up Paddle. Trained more, paddled lots, coached more by Tracy Day, bought another board a Flatwater Paddle, a fricking rocket. Then won the 18-55 age group in the 12′ 6″ class in the 2012, 22 miler. By the way, all at age 50!
Suzie is definitely a high ranking ambassador of SUP awesomeness, along with many others.”
So when I saw Scott again, as a trainer, of course, I noticed his ripped abs and asked if he’d share his training secret. He makes it look so easy!
Scott Boyle defying gravity in plank pose on his SUP
“For my abs: I do crunches once every couple months or so, up to 5 reps maybe 3 sets max. They are hard on the back and really unnecessary! (I learned a lot about true core strength following my second lower back surgery.) Ab strength is totally built on exercises that are based on core and balance as the primary foundation.”
Scott also came in 3rd in age group and 8th overall in the famous Tahoe Nalu long distance race.
TweetTaken from the Maui Breakfast Club August 9th, 2011: Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui, Health & Fitness Segment every Tuesday morning at 7:38 am on KNUI 900 AM. Listen here: Radio Segment
Throw away the diet books, thigh blaster or ab roller and if you live near any body of water, hop aboard and paddle to shed unwanted pounds now!
It sounds like an infomercial but I’m really serious. I’ve been helping people shed unwanted weight here on Maui and spreading the word for some time now, on how thousands of people are, as I wrote this article for ATHLETA; are literally “Sweeping Their Way to Health”. It’s really true. I’m hearing from so many people, besides seeing my clients and others around the world completely transform their bodies; paddling away the fat.
I wanted to share with you a couple nice entries of the many of received on how SUP has literally shaped their lives and bodies. It’s so inspiring and I hope they inspires you or someone you know who would like to enjoy losing unwanted weight. It is possible and it’s fun!
Here, my dear friend and avid paddler Lucija Kordic, from Alameda, California, braves the chilly waters of the Bay Area and shares, ” My pants fit much differently now and I fit into some of my set-aside size 6 pants. SUP and intervals on the treadmill both make a difference!” Lucija is now training with me with her new SUP Endurance Program designed to help her improve her paddling strength and endurance for long distance racing. Go Lucy go! See you on Maui soon!
If you live in the Bay Area and want to get to know some paddle buddies, Lucija organizes casual paddling groups and is the ultimate host. This I’ve experienced myself. You can hook up with her group at: http://Meet.Up.com/East-Bay-SUP
I’ve received so many emails on how stand up paddling, also known as “SUP” is changing people’s lives and it just so happens that one of the keen health benefits is amazing weight loss. I’m not just talking loss of pounds, but more like shedding their old ways.
I’ve always encouraged my clients and everyone to find a sport, especially SUP, to enhance their current training as a cross training tool. What happens more times than not, is it becomes an obsession! Wow. Besides having to throw away hard earned money on marriage counselors, maybe a new pair of $80 Spanx, the moderate investment of one or two boards, paddles, leashes and some sunscreen can also result in relationship bonding. SUP is so easy, couples are losing weight together AND getting quality time paddling off into the sunset.
I’ve always found that most of my clients and people who write me, have had the light turn on in their lives with SUP. They have found their calling and are so taken with the sport, it consumes every waking hour. Now they have racks on their cars, very cool, hang out at the local SUP shop and talk “board talk” or what event they may register in, or simply enjoy the “healthy” camaraderie that develops along with wonderful new friendships.
This sport is very contagious and what comes along with is the healthy lifestyle. What a great bonus. As one develops their love for SUP, unknowingly, because your total body is getting a continuous workout; one can easily start to notice remarkable changes in their body. What is commonly noticed first, is one’s core strength. I’ve written so many articles about the power of the core for SUP, and how to train your core to get stronger to paddle stronger, it’s truly the first thing that people always say, “Wow it really works my core.”
In Redding, way North of my hometown, Sacramento, California lives Matt Ivey, very new to SUP and boy does he have the stoke and has he
Matt Ivey Looking Great!
gotten in great shape! He says he was his wife’s ginny pig and suggested he do SUP with her while she was pregnant and suggested that he join her too. Read the rest to see how he lost 10 lbs and also learn how SUP helped him manage some pretty serious injuries he had. He’s got big plans to grow SUP in his life and business.
I just got into SUP about a month ago and I am totally hooked. I have lost about 10 lbs and my core/lower back are feeling the increase in strength. I love is so much my wife and I are adding SUP rentals, ecotours, lessons, and fitness/yoga classes. My wife is 20 weeks pregnant and she is a manager of a gymnastics gym. She has been using the SUP to stay in shape while she is pregnant and has been working on a fitness program. So that means I have been her ginny pig when it comes to testing her exercises on someone. I also like my alone time so every other day I have been paddling upstream on a local river for a hour.
I come from a background of playing sports and lifting heavy weights. Over the past 6 years I have broken and dislocated my left ankle, separated my right shoulder, tore one of the heads of my left bicep, broke my right thumb, and sprained my right mcl. I also have several degenerative disks in my back so needless to say I can no longer play the sports I once loved.
But what that also meant is that I could no longer lift weights in the gym. This lead to me becoming frustrated and out of shape. After relocating to a new town and stumbling on SUP (we had seen it on Maui 3 years ago but were more concerned with surfing) I was instantly hooked.
In fact I even had my wife take a before photo so I have something I can compare it to after I feel like I have reached my goal. I have also been incorporating a slackline into my balance and core training. Between the SUP and Slackline I feel like I have found a great routine that works for me.
I could chat all day about SUP and what it has done for me mentally and physically. Both my wife and I have out degrees in Recreation Administration and Business so we are looking forward to putting our education and experience to use helping others share the passion we have for SUP. We have been following you and all that you have done for the SUP industry. Thanks for all of the inspiration and knowledge you share so well.
Adventure Recreation LLC
adventurerecreation.co ( this is not a typo )
Thanks so much Lucija and Matt, and to the many others that wrote me and shared their SUP weight loss stories. As SUP grows so does the opportunity for more people to get fit and healthy. I really encourage those new to the sport to take the opportunity and feel and experience what all the buzz is about. As I always say, SUP will change your life.
To see all of my articles about how to get stronger for the sport of SUP, go to:
I ride Naish boards. The line up for 2012 is unreal! We’ll have up to 31 boards like last year and the lines, designs and graphics are killer. I’m so stoked for the winter, monster swells and for some exciting Maliko runs. Check out the current line up here:
Saturday April 30th, 2011, Maui’s beautiful N. Shore attracted 72 paddlers of all ages and levels of experience for our second three mile Ohana OluKai Practice Fun Paddle! With only two weeks away from the Third Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, we welcomed SUP paddlers, prone paddlers and Heather our OC1 paddler; joined us from Paia Bay to the lifeguard tower at Kanaha Beach Park, in preparation for the New Ohana Fun Paddle @ 9AM, May 14th, 2011.
This paddle was our second practice paddle since our first April 2nd, 2011 was such a huge success. Click here to see the video. We wanted to share again and encourage families, new paddlers and those who’ve never done a down winder, to come and build their confidence.
Peter Swanzy and Julianna Prater from Paia Youth and Cultural Center had five youth from 13 to 14 years old join in the practice paddle. The youth have been training with Pete and Julianna over the last month and their training paid off as this was the first time that these youth had paddled this 3 mile distance. A huge sense of accomplishment and pride way to go! We also had paddlers from Sweden, Nevada and England participate.
For some, this was the first or second time ever experiencing a coast run. After everyone signed in, had a little morning coffee and juice, we all gathered as Matthew Murasko, OluKai Hawaii Ambassador, announced our 3 mile course.
Then the ice chest was turned over to me, and I stood up and asked everyone to join me in some warm up exercises and jumping jacks to shake off any pre-paddle jitters or butterflies!
The conditions were perfect and inviting. The trades were light at about 10 knots that provided for some fun glides.
The first group of paddlers arrived to Kanaha in 30 minutes and the last group arrived in 60 minutes. Upon completion paddlers were treated to water, juice, granola bars and Whoopie Pies, a chocolate cake-vanilla ice cream confection handmade by my boyfriend Tommy Callan.
Mahalo to the Maui lifeguards ( Tony Colletta ) from Baldwin Tower and Kanaha Tower for PWC saftey…and special mahalo also to Milton Martinson of Haiku for PWC water safety as well as SUP water safety guards, Chris Pagdilao, John Smalley, Joshua Kjorven, Randy Royse. Also lending a hand and expertise, Deb Driscoll and Blair Thorndike.
We’d also like to thank the crews at the Naish Maui Pro Center and Second Wind for providing a few extra boards for the kids from the youth center.
I know this paddle provided many an amazing, life-changing ocean experience. I was touched to see everyone supporting one another out there and on the beach. For others it was a chance to encourage their loved ones and friends to go to the next level. Well done.
Training for power comes with time and one should have a pretty good base of fitness before attempting some of these exercises. Extra precautions should be warranted to those who may have ankle weakness or other orthopedic challenges. You may have heard of plyometrics, which refers to very powerful, 2 legged, explosive like exercises that help speed and power.
Training Note:It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.
Exercise 1: Box Drops Equipment: Box or stable platform (24-29 inches off ground)
This exercise requires you to drop to the ground from a box or raised platform and land softly. It is very important to land on the balls of your feet, not on your heels. The box I’m using is 29 inches tall.
Exercise 2: Box Hop Ups
Equipment: Box or stable platform (24-29 inches off ground)
This powerful exercise can be a great cardio blast too. You can increase the difficulty by changing the speed or height of the box or platform you are jumping to. I suggest not standing too far away from the box or too close; about 12 inches away from the box seems to work well.
Online Registration Now Open for the May 14-15 OluKai Ho’olaule’a
OluKai prepares to welcome paddlers, families and enthusiasts to Kanaha Beach Park, Maui, for the 3rd Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a
Maui, HI (March, 23 2011) – Registration is now open for the OluKai Ho’olaule’a, a celebration of the ocean and cultures that surround it at http://www.olukai.com/hoolaulea. The event will be held at the Lae ‘Ula O Kai Canoe Club at Kanaha Beach Park, Maui, May 14-15, 2011.
Elite watermen, waterwomen and paddling enthusiasts of all ages will have the opportunity to race the legendary Maliko downwind run on Maui’s North shore, an eight-mile stretch from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha Beach Park.
A $15,000 prize purse will be shared equally between the Elite men’s and women’s divisions of the Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and OC1 races, while recreational paddlers will compete in age groups for trophies and prizes. The SUP race will start at 12:00PM on Saturday, May 14. The OC1 race will start at 12:00PM on Sunday, May 15.
Space is limited, register online by May 4 to receive a Premium Race Package including luau dinner, technical race jersey, and a pair of OluKai sandals. Online registration closes May 10.
Not a serious paddler? Ocean enthusiasts of all skill levels are invited to register for the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle. This 3-mile non-competitive, non-timed paddle starts at 9:00AM on Saturday May 14, and runs downwind from Paia Bay to Kanaha Beach Park. All human-powered ocean craft are allowed, and a portion of proceeds goes to the OluKai ‘Ohana Giveback Program benefiting Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program.
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Founded in 2005, OluKai was conceived from a desire for a premium ocean lifestyle brand with a distinctively different point of view and deep values. We are committed to building a unique and better class of products that blend ocean heritage with modern performance. The spirit of Aloha inspired the creation of the Ohana Giveback Program as our commitment to our Hawaiian family.
You wonder how top professional athletes eat to win? Practice, like anything! It takes practice and discipline to choose the right training program, know how to recover, what gear to select, but what to eat? People often ask me, what should I eat?
Discover the benefits of knowing what to eat so you can to be your best, finish your first windsurfing slalom event, SUP race, or complete your first marathon. Eating for sports performance requires planning, testing and seeing what digests easily. The last thing you want to worry about is running out of steam and crashing early, or worse losing everything on the course you just ate! There’s no one perfect formula that suits all, so be patient and find out what you like and plan ahead.
Suzie’s Daily Power Food
In this article I’m going to keep it short and delicious and tell you what I eat to do my best for all the sports I enjoy! My breakfast, everyday consists of healthy, satisfying protein and complex carbs. I need fuel to get me through training 4-5 clients back to back or a training session on the water. I’ll blend a cup of low-fat yogurt ( prefer the Greek higher protein content ), a cup of high quality granola blended with a cup of fresh berries!
Developing and balancing your training routine is for some, much easier than creating healthy eating habits for your sport(s) of choice. I recommend to keep it as simple as possible and to include a combo of fueling carbs with some protein. The two components will be satiating and energy sustaining.
We’ve heard way too long that carbs are bad. Sure, if you’re sedentary and sitting on the couch eating a whole bag of potato chips, a loaf of white bread washed down with a soda, and the only surfing you do is channel surfing!
Think of carbs and associate the word “healthy or whole grains” instead or think of the phrase “complex carbs”; fuel for the brain and your muscles. Most Americans eat “refined” grains with high contents of sugar and little to no fiber. Whole grains or healthy grains contain necessary nutrients like magnesium ( plays an important role in bone health and blood pressure regulation ) Vitamin E ( functions as an antioxidant ) and zinc ( for the metabolism of the foods you eat ).
Carbs are GOOD if you choose the right ones and use it as fuel. Some examples of good carbs are: oatmeal, quinoa or granola. On race day, my first choice is a cup of oatmeal with a pinch of raw sugar for taste with fresh berries on top and a half a cup of coffee and lots of water mixed with a little electrolytes . This is easy for me to digest and can keep me fueled for at least 2+ hours of high intensity!
Next, let’s talk about protein which is necessary to keep your muscles in tip top shape as you break them down. The best way to consume healthy amounts of protein for athletic performance is to eat nutritious, low fat foods such as lean red meat, nuts,egg whites, fish, beans, rice, and low fat dairy products. I also enjoy mid morning during my heavy client loads, a protein shake with about 27+ grams of protein and low in sugar. I’ll use VitaCoco coconut water as my base and add a cup of fresh berries.
How much protein to consume will vary for each person. But for most athletes and in my book all of you are atheltes if your reading : divide your current weight by 2.2, multiply that number by 1.4, the number you come up with is the number of grams of protein you should consume. Another method to try is consuming 10 to 15 percent of your daily calories from protein sources.
The right amount of healthy grains and protein will be different for each athlete ( you ). Eating the two combined all throughout the day is really key. So before performance, during if possible and after to assure proper recovery and repair of the muscles and tissue you broke down. There is a proper balance that one should try to achieve and I recommend taking it slow as you introduce new foods. Be sure you can tolerate certain foods and “practice” combining the two. Don’t wait until the morning of a special event. That can be disastrous. Also, remember to hydrate well before and after.
Make each stroke count, paddle hard, or rig a big sail and enjoy the benefits of eating well.
Aloha and see you on the water and at the finish line!
Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui
To train with Suzie while visiting Maui or to hire her for your next SUP Fitness Event/Clinic you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you’re new to the sport of stand up paddling or preparing for an exciting Maui Maliko downwinder, having upper body paddling endurance and excellent balance will get you through the deepest troughs, maybe help you pass a competitor or help you enter bigger waves and swells with extra confidence and success!I like to be as efficient as possible when training, so combining the two is perfect.The following exercise is just a sample of what you can do to get stronger, develop faster reflexes, increase the rapid firing of your finite muscles that stabilizes your larger muscles, improve your timed runs and possibly reduce fatigue and/or risk of overuse injuries.It’s well known that SUP requires the entire body to perform and respond in unison. You’re never isolating one muscle group at any given moment.As you paddle, your entire shoulder complex, upper/lower back, feet, ankles, knees, hips and core (everything excluding your extremities) are executing each short or long stroke in a smooth, connected motion. Conditions can and do change, so adding some balance work is also a huge plus. I totally can tell that when I balance train, my reactions are sharp and quick.Based on your current level of fitness, ease into some of these more advanced moves and change the variables accordingly. You can simply start with your own paddle or select one of the suggested weights. I usually start light and advance to heavy, to fatigue.
The Exercise: Balance/Weighted Paddle Stroke Repeats:
Equipment: A weight: 4-10 lb medicine ball, 9-12 lb body bar or regular dumbbell
A balance platform: a small 12” inflatable disc or BOSU, INDO Board 24” Gigante inflatable disc, INDO Board or your own SUP Caution: if using an SUP board on a Gigante, you may want to remove the fins.
March 26th, 2011 MAUI! STAND UP for Health & Fitness with Suzie Cooneyof Suzie Trains Maui. F R E E! Guys and gals, train on the beach with me, then we hit the water for some SUP water training, strength training, relay fun, and fine tune your paddling techniques. CLINIC IS NOW FULL! If you are still interested, we are taking information should there be a cancellation.
All levels of fitness and paddling welcome! Meet new paddling friends.
Learn to paddle efficiently, gain better control of your board and glide more smoothly. Enjoy the healthy benefits SUP has to offer and learn from a professional. Learn a few training tips to help build better body and paddling endurance. Check out this SUP exercise tip written exclusively for Naish International: http://www.naishsurfing.com/sup-fitness/
Space is limited! To reserve your space and inquire: email@example.com or call 808-283-2121. You must provide your own board or you can rent from the Maui Naish Pro Center 808-871-1500. This class is for beginners and intermediate paddlers and is 1.5 hours.
Suzie Cooney is a world renowned SUP instructor and ambassador of the sport of stand up paddling. Her SUP clinics are a day or a week long adventure. As a sponsored Team SUP Rider for Naish International and elite fitness specialist, Suzie has taught hundreds of men and women this fastest growing sport in the world. Her SUP Health & Fitness clinics welcomes all ages and all levels of fitness; are informative and sure to spread the stoke of SUP!
She is available to conduct private or group clinics, host events or customize a week long adventure at your resort. She is also supported by Olukai Premium Footwear, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear and Elite Athlete for The True-Collection Team, owner of Suzie Trains Maui More info: http://www.standuppaddlingfitness.com OR http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com
A Four Star Stand Up Paddling Adventure at the Zancudo Lodge in Costa Rica
by Suzie Cooney January 2011
Exploring by SUP in Costa Rica
One of many gorgeous sunsets!
I’m fortunate to live in a paradise called Maui, however after recently returning from a new found paradise in Southern Costa Rica, I can now appreciate my new discovery of one of the most beautiful, friendly, places on earth. Warm water, waves and beautiful accommodations is what I discovered. (see all photos below in slide shows )
I was kindly invited by Gregg Mufson, the owner of the Zancudo Lodge; to experience what I can easily say was a first class, four star adventure. Our mission was to scout out the waters, meet the gracious staff and survey the grounds for my SUP stand up paddling clinic he is hosting this April 2011.
On New Year’s day, my arrival to the city of San Jose, Costa Rica I encountered a very smooth transfer from the helpful driver at the airport to the exquisite Intercontinental Hotelwith a comfortable suite. The next morning, after a delicious breakfast buffet, the same driver appeared on time in the lobby ready to take me to local airport where again they welcomed me by first name. Off I went on the modern SANSA plane to Golfito where I would then be greeted by another driver to the boat, which would take me on an exciting ride to the lodge.
Plane ride to town of Golfito
The short plane ride down to the lodge was amazing. Below you could see the gorgeous Dulce coast and the dense jungles with many farms that were scattered throughout.
The plane touched down easily on a small strip and the airport itself had so much character and flavor with, once again my driver looking for me before I could grab my bags!
The colorful town of Golfito reminded me of mine, Paia in Maui. Although we only have one stop light, they have none. The population is roughly 450 people with quaint shops and restaurants and smiles everywhere. My driver spoke very good English so that was helpful to me, since my espanol could have used some practice.
Like clockwork, as I was comfortably waiting at the marina, along came one of the 15 boats from the Zancudo Lodge. The captain welcomed me, grabbed my bags and off we went down the waterways to the lodge. The air was warm and the jungles we passed very thick and I wondered what or who lived in them. On occasion I’d see a gorgeous private bungalow too.
Gregg himself was at the dock and helped me to land. All of his boats were lined up to serve and accommodate us for our private SUP adventures. I was very impressed! My bags were taken for me and I was escorted to the main hall and delighted with a fabulous lunch. The staff made me feel right at home.
My 600 square foot private bungalow was fabulous. I opened the door and thought I had entered the Four Seasons or a modern W hotel. Gregg’s wife, Goldine Wang has impeccable taste and appointed the room just perfectly. This stand alone suite I was in, also called the Junior Suite was gorgeous. It had rare purpleheart hard wood floors, open ceilings with bright light, air conditioning, a very comfortable king size bed, complementary WIFI, flat screen TV, safe deposit box, beautiful bamboo linens and of course a cozy robe and personal slippers. It also had a private sitting terrace. (more photos below)
In the main part of the lodge, the other 12 rooms were appointed in a similar fashion,350 square feet, but had 2 plush, full beds and are just steps away from the main dining hall and bar, adjacent to the inviting pool with teak, comfortable, padded chase lounges.
One can also reserve the impressive Master Suite which is beach front, 1200 square feet, inlcudes a home theatre, separate bedroom and large living space with an outdoor lanai perfect to enjoy the sunsets.
Although I had a bit of jet lag, Gregg was very eager to get us on the water and paddling! I needed the rest of the day to adjust and enjoyed walking on the beach right in front of the lodge that seemed to extend for miles. The water is warm and it’s great for shell hunting.
The weekend I arrived, New Years, is a busy holiday for the local Ticos. The beach was lively and full of warm and friendly waves and smiles. Gregg said that
One can walk for miles on the beach in front of the lodge
tomorrow, it would be dead and very quiet. He was right. The beaches were empty and it was great to stroll as the only one on the beach.
My dinner the first night was outstanding. As a treat, Gregg had a visiting chef named Stephan who prepared us a special shrimp appetizer skewered on sugar cane with a light, tasty lime drizzle. Wow! To follow, a lovely plate of fresh vegetables harvested from the property, fresh dorado caught that day and a side salad.
Finally, the next day our first SUP exploration out in the Bay. Gregg is a stickler for being on time and ready to go, and I appreciate that. Boards, paddles and cooler were loaded already on the boat and at 7am we left the harbor! On the boat, an impressive, powerful 32 footer, Wilson, the first mate and captain Tito were so friendly and really knew these waters. The ride was exiting and sure enough, as planned a nice mellow swell just south of the lodge. We have a code not to share the name of breaks for fear it will be over populated. Trust me, it was awesome. You’ll just have to go and ride it for yourself.
We anchored the boat and paddled to the break that was peeling left all day long. Consistent, nice A shaped, and wow, talk about long rides!?!? Crazy! With only 4 of us on the break, you could easily get in 20+ rides or more if you could handle it. Gregg and Sean were showing me the way pointing out the best sweet spot and where the sand bar began.
These are very helpful tips when arriving to a new spot. Second time SUP rookie, Sloan, a fisherman from New York was handling his board really well. Gregg was just a paddling machine and we had a hard time pulling him off the waves when it was time to go.
Although it was only 9 AM, it felt like 1 or 3pm, for we are much closer to the equator. I was sure to lather up some heavy duty sunscreen. If you needed, you could paddle back to the boat, grab a drink and head back out. What service!
Still recovering from a bit of jet lag, I rode all the waves I need to be absolutely convinced that I did not want to leave this place and explore more waves and other water adventures. Di and Yvonne were also charging. At times when I looked over at them, I thought to myself, “wow here comes a decent set and there they were, still paddling and smiling big.” They were stoked!
Back to the lodge, cooling down after an excellent session with new friends, lunch was already being prepared. The menu is fabulous for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have to say, although as a trainer, their French fries and special BLT sandwiches were delicious. Topped off with a nice cool drink, I was ready for a siesta in one of the hammocks that are perfectly strung under to gorgeous palms with views to die for.
Time seems to stand still there and although this was a semi-working trip I felt pretty relaxed. Often, before dinner, some would grab a volleyball game. Just before dinner is served is when the paddlers and the other guests tend to gather in the main lodge hall. We were treated fresh lime ceviche and I have to admit a nice cold Imperial or my favorite, Corona beer went well!
All the people I met staying at the lodge were friendly and eager to be social. I met nice folks from all over escaping the cold East coast storms. I, of course encouraged everyone to try stand up paddling. Some raised an eyebrow very curious and others actually signed up with the instructor the next day.
When the rest of my crew, Yvonne and Di of Laster Heathman Media arrived we planned a fitness afternoon with Gregg and the other guest for and INDO Board demo day. Luckily Marvin Ortiz, professional photographer was on hand to capture some of the laughter and everyone hanging ten on this new training gear that all the trainers will use for the SUP clinics scheduled in April. Yvonee, Di, Gregg, Sloan and Elie were rock stars!
I think one of the most memorable days was paddling to the wild animal sanctuary and along the way I, DI and Yvonne I think were spotted first by these darling red Spider monkeys, curiously swinging from tree top to tree top. I thought to myself, “WOW” this alone was worth the 16 hour plane ride. The waters along the jungle were a beautiful turquoise blue and green. I could see lots of sea life below, including star fish and other brightly colored fish.
We left the boards with the captain, and hopped off the boat and soon began a guided tour through the jungle. Marvin was our chaperone. We were told not to wear watches, earrings or especially sunglasses, for the monkeys are quick and will steal them off you in a moment and head up a tree. Most glasses we were told do not survive.
This particular wild nature preserve also rescues injured birds and other creatures of the jungle. We learned a great deal about toucans and other exotic animals. The tour itself lasts about 2 hours, but we had to rush back to the lodge for a live radio show broadcast to SUP radio to tell the world about this magical place to stand up paddle.
We had had a full day. Nearing the end our fun filled week, tonight before dinner, Gregg offered to be my partner and teach me the game of bocce ball. He is quite the competitor and has a unique style all his own. Di as well, you could tell she was a very experienced player and a little competitive too!
This professional grade bocce ball court is very special. Gregg spared no expense when he personally had over 1500 pounds of crushed oyster shellsimported all the way from Bellingham, Washington. He’s pretty serious and so were some of his other guests. I had a blast and learn quickly about back spin and bumping other balls. This was a great way to catch the most gorgeous sunsets of the day and work up an appetite before dinner. The warm tropical breezes were always present, and now and then a quick squall of rain would sneak through.
I miss my compadres, Di and Yvonne, I was very sad to pack my bags and leave this special place. I thought Maui was the best for stand up paddling, well I’ve been proven wrong. What the Zancudo Lodge is offering to all levels of stand up paddlers, is an exceptional property and warm waters for everyone. Gregg’s qualified staff can help. He can arrange private rides to best breaks, or you can simply carry your board right from the lodge to the ocean. You are literally steps away. Should the wind pick up in the afternoon, the boat can take you out to see as far as you like for what are called down winders. I recommend this for the experienced ocean folks and experienced paddlers. I’m sure Gregg will want to join you!
Gregg and Goldine, thank you for an experience of a life time and I will be back in April. Your hospitality and ability to make everyone feel so welcome is evident as to why you are such a success. I am telling everyone I know to not only come this spring for the SUP clinics, but really make an effort to see what this lodge has to offer. Simply magnifico!
Women of all ages and all SUP levels, come join me here at the Zancudo Lodge and let’s have some fun paddling and getting in great shape. We will have other adventurous activities planned as well. Book your reservation now. Space is limited! Click here for more details.
INDO Board Demo Day at the Zancudo Lodge Costa Rica with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui
January 5, 2011 – Reporting from the most beautiful SUP and surf and fishing spot in Southern Costa Rica, The Zancudo Lodge! Owner, Gregg Mufson is hanging ten on the INDO Boardas he and the crew prepare for the surf rolling in this week. I’m here introducing the team on how The INDO Board is great workout for everyone.
We have all the gear from INDO Board, including the new Gigante disc to challenge beginners to the hard core SUP’rs and surfer alike. Gregg, Yvonne, Sloan, Elle, and Di all participated in an afternoon of learning, laughs and some thigh-burning fun. I can tell their addicted and promised them, after this workout we’ll all be ready for any water action tomorrow!
We started the morning on a mellow, slower surface. Next we graduate to the beach to hard pack sand for some faster action and more fun. In such a short time, everyone got their groove on and was hang’n on the nose. I challenged them to an upper body challenge which Gregg, Di and Yvonne immediately worked up a small sweat with the plank and one leg lifted behind them, alternating at 5 – 10 second intervals. Below, Gregg is performing the advanced plank with one or both feet behind him, on a Gigante disc.
The Gigante disc is the newest platform training tool for INDO Board, that inflates up to 12 inches that achieves the 4-way action intended for those who want to enhance their SUP or surf performance. We placed both discs under Gregg’s surf board and what a ride. Inflate it more and hang on!
It’s my favorite piece of equipment in my studio at home. I also use it for clients just recovering from major hip or knee surgery as a rehab element. Today we’ve kept the inflation to 6 inches as my willing participants start their training.
Then off to what I call the core bug. This move is in the prone position requiring glutes and the upper scapular region of the shoulder blades to work in unison as we seek the most stable position. I recommend keeping the head in a neutral position. I also suggest to keep breathing smoothly and hold the position for 15 – 30 seconds. Rest, then repeat 5 times.
In addition to this great core exercise, by placing the INDO Board board directly on top the Gigante, together we performed leg burning same side lunges, for a count of 5-10 each leg.
Gigante sitting came last where Yvonne, Di and Elle gracefully sat on top of the Gigante as feet and hands stayed off the ground lending to an extreme, deep core constant, contraction! Well done girls.