BOP Honors – Inspiration of the Paddle

The ultimate SUP “game” envisioned by Gerry Lopez and his buddy Sparky Longley is called ‘Battle of the Paddle.” When the elite racers fall, flail, and maneuver their way around the yellow marks placed right in the surf break it has to look and feel like one huge foamy battle.

The reality of the SUP contenders battling out for top spots in the one-of-a-kind BOP comes through best in other moments in and around the event.  If you’ve ever been to an event when any of the top ten contenders, male or female, for SUP athlete of the year have been present you know what I mean.

In football you never get to sit with the best quarterback, on the bench before a game but in SUP the beach is open to everyone. Interaction with Candice, Conner, Karen, Suzie, Heather, Kai, Jamie, Chuck, Slater, Dave, and many others is easy and quite inspiring. The absolute passion for their sport and water, waves and wind they live by is contagious! They are a no excuses, hard -driving competitive bunch who train like there’s no tomorrow – but will share a pointer, a word, a smile and encouragement as needed. Clinics, blogs, movies – they share!

If you were like me, it was pretty tough to decide who to vote for in the various SUP awards offered to the public for input.  I have a hand full of favorites all with top-spot accomplishments. In the recent 2012 SUP awards by Body Glove tough decisions were made. Candice Appleby was awarded top honors for women while Conner Baxter won for the men.

The one thing that struck me as I enjoyed the stories, tweets and Facebook updates was this quote from Candice, ““I want to thank the other athletes- you inspire me.”

That camaraderie and mutual respect may not be unique to the sport of standup paddling, but it is one powerful, compelling aspect of how the best of the best live their sport.

Gerry Lopez was presented with the SUP magazine Lifetime Achievement Award for his influence on the sport

No matter where you paddle or SUP surf this weekend you can charge or chill with the attitude of those at BOP. Anyone can grab the attitude  of Gerry Lopez who won the SUP magazine Lifetime Achievement Award for his influence on the sport. He accepted his award and said, “I hope it makes a difference in how we all think. Surf with aloha and live with aloha.”

Okay, it’s Saturday! Grab your board, your paddle,and a friend then look for surf and inspiration – wherever you find it.

SUP to Community = Olukai

My cool Olukais “hanging ten” during the last paddle of summer 2012

The familiar Olukai booth and banner are always a draw a SUP events around the globe. We expect the team with great smiles, customer service and community-giving stories are actively preparing for Battle of the Paddle (BOP) this coming weekend. I was thinking about the most recent Olukai team member I met, Julissa Downing from Washington who manned the booth at the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge.  I had my cool orange Olukais “hanging ten” as I paddled Elk Lake on the last day of summer.

Enthusiastic member of the Olukai team – Julissa

Julissa had joined the Olukai team just a few months before. We hadn’t been talking more than a few minutes when the Olukai Ho’olaule’a Maliko event become the topic. Julissa exclaimed, “Oh, I hope to get to that event and participate in some of the community projects that we’ll be doing there. I love the giving back to community that’s an important part of Olukai. There are so many choices and chance for participating”

It is that spirit that enhances the superior quality and design of the Olukai products. It’s pretty easy to be a fan when their culture so aligns with that of paddlers, ocean-loving, island loving folks. Perhaps I did go a bit off to the extreme before my first down winder in the Columbia River during the 30-40 mph winds and intimidating surf – I decided I needed a symbol for luck and safe passage.

The symbol of the Makau, or bone hook, is present on every Olukai product. It is the traditional Polynesian symbol worn for strength, good luck, and safe passage over water. Since no shoes would be joining me on the 8 mile race from Viento to Waterfront Park I took Sharpie marker in hand and went to work. The result was a temp-tattoo that made me feel happy.

If you have been a part of any of the Olukai community events, or have been the recipient of their good work like the Pa’ia Youth and Cultural Center, please send us your story or comments.  To jog your memory, here are some photos from recent team efforts. When we say a company has a true culture and heart, THIS is what we mean!

Community Give Back Day

SUP Circuit Training

Suzie Cooney at Suzie Trains Maui will be providing a super SUP training for those of you fortunate to be in Maui on November 3rd, 2012. She will be at Lumeria Maui doing a “hands on” SUP workshop that will up the  SUP performance for all levels among the attendees.

I would love to be there to get insights for the 30-week “Ed’s Journey Back to SUP Fitness” after shoulder surgery. Here are some topics that will be covered:

  • Preparing Your Body for the sport of Stand Up Paddling
  • Ocean Preparedness & Water Safety
  • Preparing for the famous Maui Maliko Downwinders (Looking forward to doing a few of these the first week of May 2013! Woohoo!)
  • Equipment and Gear Review: Boards provided by Naish International
  • SUP Techniques – Fine Tuning Your Skills – Finding your “power” in your stroke
  • SUP Fitness Training Demos and Group Participation

Until we are ready for all the training Suzie will be sharing, we are piecing together training from a combination of our own experience and actual paddling.

The weather is turning cooler in Central Oregon, but the weekend promises some 80 degree highs. Some paddling will be on the agenda, but as our home gym shapes up we will be starting on some circuit training. Circuit training is great because you can get your heart rate going, build muscle and muscle endurance. We will do something like spin cycle that elevates our heart rate followed by a couple exercises that include strength and balance. Once a 5-10 minute cardio session is done we will move right into some kettle ball swings (from a squat position swinging the kettle ball to shoulder height coming to a standing position) and repeat.  We don’t own the actual “kettle balls” so we will use a handweight with a strap, the Heavyhands brand.  Right now we will use a range from 3-7 lbs. Ed is still watching what he does with the shoulder very carefully.

I am not injured so I plan to  move into a plank position with elbows on a ball and roll the ball forward and back for 20 reps. Ed will do a modified move on the stability ball recommended by his PT trainer, Craig, at Therapeutic Associates. We will do this circuit 3 times and then move on to another circuit that includes some moves on the Indo Board.

Another idea of a circuit we might do would be to start with something like 15 split jumps on each leg. I go gingerly on these due to 5 knee (ACL and meniscus) surgeries over the past 6 years. I jump carefully straight up and land softly.  Next we can add about 20 tricep dips then 20 reverse crunches. It is a solid workout when we repeat this circuit another two times. Basically, we plan to come up with some circuits of three exercises. The first exercise of the series will be something that will elevates our heart rate ( jump rope, running stairs or the canyon hill behind the house, sprints on a spin bike). We’ll add a strength exercise ( kettle bells, push ups, tricep dips, pull ups, etc…) then add in a core exercise ( reverse crunch, plank, medicine ball sit up and throws). After we finish one circuit of three we’ll then move on to another.

What’s your dry land training program? We’d love to hear from you!

Battle of the Paddle – GO!

Dana Point will be bursting to the seams with every sort of standup paddler from the most elite to the curious newbie. From  a huge array of vendors on the shore to the high-energy races and the exuberant fans, friends and families this is a not-to-be missed stand-up paddle (SUP) exposition that is an ocean festival celebrating what has become a global lifestyle. The expectation for more than 1000 entries is highly realistic – and I truly wish I could be entry number 1001. My guess? There are plenty of you out there who’d love to join in as well. There will be something for everyone. From beginners, to family and company relay teams, to high intensity elite competition, Battle of the Paddle is a showcase for the water sport we love.

Long before I ever thought I’d have the skills to consider heading out for an event like Battle of the Paddle I received the 2009 Commemorative Promo DVD called, “Stand Up and Make a Difference” for the Battle of the Paddle. Seriously, the dream began. Just this summer we purchased a new Mike Waltze film called, “That First Glide.” The hook was now seriously set. 

The story began with images evoking the pioneers of 2000 years ago venturing from Tahiti on their paddle canoes. Over time, Hawaiians introduced surfing and paddling to the world. Over many generations, the “beach boys” refined their sport purely out of having fun on the waters that sustained and influenced their life and culture. No doubt you’ll be in awe of some of the waves the film captures, monsters being ridden with an evolutionary array of boards and paddles by modern day pioneers that include Gerry Lopez, Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Chuck Patterson and many more. When you take the time to watch the film it’s hard not to get jazzed about riding waves and paddling flatwater that is accessible to any of us. The segment showing Laird and Dave simply playing on waves that many of us might find “not good enough” is a perfect example of the absolute versatility of standup paddling from the perspective of two of the greatest watermen.

This is what it’s all about – Rainbow Sandals Founder Jay ‘Sparky’ Longley looks to the future of SUP – 12-year-old Riggs Napoleon, son of Aaron Napoleon. Photo by Chase Olivieri.

Back to the theme of this article, the Battle of the Paddle. There is a short interview midway through the film in which Gerry Lopez is asked about the inspiration for what has become such an incredible SUP event. There is a pause and then a grin, Gerry explains that he and Sparky Longley (founder, Rainbow Sandals)  both became enamored with standup at about the same time. When they started thinking about what kind of event they could design Gerry knew exactly what kind it should be. “The race should start right in the surf and go in and out through the surf with the course set right in the middle of the surf break.” And so began one of the most compelling and challenging ocean events drawing in some of the best ocean athletes in the world.

The elite racers have to mix it up with a sprint through the gauntlet midway through their race. They return to the surf for another loop. Obviously these elite athletes have to stay tuned in to the condition and be in top physical shape.

One aspect of BOP is that it includes events that stretch standup paddlers of all levels to the best of their current abilities. The Open course begins outside of the surf break. Demos and “fun” events allow beginners to feel a part of the energy and culture.

To all of you reading this who are “BOP Dreaming,” take a look around your own backyard – or ocean, lake, river or bay. We are blessed with endless numbers and types of events organized by people with a similar passion for getting the SUP “game” right. Maybe you are one of those people. If so, please share a story or comment about your event. Just like we are collecting stories about SUP retailers and professionals working hard for a cause, we want to collect stories about people who infuse local events with a passion and energy similar to what the BOP has nurtured.

Read a bit about one such event organizer, Steve Gates of Big Winds and the Naish Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River Oregon. Then send us e-mail with your story. We might not be part of the 1000+ at Battle of the Paddle in Dana Point next weekend, but we can be a part of the culture it inspires.

Fitness Journey Back

All summer long I have been paddling about 5 days a week but feeling a bit bad about all the fun. My husband, Ed, had a summer doing PT for rotator cuff repair, Lifting a 1 lb weight and pulling a red TheraBand just didn’t equate to fun. While staying in cardio shape hiking the incredible trails and peaks are Central Oregon has been terrific, we prefer our water sports. Last Saturday he got the okay to get on his board – but “take it easy,”  said surgeon Cara Walther. The spectacular first day of fall weather agreed with a casual cruise with friends up at Elk Lake.

According to Ed’s first paddle back after 5 months shoulder rehab

Since Ed will be training under the expertise of Suzie Cooney (Suzie Trains Maui, a Naish team rider– you can too, just set up your Skype training – left column on her blog) he decided to give the shoulder a nice long warm up. After that, he paddled along the shoreline observing which muscles seemed to be engaged – abs and lats more than the shoulder.  Balancing on the board on the lake seemed easier than balancing on the Indo board that he plans to use this upcoming week.

Why did we get an Indo Board? Some training examples using the Indo board can be found on Suzie Cooney’s website.

According to information we found online, “Indo Board Balance Trainers are the most effective land-based means of training for SUP racing, SUP surfing and Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga. Standing on an Indo Board simulates the instability that a rider experiences when riding a stand up paddle board and allows for repetitious functional exercises that directly enhance the user’s abilities.” With cooler weather and snow on the horizon for the next 6 months, that’s going to be a fine addition to our training mix. You just can’t get enough core strength and balance.

Going for my headstand while comfortable and cozy in my Sweet Waterwear performance paddling top

Balance was on both our minds. I had set a goal of doing a headstand on my board sometime during the summer. In spite of lots of yoga and headstand practice I could only muster a halfway headstand. We all know the mantra, and it’s true, “it’s a journey.” There is no place in which we simply get fit and then remain fit. Balance is a practice, just like most things that are important. The fact that I completed the partial headstand and remained dry simply means I held back a bit and didn’t quite go all the way to my edge. (Next warm day we’ll have another go at it!)

Rick’s got the reflection both on the water and in his mind

Another important thing we celebrated while paddling on Saturday was the one year anniversary since our good friend, Rick, was surprised by a sudden stroke. Fit, healthy and active, that health incident came as a complete shock to Rick. Perhaps his good health gave him the start point for full recovery and the ability to resume standup paddling with all the confidence he’d had before.  All four of us have been more aware than ever of the need to stay focused on an exercise program that includes cardio, balance, flexibility and strength. Now that we’re heading to our mid-60’s we’ve got a lot of inspiration to keep the active fun a central part of how we live.

SUP and Giving Back

My “day job” consists of projects and programs geared to engaging members of a community to participate in regular exercise while inspiring others to do the same. Sometime in the midst of helping connect social networks around exercise and health I feel quite sad that so many people do not have absolute joy in their active choices. If you are reading this you know what I mean!

Counting the days, hours or minutes between your standup paddling adventures and journeys only primes you to crave it more. Gathering with friends or heading out for a solo commune with water, sky, wind and nature – it’s all good. Some of you go even further. You design a goal, a journey or a challenge that can do more than simply inspire others. Often a fundraiser or a goal of raising awareness for a cause is at the root of your endeavor. We’d like to connect with dozens of YOUR great efforts here.

We will list your cause and link to stories and websites. Simply e-mail us what you’d like to share and we’ll do the rest.

We want to add your projects, passion and commitment giving to your community and impacting others across generations. If you or a group you know of has made a difference in the lives of others through their SUP and paddling, please share the story with us.

1. Bring Change2Mind: Elite SUP racer, surfer and trainer (among many other areas of expertise) Suzie Cooney has adopted Bring Change2Mind as a cause she supports. You can easily visit their website to take the pledge and start to bring awareness to the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.

2. Make a Wish Foundation:  Ocean Minded Brand Ambassador, Cynthia Aguilar, a Miami Beach lifeguard, has completed a paddleboard crossing of the Florida Straits from near Cuba to Key West to raise funds and awareness for the Make a Wish Foundation

3. Courage for Cancer – Karmathon: Elder SUP founder and survivor, Judy Shasek, paddled 33 miles in a day of looping the Deschutes River that flows through Bend, Oregon. Supporting and remembering those whose lives are touched by cancer brought together great energy and karma

4. Standup For a Clean Ocean:  SUP Cleanup Organization’s mission is to remove trash and debris that gets left behind or washed up on beaches.  SUP Cleanup can make our coastal environments healthier now and for future generations.

5. Algalita Foundation-Plastic Free Ocean: Morgan Hoesterey was the first woman to cross the Molokai channel on a stand up paddleboard. Not satisfied she then proceeded to cross the channels of all the Hawaiian Islands to bring awareness of the problems with plastics in our ocean supporting the Algalita Foundation.

6. Stand Up for Diabetes: Stand Up for Diabetes is a single day gathering of family and friends to take to the water with their Stand Up Paddle boards and enjoy time together. STAND UP FOR DIABETES By HDX Hydration Mix Hosted by Ryan Maloney, Alison Riddle and Vipe Desai. One of the fiercest epidemics facing our world today is Diabetes. The facts are alarming. Total prevalence of diabetes Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population

7. Standup for the Cure: Zane Kekoa Schweitzer celebrates winning the distance race in the BOP on a stock board and Breast cancer survivors joined him for a unique free SUP clinic at the BOP


And we hope your story will add to our list. Together we can create a standup network of GOOD.

Surf is Where?

A few weeks ago a group of friends headed off to Pacific City, Oregon for one of the last summer weekends. With temperatures cooler in the easterly cities, we hoped to avoid the ubiquitous fog that generally shrouds the Cape Kiwanda shoreline. Not so – we had foggy conditions throughout the weekend. The picture to the left shows one of the big sun breaks and an average of the wave conditions. Sure, the occasional larger set rolled in. and so did the wind. The picture to the right shows the chaotic sets we enjoyed for most of Saturday. 

An interesting thing to note is the lack of crowds on the water. Many who came to check out the surf left grumbling about this or that, fog or wind or chill or wave speed. When we got out about 9:30 there were a few prone surfers and about 5 standup surfers. The sets were fairly infrequent so paddling out wasn’t too difficult, staying up while waiting for a wave – more so!

Looking over to the southerly side of the haystack rock, just off the south corner of the Pelican Pub, I noticed a silhouette and surf style that’s not easy to miss. It was Gerry Lopez. He’d been out long before any of us.  With ease, he’d caught dozens upon dozens of rides that made the graceful most of every wave.

The exact same waves deemed not good enough for many who’d visited the shore that day, were providing plenty of rides for one of surfing’s greatest – and for hours on end.  In the few hours I was out there honing more standing and balancing than surfing skills, I watched Gerry watch the waves. Patience to look for the right wave is not my forte, so I learned as I watched him watch. Observing his easy-powerful paddle strokes and graceful rides provided some serious lessons. On each wave, Gerry decided when to cut out of the wave to both avoid getting tousled in the washing machine shore break and to make the paddle out an easier task. Simply being aware of that important phase of riding the wave – exiting it at the right time – can save a lot of hard work.

I finally scored a wave that allowed me a very sweet ride. It seemed like so many I had missed so far, then out of the blue it held up and invited me to dig in for those last few strokes.  Once on, I let it direct me right – so easily.  Catching the second build of the shore break, I decided to end on that note and go ashore to warm up and watch some more. I was still perched on the tailgate of my truck when a few hours later a friend came in plenty exhausted. He commented on how cool Gerry was, giving a few pointers and generally bolstering confidence among some of the SUP surfers sharing the waves. The foggy, windy day warmed – maybe it was just the “aloha.’

I reflected on that surf session today at noon, oddly, while stretching into a forward fold at Groove Yoga. Instructor Cynthia Latimer was giving just the class my mind and body needed. She was bringing our breath and focus to the mat with the unique spirit she shares via her teaching I looked at my mat below my bare toes and considered if riding my breath and movement in this yoga class was really so different from riding a wave. This just right class seemed in many a bit like the ONE wave last Saturday.  Similarly, that wave was just naturally, easily right too.

My thoughts turned back to watching Gerry on some fairly mediocre waves last week riding, playing, sharing aloha with the other surfers and being in the moment. Truly living what he shares in his book, Surf is Where You Find It. Gerry explained in a recent interview that was part of his book tour,  “So I would like to say that we are all here in this life to LIVE. Life is moment to moment, if somehow one moment escapes you, if you haven’t lived it to the fullest, live the next one too. Keep paddling, keep breathing through your nose, live with aloha.”

In the moment when you get to your favorite surf beach and it is too flat, too hot, too windy or not enough of something, consider making the most of that moment.  If there is a way to go with the flow in a manner different than the agenda that brought you to that beach or that moment, consider making a considered, aware choice on how to live it.

In various studios and retreats in which Gerry shares insights and guidance through his yoga classes, you are likely to hear him say something like this, “This is why surfing is such a great metaphor for life. Life doesn’t hold still for us. If we don’t move with it, life just passes us right by, it leaves us behind. Surfing teaches you to be in that moment spontaneously, go with the flow smoothly. That’s how you get the most of the wave and it’s also how you get the most out of life. 

At work, at play, on your yoga mat, and of course in the ocean, surf is where you find it. And being a “surfer” is what you make it.

Sup Perspective: Nature’s Colors

Print by Peter French

Elk Lake at the Gerry Lopez Summer series

From the glacial blue of a high mountain lake to the azures of a tropical sea, a great deal of the awe for standup paddlers is simply standing high above our favorite waters drinking in color. I recently saw a photo of one of my favorite elite SUP athletes, Candice Appleby, playfully skimming along on a sweet wave. She was wearing her trademark grin as well as a fitted paddling top in a variety of colors that looked just right against the blues of the sea and sky.

A challenging place to take a standup paddle. The 2 mile trail to this lake at the base of Broken Top mountain (Oregon) is rocky and steep.

I took some time to search out just what she was wearing and got a solid clue from the logo on her compression tights.  I noticed she was wearing a very stylish two-toned blue racerback tank top. There was just something about the color of that top that had me suddenly exploring all the links of the Sweet Waterwear website. Since I like to keep sun off me as much as possible and I live in Central Oregon (land of the “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” summer) I was immediately drawn to their crew neck long sleeve style.

The top arrived in the same color combination I had admired Candice wearing at the race (their Pacific & Sky color combo).
That combination made me happy just looking at it.  I hoped the size would be just right so I could take it on our weekend SUP camping trip to the high lakes. I was pleasantly surprised that the medium fit extremely well – as I sometimes need a large. My back and arms have gotten strong and more “robust” after a summer of great SUP training. ) I noticed the content was 18% spandex so it has plenty of stretch to accommodate most all figures and shapes in a nice slightly fitted and very flattering way. Clearly a lot of careful thought and skilled design has been put into their styling and the all-important fit.

On the website, the material the Long sleeve top is made of is described as “Silky Soft Comfort– Our special tricot knit is soft & satin smooth, no chafing” You know how marketing speak goes, we mostly take it with a grain of salt. In this case the description was solidly right on! I had planned to simply try on the top, check the size then pack it in the duffel bag for the camping trip. Once on, it felt so darn good that I wore it the rest of the afternoon while packing and loading the boards.

Even though I was paddling the cooler high lakes of Central Oregon I was cozy and comfortable even on the frosty mornings in my Sweet Waterwear top. I felt on top of the world amidst a palette of blues – quite a bit like Candice did in that one intriguing photo I saw.

I have to mention that the same day I got the long sleeve top, I got a pair of Sweet Waterwear’s women’s pro elite performance tights. The story of why I got them (I am certainly NOT “elite”) and my experience with compression tights is coming up in a blog article very soon.


Eager paddlers at Elk Lake outside of Bend, OR

You’ve signed up for the local race, a day of friends, water, standup paddling, often a good cause to support and the chance to hone your skills. It'[s a recipe for a great effort and a great day. Oddly, before a race there’s often a ripple of disclaimers as the competition draws near:

  • I’m tired (sore, out of practice, not feeling well)
  • This board is too heavy (long, short, tippy, slow)
  • It’s windy (rough, hot, cold)

Sarah Castle has an entirely different perspective on attitude when it comes to competing. She’s captain of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. That’s right, players competing in basketball that’s practically a full contact sport from their wheelchairs. No excuses, no disclaimers – just a team focused on pushing full-force for the entire game. Not only that, the team is really diverse in terms of age. We all know how challenging it is to maintain competitive endurance as we age. (New disclaimer – oh, by the way, I am older than you are) Imagine adding that challenge to the fact that every team is out to get TEAM USA because they nabbed gold in the past two Olympics.

Team USA comes into the London 2012 Paralympic Games as the two-time defending champions, winning gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games and the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.  One thing is certain, they  bring their best game every time. “We bring our best game and we play our game, every time. That’s all we can strive for,” says Sarah Castle.  No matter what the outcome of any event, that’s  a “win” that really matters.

So, back to the litany of excuses we often hear, and might even voice, when we come to our competitions. How can players compete at the elite level and avoid that pitfall of negativity? Surely, we at our level can bring a better “game” to our events. What do we need? Preparation, focus and passion for the “game.”

  • If you didn’t get out on the water or to your training routine enough before an event, you left preparation at home.
  • If you’re worried about your equipment or the weather, you’ve got focus out of whack
  • If you’ve got an enthusiastic passion for paddling at your best today for the entire route or course – then life is good!

A laugh can quell those butterflies

Deciding what is okay, and what make a grin flash across your face can make all the difference.  For someone who went from being an active healthy 11 year-old to adapting to after-effects of a disease that brought paralysis and the need for a wheelchair, Sarah Castle has focused on following paths that inspire her, working hard and getting her “grin” on.  What’s right for you? Sometimes the most remarkable thing an elite athlete or the weekend warrior can do happens outside the event. Have you ever:

We love our sport! Better yet, we love the heroes, leaders and players that inspire us to bring our own best game every time – and to be okay with whatever that is. Take the time to watch Sarah and our amazing US Team.
For more information on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team and Paralympic athletes, competitions and sports in the United States, visit, the official website of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee formed in 2001. U.S. Paralympics leads the Paralympic Movement in the United States.

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Core Summer SUP Fitness

Staying in top form and being prepared to ride big waves and glide big down wind runs is a full time job for elite athletes in our sport of SUP. For Suzie Cooney, there is another aspect to her professional role as a leader in standup paddling. She’s taken her solid background in fitness training and has translated it to an online resource for thousands. Of course, for those fortunate enough to book training time with her on Maui, that’s the best option. For those of us an ocean away, we’re glad she takes the time to keep her blogs and websites rich with resources and information.

For anyone who has taken a video that’s meant to tell a story or to teach a skill, you know how tough it is to get the right shots, the right editing and best end product. It takes skill – and TIME. In a busy world, doesn’t it always seem like the busiest people take the time to pursue their passion and share their expertise.  Without benefit of Suzie‘s blog and videos bolstered by some SKYPE “distance training sessions” I know that the expectation of being fit and ready for our down wind adventures in Maui next May wouldn’t be what we’re dreaming of.

 Ed and I are in week 2 of our 36 week “Journey to Maliko and the Ho’olaule’a.”  (You can arrange for your own distance learning session with Suzie by scheduling a SKYPE session.) Here’s our plan for this week:

We are stocking our “home gym” in the garage with a balance ball and have arranged a wide variety of weights, a spin bike and some balance equipment. Since Ed is still not released for “real life” training, he will continue with his shoulder PT exercises. I am joining in on that series. My thought process is that I may as well keep my shoulders as strong and flexible as possible. I

It’s still great paddling weather here in Central Oregon, so water time will complement “gym” time for now.

Ed and I both watched Suzie’s session planned for one of her clients. You can watch how Suzie integrates both TRX and INDO board into the workout. We’ve got both of those items on the “wish list,” and hope to have them ready to use by mid-October when Ed should be good to go shoulder-wise. Take a few minutes to watch this video. If you don’t have some of the equipment, like the INDO board, it’s easy to click from Suzie’s site and get first class customer service for your purchase from INDO Board.

If you haven’t tried TRX training you may want to locate a class in your town. While the average gym class doesn’t focus on standup paddling needs specifically, you can get a good idea of the training philosophy behind that equipment.  We are looking forward to moving in that direction. According to Suzie, Naish team rider, “You’re really going to feel the power in your stroke from the deep obliques!”

YES! That’s what we want. We can’t do everything from week 1 or 2 but we will start where we are right now. Beginning today, we’ll be using our balance ball with focus on balance and core.