Archive for November, 2010

SUPCO’s 1st annual Holiday Paddle Parade

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Come down and check out some Laguna Holiday Cheer this Friday at SUPCO. See you all at SUPCO This Friday!! Spread the word!!

Friday December 3rd
5PM Paddle Parade
6PM Festivities

Dave kalama – Paddle Tips – Reach, Dammit, Reach

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Paddle Technique by Dave KalamaIf you ever spend any time with me or almost any other paddle coach for that matter, you’re going to hear that phrase or something very similar.

The key to any stroke, Tahitian or Hawaiian, stand up or canoe, is to reach. There are a lot of other components to a stroke but I firmly believe that reach is the most important and the hardest to master. First let’s talk about the three reasons why it’s so important.

The first reason is the very simple one that no one seems to think about–we take a lot of strokes going almost anywhere. If you shorten your stroke you have to take a lot more of them. A few lost inches of reach doesn’t seem like much at first, but most people stroke about a thousand times per mile. So a thousand or ten thousand strokes later, it starts to really add up.

Second, muscles are elastic, especially once they are warmed up and working well. The muscles you use to extend your reach are not the ones you’re going to use to put power into the paddle, so it’s a good division of labor. When you reach hard and plant the paddle your muscles spring back some, and you get a little free ride right at the most critical and demanding part of the stroke.

Third, all the methods that extend your reach also ensure that major muscle groups are engaged in your stroke. You can’t get a good reach with just your arms, you need to engage your shoulders, back, torso and hips to really get out there. Once those muscles are engaged they can go to work effectively.

There are essentially three ways to extend your reach. I want you to practice and tune each of these ways independently as well as together. See them as steps that flow together to get the paddle out into a good catch.

One, and perhaps the most obvious, is to completely extend your lower arm forward, even a slight bend in the elbow will rob you of a couple of inches when the paddle enters the water.

Two: Fully extend your lower shoulder forward. The movement is unfamiliar at first, so let’s reverse it into something you are familiar with. Stick your chest out as far as you can. When you lift your chest up high, you must pull your shoulders back in order for your chest to stick out. The movement we’re aiming at is the opposite movement. Collapse your chest and to extend your lower shoulder forward. This movement should account for at least three to four inches of reach and perhaps more if you really accentuate it.
You don’t have to strain to gain reach, just good technique and body position will get your paddle out there with minimal effort.
Three: Upper body twist combined with a slight lean forward. Big gain here. Twist in the direction of your lower hand to at least a forty five degree angle. More is even better. This twist will extend your reach another five to six inches and gets your upper arm into position so you can keep the paddle close to 90 degrees to the board. Throw in a little body lean and your talking even a couple of more inches. Be very careful not to bend in the lower back, but rather bend at the hips. This will keep you from putting any unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Lets add it up, an extended arm will get you two inches, shoulder extension is good for four inches, twist and lean account for eight inches, and all in you should be able to get at least an extra fourteen inches of reach with these simple techniques, as apposed to a simple beginner’s arm reach stroke. If you maximize each portion you will get even more reach.

Remember reason number one? Let’s call our reach gain an even foot to keep the math simple. For a little ten mile paddle (10,000 strokes) that’s ten thousand feet–about two miles. Or thinking about it a different way, that’s two thousand stokes less for the same ten mile distance.

Now here’s the hard part. The real challenge to reach isn’t the technique, it’s the discipline it takes to maintain it as you get tired. Even the best paddlers in the world fight with shortening their stroke as they fatigue. So first get the technique right, then start to really start to work on keeping it right.



Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

Surftech SUP Academy Launches

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

SurfTech SUP AcademySurftech, the world’s largest manufacturer of surfboards and stand up paddleboards aspires to set the international standard for SUP instruction and fitness programs.Products:The Surftech Stand Up Paddle Academy is working hard to establish itself as THE resource for the delivery of comprehensive instruction, certification and continuing education in Stand Up Paddleboarding.

Complete certification programs packaged with the highest quality stand up paddleboards and equipment, instructional aids, and Surftech’s worldwide brand and marketing support will present qualified clients an unparalleled opportunity to become part of an internationally recognized team.

The official international premiere of the Surftech Stand up Paddle Academy will take place in Puerto Rico, December 3-8 as a part of the “Paddle Royal”, the flagship event for SUP in the Caribbean.

For class registration and more info :

Bodie Shandro //
Director of SSUPA

: Noelle Kozak //
Master Instructor

: Suzanne Yeo //
Master Instructor

Jamie Mitchell – 1 Man Relay on Hiko Canoe

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Hiko Canoes Jamie MitchellHey guys i done a 1 man changes race on the weekend and took my HD Go Pro along and we got some footage.. It wasnt epic conditions by any means with super light winds but we still had fun.I cut together a little video and here it is… Thanks to Woogie for organizing the Hiko Canoe and everything and Billy for driving the ski and escorting us.. Cheers JM


Dave Kalama – Once upon a time a ski racer!

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Once upon a time when I was young, I was attending a small community college outside Sacramento. I was trying desperately to be a ski racer. At the beginning of the season we did a time trial to determine everybody’s position on the team which would determine starting position at races. I was second fastest on the team and our team was known for having pretty competitive racers. While I never had a chance to make international competition, I felt regional success was within my grasp. As the season went  on I had a lot of trouble finishing the races, when I finished I was usually in the top four, but I had only finished two out of seven races and I had moved down to an alternate position on the team. So here we are at the last race of the regular season. The team has already qualified to nationals for our conference, and I’m thinking it’s time to redeem myself and get things back on the right track. I think I started somewhere in the seventies, because of my low position on the team, and I moved up to twelfth after the first run. So here I am at the starting gate for the second run, thinking redemption is mine. With one run I could right everything that was important to me and get my ski career back on track.

The Gods, God , the universe, karma–whatever you subscribe to usually have a funny way of giving you what you need and not what you want. Well I certainly didn’t get what I wanted. I wanted to redeem myself and get back on track to a career in ski racing, what I got was a stunning slap in the face. A wake up from the dream of ski racing. Somehow I managed to blow out on the second gate. There was hardly a turn at the first gate, but I got off line, and right at that very moment I received my toughest lesson in life: Dreams don’t always come true.

It was clear to me it was time to throw in the towel, so without even falling at the gate, I skied down to the ski coach, handed him my pass, and said ” I’m done coach, I’ll see ya later”. I put my skis on my buddies car, walked out to i-80 and hitchhiked back down to Sacramento. I couldn’t even wait till the race was over. I knew I had to get away from it. When I get into things, it’s hard for me to kind of just do them. It’s all or nothing and I had just crossed over to nothing.

Although the reality of this decision was completely crushing, I knew deep down it was right, I just didn’t know how right it would be.

After settling back into the average college student’s routine of doing just enough work to appease professors and parents. And far too much hanging with your  friends and partying. I had officially become lost. I was circling around–pointless on the hike of life. About two weeks into my recovery process from being run over by reality I received a phone call from my mom, who was on Kauai, saying that my dad was getting bored just sitting on the beach and wanted a buddy to do stuff with. So she said they would buy me a ticket to come to Kauai if I wanted. She didn’t need to ask twice, the following day I boarded a plane for Kauai.

At the beginning of the school year I had met a guy who also was into windsurfing. W e would go down to Rio Vista and windsurf together. I learned how to water start and if I could get my fins a couple feet out of the water, I was killing it. On the non-windy days  I would read windsurf magazine and dream about windsurfing Ho’okipa like the rest of the windsurfing world. I must have watched “Tradewinds” a hundred times thinking how lucky the guys in the video were to be windsurfing in those warm blue waters of Maui. I came to idolize guys like Matt Schweitzer, Mike Waltze, and Robby Naish. About five hours into the flight the captain came over the intercom to announce we would be stopping first on Maui to let some passengers off, before continuing on to Kauai. On approach into Maui I had a window seat so I could peer out the window to see what was happening down below. I felt like a little school girl seeing Justin Beiber when I spotted Ho’okipa and could actually see the sailors going in and out through the surf. My eyes had actually seen the mecca of windsurfing, never mind even dreaming of going out there someday.

We bounced our way down the run way from the strength of the trade winds, like a basketball going in for a lay up. We rolled up to what used to be the baggage claim. Just a fenced in area with a slanted stainless steel table to hold the luggage. At the corner of the enclosure was a flag pole doing it’s level best to keep the American flag from blowing away.

Just like in a car accident where time seems to slow, I remember looking at that flag standing fully at attention and the frayed trailing edge whipping back and forth, and BAM! it hit me like a ton of bricks:

I need to be here.

That little internal voice that every once in a while, speaks to you, and it said loud and clear, ” this is where you belong ” . It was one of the most clear moments I’ve ever had in my life, where I didn’t need to waffle back and forth, or weigh all my options, I knew where I belonged. There have been many times since, with big, life changing decisions on the line, that I wished I had that perfect clarity.

When I arrived on Kauai and met my parents, I announced my new found destiny. They both laughed, but over the course of the next few hours when all I could say was ” I’m moving to Maui ” they started to realize I was dead serious. I told them I would stay in school, because like any good parent that was their first concern, and I did for a semester.

After a great week in Kauai I headed back to finish the last month of school. One of the first calls I made, was to my good friend Steve, telling him that I was moving to Maui. He said “I’ll do it if you do it”, so I announced “then you’re moving to Maui too”. I called my adopted uncle Pete to see if he could help, since he had been coming to Maui to windsurf for the last few years at that point. So after selling everything I owned ,including my prized Beatles record collection, I landed on Maui at 12:30 pm, July 2, 1985, and by 2:00 o’clock I was windsurfing off the beautiful coast of Sprecklesville.

When I moved to Maui I made one of those little deals that you make with yourself , like if you try this you get to have this, but in this case it was, stay for at least a year or until you stop having fun It’s twenty five years later and I’m still having fun. I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes a devastating failure can be the gateway to better things,. In my case it’s been good fortune beyond my wildest dreams, though unfortunately not the kind you can pay bills with, but the far rarer kind that fills life’s treasure chest with gold pieces of adventure that no amount of money can buy.

I hope you’re having that kind of fun. If you’re not, do something.



Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

Water!!! And how important is it..

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Well its a funny question isn’t it.Not one we probably ask ourselves everyday but something that keeps us alive and ticking each and single day.. I had a think about it and i asked myself what do i drink day in day out to keep myself hydrated and quench my thirst. And too be honest I’m quite boring. I really only drink water. And lots of it.. I LOVE IT.. I don’t drink any sort of Soft Drinks,rarely will touch any of those so called Sports Drinks and never ever any of those Energy Drinks.They just don’t do it for me. But give me a 600ml water when I’m thirsty and boom its gone. It just feels like its meant to be in your body and system.

So when i was lucky enough to be able to have a meeting with a Company from Byron Bay who take there water Quality seriously and then take it to another level with Alkaline levels well i was very interested to see what was going on. I’m not going to go into details about how this does that and so on but what i did learn was enough for me to take a trial with the system and see how it make me feel.. As a athlete i can usually tell pretty well if something is helping me or not. I wont say yeah it works when it doesn’t just to make a quick buck or endorse something i don’t believe in but after a few weeks I’m let’s say pleasantly surprised. And if u are spending money on all these fancy supplements well it may be just as easy as pure H20 to give you that extra edge. It makes me cringe when i see TV reports about whats in our water or how the so called Purified water we buy in the Bottles are just as bad as tap water in some places. The way i see it is when u add up all the money we spend on Bottled water (e.g say you buy one 1.5 litre bottle a day 5 days a week and each bottle costs u say $4.00(yes $4.00 in Australia) that’s $20 a week and over a year well u do the maths its over $1000 a year. When you look at it that way it makes spending a little bit of money on something that’s so good for your well being a no brainer. For me anyway! Well if you want to check out in more detail about Alkaline water and how it works check out there website Cheers JM

Video – Chilling in O’side with Boardworks SUP crew Fall Nov. 2010

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Small day in OceansideA classic fall day in North County San Diego with Boardworks team rider Anthony Vela, Boardworks Marketing Director, Gretchen Gamble, West Coast sales guru, Ryan Mahoney.


Event – Another Dam Race 2010

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Another Dam Race 2010A 10.5 mile run down the Colorado River with a 2-3 mph current running with you (no white water). Race starts at River Lodge, just below Parker Dam on the California side and finishes at the Blue Water Resort & Casino on the Arizona side.

This unique event is for OC1, OC2, SUP, Paddleboard, SurfSki and any other human powered watercraft!

Solo Classes – $30 and $45 day of event

OC2 –  $50 and $70 day of event

OC-6 – $60 and $90 day of event

Register on

Day of race registration at Blue Water Resort & Casino starting at 7:00 AM .

View Another Dam Race / A Paddling Event in a larger map

Dave Kalama – Star Struck by Gerry Lopez

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Like a lot of groms from my era, I idolized many of the great surfers from the seventies, especially the guys from Hawaii. I loved Larry Bertlemen’s cut back and rubberman style, Button’s incredible creativity and playfulness, and most of all Gerry Lopez’s style and grace. Even more though was Gerry’s persona and the way he carried himself with such subtle casual confidence, that it seemed so genuine, he innately didn’t need to over play his personalty. The way Gerry came flying out of the barrel at Pipeline, with his red board and yellow lighting bolt logo, made me pretend that I was him when I kicked out of my mushy little California beach break waves. I also loved the way Dane Kealoha absolutely crushed the wave with his speed and power. So when I started riding waves, probably more than anybody else, those two people, Gerry and Dane, influenced my surfing the most. Because of my similar body type to Dane I skewed more towards Dane’s power style yet always had an appreciation for Gerry’s watery charisma. Even in my windsurfing days I always envisioned  how they might ride a wave and I would try to emulate that picture in my mind.

Back in 85′ when I moved to Maui, Gerry was still very much my surfing idol, along with just about every other surfer in the world.  When I arrived on Maui with the help of my adopted uncle Pete. I spent a lot of time at his house, right on the beach, cutting my teeth in the  windsurfing world. To afraid at the time to go up to Hookipa where the real guys went, I spent most of my time down at Sprecks and thus didn’t see many of the big name guys. So one afternoon, after a great day of windsurfing, my uncle said he invited a few friends over for a BBQ and that I was welcome to stay. Having very little money for food then I always welcomed a free meal, and said I would be thankful to join him. Sitting on his front deck, over looking the ocean, I was enjoying the afternoon’s mellow color changes and soaking in the days adrenaline hangover from all the fun. So I figured it was time to go grab a cold beer and take this beautiful afternoon to the next level. As I walked through the living room towards the kitchen my eyes hadn’t adjusted to the inside light yet so when I turned the corner into the kitchen, and it’s bright lights, I wasn’t sure I could trust my eyes when I saw Gerry Lopez standing right in front of me. My uncle Pete introduced us and I shook his hand in complete awe. It took every ounce of cool I had to just get a” hello” and “really nice to meet you” out, without tripping over my own tongue. I couldn’t believe my childhood hero was standing in front of me giving me his attention for a moment. I honestly can’t remembered what I said or what he asked me because I was so overwhelmed by the experience. Like a car accident where every thing slows down and you remember some of the most minuet details, I actually remember seeing individual whiskers on his classic Gerry beard at the time and wondering what it would be like to see some of his best memories of Pipe, from his eyes. I do recall him being very gracious and patient with me trying not to gawk at him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make an ass out of myself that evening because he invited me to join him and his brother to do a coast run, from Hookipa to Sprecks, with them the next day. Over the next few months I actually got to know Gerry pretty well and he even sponsored me with his custom made windsurf boards. As time went by and I got to know Gerry even better, especially when we started tow surfing, he almost took on this Obe wan kanobi Jedi master type role within the tow group. His experience and advise was considered very valuable within our small brotherhood. For everything from board design to mental preparation for the big days.

Unfortunately I don’t get to see Gerry much these days, but we’ll run into each other here or there on occasion, and my first impulse, like I’m sure almost all of his friends have, is to think ” wow it’s Gerry Lopez”. Fortunately Gerry’s demeanor is so cool and friendly that any nervousness instantly seems pointless and like any soul that evolved, he exudes a calmness that permeates all that are around him. Occasionally, throughout life you get to meet your heroes. Sometimes it’s a great experience and at times it can be very disappointing. Not only did I get to meet one of my heroes, he ended up being a good friend. I’m very lucky to have a friend like that.



Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

Some 1 man Fun!!!!!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

A few weeks ago i had a call from a mate of mine Woogie who lives up in Noosa. He asked if i wanted to paddle in a team with him in a race that was going to happen in a few weeks time. To be honest I’m sort of over paddling right now and just want to surf so i had to think about it but because its on a 1 man Canoe and i don’t really have much experience on them i thought why not.Should be fun(if there’s wind). Like anything there are lots of little tricks and techniques with paddling a 1 man that i don’t know about so i asked if he could get me a canoe to use for a few sessions before the race.. Lucky Woogie has hooked up with his good mate Maui Kjeldsen who has designed a new canoe called the WAINUI and is selling the canoe in Australia and was able to get one for me.. Thanks mate. So this arvo we had a little pulse in the swell here on the Gold Coast and the wind backed off and i thought there’s no better time to go test it out so i called me mate Sean and we went out to Currumbin Alley and got some fun waves till dark. I took my Go Pro and tried to get some footage while we were mucking around and here is a little clip.. Its not much but we had fun… And don’t worry Woogie its in 1 piece.HAHA

1 Man Alley ( from Jamie Mitchell on Vimeo.