Catching glides on the Maliko Run on Maui’s north shore has never been easier thanks to a shuttle service aiming to take the hassle and complicated logistics out of downwinding.
The woman behind this unique and noble effort is Jaecey Suda, owner and operator of More Watertime on Maui.
More Watertime offers the Maliko Shuttle, Maui's first and only downwind water sport shuttle service. Suda purchased the shuttle in December 2016 with hopes of expanding the accessibility of downwind runs to paddlers of all levels, while also reducing the carbon footprint of the paddle community. The shuttle is hugely popular on the island and is used by local paddlers as well as world-renowned ocean athletes to enjoy the world-class downwind run throughout the year.
The Maliko Shuttle helps to eliminate car drops and extra driving time for individuals or groups of up to 14 people. Whether you paddle a SUP, OC1, OC2, surf ski, foil board, kayak or other craft, the service makes it as easy as possible to get on the water quickly and safely, providing tie down straps for your board and stowing for your accessories and paddles.
However, Suda has made efforts to not only help paddlers get to the water, but also to help guide them on the run. To accomplish this she has teamed up with Ralf Sifford, former owner of Second Wind Sports on Maui for 28 years, to offer downwind guiding lessons for locals and traveling downwind enthusiasts.
"Maui’s North Shore paddling is logistically very difficult to navigate,” said Jaecey. “In the four years that I have been here on Maui, I have been working to create a comprehensive, no-nonsense program to simplify logistics for visiting paddlers, to provide instruction and share the safety and nuances required for safe Maliko runs that allow for the maximum participant take away possible.”
While they are launching both lessons and guiding programs for downwind surfing, the Maliko Readiness program is their main instructional offering. In this program, participants will receive pre-visit homework to learn, practice downwind techniques and build up to the necessary fitness level before arriving on Maui. After testing the program for over a year, they have optimized their approach and customized equipment with additional safety features.
"When we initially set out to launch this program we felt we were going to run up against a lot of opposition and naysayers, however I am more than stoked to say that everyone in the industry over here has shown huge support for our programs,” said Jaecey. “The manufacturers, innovators and pros agree that in order to keep the downwind industry alive and well, Maui paddlers need to continue to fuel the downwind stoke."
With the shuttle, their new program and howling trades, Suda and Sifford intend to do just that.