Stand up paddlers of all skill levels gathered on the serene grounds of Lumeria Maui on November 3rd for the SUP Pro Talk Workshop with Suzie Cooney. The educational (and fun!) land-based event touched on many important topics for paddlers, including the health benefits of SUP, water safety and ocean preparedness, SUP fitness techniques and training demos, and equipment reviews.
Clay Everline, M.D., co-author of the Surf Survival Health Hand Book, was on hand with a valuable lecture on First Aid, and pro paddler, Jeremy Riggs, heated the afternoon up with his tips on downwind paddling. Suzie Cooney, as charming as ever, kept the crowd entertained and engaged with her informative and “hands on” teaching style.
The big winner of the day was the organization Bring Change 2 Mind, as 90% of the event’s proceeds went to supporting the group’s fight to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. The organization, founded by actress Glenn Close, provides educational material and a meeting place for a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.
“We were thrilled to sell out three months in advance. That really confirmed to me that people are eager to learn and support the sport. I’m a big advocate of those dealing with mental illness, so I wanted to spread the word about the organization I support, Bring Change 2 Mind.org.
Clay Everline, M.D. was very informative and entertaining, as was Jeremy Riggs, our local downwind pro who shared some of his helpful tips. The participants had great questions, which was helpful for the entire audience!
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!
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. 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 exercises are THE ultimate core challenge and require good form, good posture and good overall anatomical health. Remember the core is where all movement begins and is everything excluding your extremities.
This type of training, I also refer to as proprioception training to encourage cat-like reflexes for your lifestyle, prevent injury and to provide the opportunity for your brain to command each finite muscle, tendon and ligament that supports all joints.
UPDATE: Nov 2, 2012: Thank you everyone for helping me reach my goal of 3100 squats with 20lbs. I am continuing on with new found strength and am wondering why I took so long to do this. See, even trainers need a little help now and than. My legs are super strong AND my butt and legs got more toned!
I am writing this blog entry today, October 9th, 2012 with 900 squats completed in my own training log. Today was proof, with a high surf advisory here on the N. shore of Maui, my legs held me up and helped me stick 2 head high waves at Kanaha. It was closing out all the way across and at first, I simply could not get out, then finally a small lull. I felt confident and strong. YES!
Why in the world you may ask am I challenging myself to perform 100 squats a day with 10lb (20 total) dumbbells? Did you know that this is my LEAST favorite exercise to do? I absolutely with my heart and soul detest doing squats. You’d never bet that would you?
Well guess what, I need to be motivated and challenged too. As a trainer I tell my clients that if you make a commitment and goal to yourself, then tell someone publicly; your trainer, spouse, friend or whatever, you will more likely make that goal. Write it down, post it, let the world know. You don’t want to let them down do you?
Have you heard of the 21day rule? If you do something for 21 days in a row it becomes habit. I will admit I think things are not only taking shape but it’s shaping my thought and my brain.
So, the main reason for me sharing this on Facebook the month of October 2012, is that I need your help. You see, after busting my legs in April of 2009 (Maui Weekly Story) that 3 month wheelchair stint did a number on me. I mean, my legs turned to mush in two weeks. My lower half atrophied in ways I’ve never ever experienced and even with all the training they are not quite the same legs they used to be and yes, I do run like a girl!-
That freak accident changed my life in so many amazing ways and here I am professing and confessing to you my weakest link! Three years later I’m still trying. My left ankle is bigger than the left but you won’t notice at first, my strength is ( to me ) about 75% and I really want to be extra strong for surfing, stand up paddling, and long distance crossings.
I still have to wear a compression stalking on the left leg once in a while and it still swells up once in a while. It feels great and maybe I’ll start a new trend!
Now I am accountable to you. I don’t want to let you down and simply by posting this blog, I have assigned accountability. That is one of the many reasons people hire me is to hold them accountable and help them reach their goals. I get it. But did you know that even trainers come to me to get motivated, get a jump start and ask me to hold them accountable? It is true.
I know that some of you are doing it with me and I really appreciate that. It helps more than you can know. I will occasionally jump in here or on FB to keep you updated and please feel free to do the same.
I want to thank straight away Tracy Lynn Penny and son from Sunset Beach, Hawaii , sales person for freesurfmagazine. Way to go Tracy! Also to Jennifer Gladwin, Jacqueline Tan-Barclay, Amie Engerbreston, Jenny Ryan, Suzi Tucker, Joel Edwards, Brian Coppedge, John Smalley, Carlita T., Marty Melum, Salma Ansari, Elder SUP, Brianna Castillo, Mary Lynn Hershey, Nick De Meyer, Kimberly Sutton, Casey Gotcher, Blen Hinton, Jeffrey Zerkle, and many more.
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.
I’d like to introduce to you what I use for a turbo session on the water and for the long endurance paddling runs down Maliko Gulch. I squeeze my PocketFuel into my mouth and get ready to feel the energy I need to perform and play.
Smart athletes and weekend warriors plan, prepare and properly fuel. The worst thing you can do is head out for a session and not have healthy, sustaining energy that you need to be at your best. Besides crashing on a wave having your energy crash is just as bad. I’m totally guilty for getting to the beach, all pumped up and heading out with only maybe a banana and cup of coffee. For me that is a disaster and the sign of a short, lame session and poor performance.
Twist, squish squeeze and enjoy! There are 5 crazy, delicious flavors and my favorite is called Chocolate Haze. Other flavors include Crunchy Banana Blueberry, Chunky Coconut Cherry, Chocolate Espresso and Chia Goji & Honey. All are organic, gluten-free, vegan and packed with whole food ingredients; primarily almond.
The appropriate combinations of protein, carbs, healthy fats, potassium, magnesium, chloride, sodium nicely balance your electrolyte needs while you perform. Remember, proper training requires you to plan ahead and plan after your session. Restoring your energy resources in your body will help you recover faster, repair the muscles you just broke down and allow you to charge again the next day.
Everything you need is just a squirt away. Sometimes a whole 3 0z. packet will last me a full 10 mile Maliko downwinder. I purposely have in my truck a packet and eat half along with good hydration about 3o minutes before I head down. What’s totally cool, is that since the package itself can easily fit into my hydration pack, if I need to sit and ingest more, it’s so easy and not messy and can stay dry even in big swells! They also come in convenient 1.8 ounce sizes too, perfect to put in your surf shorts.
My body accepts all the ingredients very well and I can digest easily. Some other products that are designed to do the same thing cause my blood sugars to spike too high and then the worst thing happens, I crash and lose steam. Not cool.
A Simple Training Tip For SUP to Maximize Leg Strength and Endurance with the Indo Board Training Gear
By Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui
More and more people are stand up paddling and I get flooded with emails on how to strengthen the legs to help reduce fatigue, increase performance for distance, wave paddling and simply cruising. There is not one answer but I have a tip that can help all the above at some level.
From beginners to professional paddlers, everyone can benefit to learn how to maximize your leg strength and endurance to you can enjoy paddling longer, possibly reduce injury or to push your limits and improve your performance.
I’ve been a Team Rider for Indo Board for years now and love how the sport and gear have evolved together to allow for smooth paddling and more water time. I’ve had numerous major injuries over the years, and seriously, my Indo Board gear has brought me back faster and stronger than ever.
When folks are making transitions from flat water to wave paddling, it’s all footwork and water reading. It’s pretty awesome when you can train your body to connect to your brain’s intention and have it all right there. Connect your body to the waves, bump or trough if downwind paddling.
This simple tip I offer will wake up all the fine muscles around the feet, ankle, knees and hips independently of your other leg. I like this exercise ( see blow ) because although all the muscles of your body work together, by breaking it down and loading up each joint; we can then maximize each point to perform with it’s own strength and consistency, then ultimately allowing for every joint to excel in unison.
Additionally, the strength you gain will then allow for quicker reaction times to changing conditions, increase muscle endurance and hopefully minimize injury or overuse syndromes and other compensations. ( I am not a physician but have worked in sports orthopedics. Always consult with your personal specialist with regards to any injuries or if embarking on a new fitness routine.)
Even though I’m a “regular” surfer and paddler surfer, funny thing is I skateboard and snowboard “goofy”. So fortunately I will benefit from training with left foot and right foot forward. My point is, even though you may be one or the other, train both legs.
Inflate the Gigante Flo Cushion with less air for more difficulty or more air to slow it down. Place the Indo Board Rocker or Indo Board Kicktail on top with nubby side up for maximum traction of board to cushion. I also suggest that you kick off your shoes because any rubber will act as a false barrier between you and the real thing.
Step onto board slowly in a surfer’s stance with kettle bell or dumbbell in the hand of the opposite side of the foot your approach with. So if goofy or right foot, step up and hold weight in left hand.
To maximize results, hold weight “above” the joints we intend to stress, so up to shoulder. My joint targets: ankles, knees and hips.
I suggest “time” your set. For example, beginner would hold for 5-10 seconds, and advance to 30-60 seconds in each direction or with each foot.
Lower body into squat position, gaze forward, breathe and hold. Burn to fatigue. Shaking is okay and expected.
You will begin to feel your ankle, knee and hip burn and or shake! This is good! Hold on to this position as best you can and time yourself now. See how low you can go. Relax your feet and don’t look down.
Rise up slowly, step off the back of board onto ground rest then switch it up over to the opposite leg. Repeat.
If you have the opportunity to try both boards, the Ying and Yang ( links here ) and then the Kicktail, wow what a difference. The Kicktail, which is my favorite, is very challenging and offers a lot more ankle and foot action. This requires the small, tiny stabilizers to fire and fatigue, which is the result you want.
Again, the point I’m also attempting to illustrate is that by holding a weight over and above the joint or muscle group that you’d like to strengthen and train, you will maximize the benefit and outcome. The fact that we also get to add the variable of an unstable platform gives us the ultimate opportunity for your training. If the weight is below or at joint level it will produce a different result.
This kind of training is efficient and I promise you that you will definitely notice a difference the minute you get on the water. People who train with me are blown away of how much easier it is to literally step onto the wave, or last longer in channel crossing, or for any distance paddling.
This particular exercise can also transfer well to surfing, kiting and windsurfing.
I hope you enjoyed this tip. Here is a link to other articles I’ve written for SUP Fitness.
If ever on Maui, I’m available for private specialized training and can show you all my training tips to maximize your results and SUP water performance. I also offer private and semi-private professional SUP lessons.
Don’t forget to order your Indo Board Equipment here. Here is a photo of my training quiver from Indo Board. Having good balance, strength and leg endurance is key for more time on the water. Other articles you may enjoy allows you to learn more SUP training applications.
Fourth Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a May 12th & 13th, 2012
An amazing turnout of over 500 ocean enthusiasts and competitors from around the globe converged on the beautiful island of Maui this weekend May 12th & 13th, 2012 to celebrate OluKai Premium Footwear’s highly revered fourth annual downwind SUP and OC1 race, called the Ho’olau’le’awhich translates as “celebration.” The community and visitors came together in the spirit of “ohana” to share, give, and celebrate the ocean.
This highly anticipated event brought beginners, novice and elite ocean athletes together to experience the famed 8 mile stretch of open ocean paddling known as the Maliko downwind run. This stretch of water is fast and offers a unique perspective of racing and spectacular views of Maui’s North shore.
(Full Results link & fabulous photos below)
Part of the proceeds raised benefit the OluKai ‘Ohana Giveback Program; beneficiaries include Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program. Click here to learn more about the OluKai Ohana Giveback Program.
A special pre race event offered to those who weren’t quite ready for the 8 mile race, was the non-competitive Fun Paddle Division that was as popular as ever, held prior to the main SUP event. The three mile course from Paia Bay to Kanaha Beach Park gave a taste of the big course to those who aspire to one day advance to Maliko. I had the pleasure of preparing this group with a practice paddle a couple weeks before to get those a little anxious, relaxed and ready. ( see photos and highlights here ). The Fun Paddle Division allows any age, all levels and anything humanly paddle powered.
The OluKai Team greeted and checked everyone in at the Paia Youth & Cultural Center where the paddle began. Music played in the courtyard, safety skis arrived, boards were everywhere and there some nervous jitters as well. After the safety meeting, I lead the group with a few warm-up exercises as 80 paddlers prepared for their downwind experience. We had participants that traveled from Delaware, Oregon and as far away as Australia just for this fun paddle.
Whether you’re just learning to surf or pulling into a nice hollow Honolua Bay wave, the thrill of surfing or dreaming of a wave like this is definitely good for your health. Here, Maui photographer, Simone Reddingius captures this surfer dropping in. His muscles are ripped, he’s focused and you can bet his heart rate is high. The endorphins that make you feel so good are exploding as he carves that gun into the blue room for that magical moment. This, you can be sure is good for your health!
CLICK here to see more of Simone’s fine surf photographer and other talents.
Also, check out all the photos from recent Suzie Trains Maui ENews Highlights of Naish & Suzie Trains Maui SUP Fun Beach Fitness & Paddle Challenge special guest Kai Lenny, as 55 participants finished FREE event. See the famous “taco rolls in the sand”. See photos and event highlights.
Gear & Board Reviews: The Alana Series featured here is oh so lovely. Don’t let the frills or flowers fool you. These two high performance boards are delivering waves of fun and miles of exlporations!Follow @SuzieTrainsMaui
Please feel free to post a comment and tell us how you love to surf to keep healthy! Also, any tips you want to share about how you approach the New Year to make good lifestyle choices, feel free! Mahalo!
Happy New Year! Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui
Introducing Matt Lennert, long distance and wave SUP paddler, SUP event director, windsurfer and surfer; stopped in for an all-on SUP performance tune up with me in my studio during his recent visit to Maui. He was up for any challenge, that’s for sure! I threw medicine balls at him full speed while he managed to amazingly hang onto whatever training apparatus I placed him on top of.
His sheer determination and already a finely tuned athlete; he was on top of his training game. Wow! He performed well this day and left with a good sweat. Unfortunately the conditions for a Maliko Run were not up to par but we’ll have to try again Matt when you come back with your family!