How to Simplify the Downwind Paddling Experience on Maui’s North Shore

downwinding

After nearly 10 years of providing shuttle logistics for the world’s best downwind course on the North Shore of Maui, Maliko Shuttle owner Jaecey Suda and her guiding partner, Ralf Sifford, have added a board valet service to make board rentals and logistics part of a hassle-free and world-class paddling experience.

Sifford was the founder and owner of Second Wind Sports on the Maui’s North Shore for 28 years, and is fixture in the Maui paddling community. Suda is also a veteran paddler who took over ownership of the shuttle nearly three years ago with the goal of expanding services to the thriving Maui paddle community. They both have a commitment to supporting the paddle industry on Maui and see the guiding service as a way bring new paddlers into the world of SUP downwinding, equipped with the skills and knowledge to stay safe and stay stoked.

To find out just how simple they’re making it for paddlers to catch glides, we caught up with Suda, the owner and operator of More Watertime.

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Suda, left, with a student and her business partner Ralf Sifford, right.

SUPTHEMAG: What is your new Maliko SUP Valet service all about?

JAECEY SUDA: Ralf and I already have a guide service and the Maliko readiness program available, so the SUP valet service was just a logical extension to providing hassle-free equipment use and transportation to the Maliko Gulch for your downwind launch. We are making the logistics of doing Maliko downwinders easy breezy. Paddlers can now book the Maliko Shuttle and all the equipment for your downwinders for at the same time. More Watertime Maui has a large selection of boards, paddles and leashes for rent.

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A recent crew on Maliko Shuttle’s SUP Valet

Once dates are established, we get the paddlers information, check forecasts and collectively decide which board/paddle combo will suit each client best. The day of the Maliko Run the equipment will have been pre-loaded on our custom trailer ready for the clients use, and transport you and your gear to the top of the run. At the end of the Maliko run arrangements will be made to collect the equipment.

What is the goal of More Watertime?

My main goal is to help create a community of safety-conscious and stoke-filled paddlers! So we are here to help both the experienced downwind paddler, who can benefit from learning the nuances of this unique and challenging course, and also the paddler who is new to offshore ocean conditions and looking for fully comprehensive downwind instruction.

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We have certified local instructors who focus on safety and preparing our clients to become self-sufficient in offshore ocean environments. As stewards of the sport, our main responsibility is to educate our clients on all aspects of offshore safety and our goal is to provide the information needed to succeed and have fun in the offshore environment.

What is your most popular program?

Our Maliko Readiness Program is very popular. The North Shore of Maui is home to the most famous and thrilling downwind surfing run in the world. Depending on the time of year and the whims of mother nature, this almost 10-mile stretch of coast provides the perfect mix of wind and waves. It’s a very challenging but very gratifying downwind paddle experience. The Maliko run requires a high level of ability and fitness, and a practical knowledge of techniques specific to our local conditions.

Adali on Maliko

Many of our clients do a multi-day course that combines off-course sessions and ‘mini’ Maliko runs. So we cater to the paddler’s specific needs and goals. Pre-planning for makes all the difference for successful offshore paddling on Maui. And we prefer to work with our clients before they get to Maui, so we can personalize our sessions. That includes a history of our client’s past paddling experience, where they normally paddle, conditions they’re familiar with and their overall fitness level.

How did end up paddling in Maui, Jaecey?

My passion for SUP and an invitation from board shaper Jimmy Lewis to do a “real downwinder” brought me to Maui. Halfway through the world famous Maliko downwind run I was already hooked. There is something about being offshore in moving and grooving water that makes my soul sing. From that first run, I have felt comfortable and at home offshore, in the wind and waves. I feel so grateful that I have the opportunity to introduce others to this fulfilling sport on this beautiful island.

Jaecey
Suda in Vietnam.

The Maliko Shuttle is a collaborative community effort and several brands have lined up to support this service that has been providing logistical support for local races, visiting paddlers and Maui regulars alike. This year’s sponsors include both local and international brands including Jimmy Lewis Boards, Outrigger Zone Canoes, Mangala Yoga, Maui Woodys Sunglasses and Second Wind Sports. The shuttle has also received in- kind support from Wet Okole, Lockrack USA, BbTalkin USA and Quickblade Paddles.

Learn more about More Watertime and the Maliko Shuttle SUP Valet.

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The article was originally published on Standup Paddling

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