Kai Lenny, practicing what he'll be preaching this May at the Maui Dream Retreat at Maliko Gulch. Photo courtesy of Kai Lenny, Facebook

Kai Lenny, practicing what he’ll be preaching this May at the Maui Dream Retreat at Maliko Gulch. Photo courtesy of Kai Lenny, Facebook

Maui Dream Retreat

Kai Lenny’s Top-Five Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Miss The Maui Dream Retreat

Hawaii’s downwinding season is just around the bend, and Maui’s SUP community—comprised of some of the world’s best paddlers—is gearing up for yet another spectacular year of trade-winds on Maui’s famous North Shore. This stretch of coast is home to Maliko Run—the Holy Grail of downwind paddling—and a true SUP paradise every enthusiast ought to experience. April 24-28, SUP magazine is hosting the first-ever Maui Dream Retreat—a downwinding SUP escape featuring top-notch accommodations at the Lumeria Maui and instruction from some of the world’s best ocean paddlers, including Dave Kalama, Suzie Cooney, Jeremy Riggs and Kai Lenny. Lenny, the six-time world champion, shares his top-five reasons why you should sign up today below.

1. World-Class Instruction

The retreat's going to be awesome because it's right there on Maui with local instructors who happen to be some of the best paddlers on the planet. You've got Dave Kalama who's one of the original standup paddlers and one of the best guys. Then there's Suzie Cooney, who's training a lot of the best guys on Maui. She can translate a lot of what the best paddlers in the world are doing, both physically and mentally, into an easy-to-grasp scenario for her students. Then you have me; I was born and raised on Maui, downwinding in the summertime and surfing giant waves at Jaws in the wintertime. I know that coastline backwards and forwards and it'll be great to share that knowledge.

2. Unparalleled Learning Experience

Anyone who has the opportunity to come on the Retreat is going to have the best paddling education imaginable because you have so many different professional perspectives on not only paddling but general ocean awareness as well. That's going to be huge for anyone able to participate in it. All the insight the attendees will take away is super valuable. Everyone's going to learn a lot of really key paddling knowledge.

3. World's Best Downwinder—Maliko Gulch

The Maliko Run is quite arguably the most famous downwinding run in standup paddling and in any paddle sport really. It's such a legendary run and there are so many different dynamics to it. There's no other view in the world like it. The mountains, the way the ocean moves … I think that for anyone who wants to be spoiled, and maybe not want to downwind anywhere else (laughs), they should come to Maui and go on the Maliko Run.

4. Ocean Knowledge

The Dream Retreat is going to benefit any standup paddler by giving them ocean awareness that they've never had. If they're from the river or lake scene, they'll find out quickly that rivers and lakes move totally different than the large amount of water that the ocean has. With my knowledge, Dave's knowledge and Suzie's ability to translate a lot of key information about how the ocean works, the retreaters are going to get better without even having to paddle. When they go back home, it's going to seem a lot easier and tamer.

5. Paddler's Paradise

The paddling experience is only just a fraction of what Maui is all about. That's the icing on the cake, but where we're going to be on Maui has so much energy, so much power—in Hawaii we call it 'Mana'—that the week is going to be absolutely phenomenal. It's going to go by so quick that you'll be thinking about next year before you're even home. I guarantee every person on the trip is going to want to book another retreat spot for next year, or maybe before. There's a reason Maui is known as the best island on the planet. And it's not just because I'm from there (laughs).

For more information on SUP mag's Maui Dream Retreat, or to register, contact SUP mag's event coordinator, Andrew Mencinsky.

More info on the Maui Dream Retreat.

A local view of Maui's fabled Maliko Gulch