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.

Scott Boyle and Suzie Cooney at the BOP at Dana Point, CA 2012

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.

Scott writes:
“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 performs the plank on an SUP
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’m sure we’ll see and hear more of Scott’s wins, but most importantly he is spreading the stoke of SUP and is living proof that stand up paddling is a great way to stay in shape, build new strength and offers an amazing way to strengthen the core.

Having also experienced serious back issues myself, it is truly amazing how the body can respond. Proper guidance from your medical team is paramount. Scott rebuilt his lumbar foundation and amazingly is able to maintain his flexibility, range of trunk strength, leg strength and core strength. These combined components will enable him to enjoy SUP at this level and allow for a higher quality of life.

Scott Boyle winsScott, you are definitely an inspiration to me, and now you will reach thousands more.

Mahalo Scott for sharing and hope to see more photos. Maybe at next year’s OluKai Ho’olaule’a. We’d love to have you again.

Your fan,
Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC


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