Kody Kerbox Training in the Zone

Kody Kerbox Suzie Cooneyphoto by Simone Reddingius

Training in the zone with Kody Kerbox, Naish stand up paddle professional athlete in all disciplines; seems to be such a natural state.  But it takes focus, hard work and lots and lots of different methods of training to train the mind.  Here is an excerpt from one of the chapters of my new book coming out soon about what kind of stand up paddler you’ll find in the zone and how you can get there too.  (be sure to see video below)

In my book I describe the certain profile type of an elite SUP paddler athlete that is often there and what type of environment and conditions they thrive on.  Here is a small preview from that chapter:

…The of Type of Paddler You’ll Find in The Zone:

You may have guessed by now that it takes a certain kind of SUP athlete to transcend into this special performance state. You may also already have in your mind some of the most disciplined top paddlers that would lead you to believe they’ve had lots of practice getting to and being in the zone.

Sure some are blessed with lots of innate talent but I’d have to say most have to work very hard they just make it look easy.  One thing they all have in common is their ability to focus. They are in the zone often and you see it time and time again.

With that notion I’d like to share a few examples of those personality traits so you too can start thinking about your next or first visit in the zone.

Take Kody Kerbox, Naish team rider of many different disciplines. He does it all, long distance, JAWS, SUP surfing, channel crossings, sprint races, he’s got experience in all SUP venues.  Sure it helps to have good inherited lineage from that of his father Buzzy Kerbox; but to be able to perform at high levels time and time again, he’s got this zone thing dialed.

 Kody Kerbox and Suzie Cooney Maui                   photo by Andrew Welker  Pushing an 8lb medicine underwater against the current and pulling me
is very intense

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him grow into the amazing athlete he is today with grace and a special, fine tuned skill set. I’ve followed him for some time and now I have the pleasure of helping him achieve at even higher levels.

When I’ve seen Kody training (and getting lapped by him) in the harbor doing laps with Bart DeZwart, Kai Lenny, and Connor Baxter, and when I’ve had him on the beach and training in the studio, and when I’ve presented him with a challenging exercise or set: I know the signs when he is in the zone.  I look at him and he has this look in his eyes as if he is there, but not really there.  If I could bottle that very moment and take a dose myself, wow.

I often ask him, “where did you just go?”  He is not able to tell me, he just smiles big for he knows he was there too and his body did the rest.  That is simply amazing and very cool.

Kody Kerbox – Locked ‘n’ Loaded from Andrew Welker Photo on Vimeo.
He is very disciplined in all aspects of his training. He loves to learn about nutrition, makes sleep a priority, has confidence in his skill but is always wanting to learn more and perform at higher levels. He is also patient and realizes that achieving high levels of success in life and on the water, takes time.

He reads as mush as possible to further his expertise about training his mind and understands the importance of balance and having fun and knows when to rest.

At the same time, there is a level of confidence that exudes naturally and not in an all-knowing kind of way.  He’s had his wins and he’s had his losses. And at a young age he’s well rounded and grounded in life thus far and that too will serve him. No matter what the result he is humble. Being humble is another great trait of a champion. Kody is also grateful.


I hope this post inspires you as much as it does me. Go a bit harder on your next training or paddling session and start getting a little more uncomfortable each time and soon you’ll discover what it’s like to be in the zone. There’s a great quote you’ll see in my book of many that says:

“When you’re in the zone is when you can do the most damage”

This is so true. When your body is performing at it’s highest level is when you can do extraordinary things and this could be good or maybe not so good. Some you may not remember.

Kody Kerbox is a fine example of waterman who understands his capacities of physical and mental strength and you can be sure you’ll be seeing Kody in the zone this season.

I hope we get to see you soon in the zone too. Challenge yourself more and dig in a little harder with each stroke.  Don’t overthink everything and just let your body find it’s way to your mental zone. It will happen if it hasn’t already.

For more inspiring articles and great training tips, click here to my website: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com


Suzie Cooney

Suzie Trains Maui


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