Posts Tagged ‘dave kalama’

What is a Waterman?

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Interviews with Gerry Lopez, Dave Kalama and Brian Keaulana about the concept of a waterman, past and present. If you only surf you’re not a waterman!

Retro – Kalama on Molokai 2012

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Great interview with master downwind paddler Dave Kalama from the finish line at Molokai2Oahu 2012.

Dave Kalama & Imagine Surf – Fiji Travels Namotu

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Dave Kalama, Jamie Mitchell and the crew arrives in Fiji, makes their way to Namotu Island and proceeds to surf perfect waves. Every Day. All Day.
Dave Kalama sums up the experience half-way through the trip:
“I’m a little low energy after the last couple of days and how much surf we’ve had, but it’s Cloudbreak, so you gotta go. See you up there!”

Watch the other episodes: vimeo.com/channels/standuptravelling

Imagine Surf

Kalama Camp

Playlist – Maui to Molokai Downwind with Connor and Dave Kalama

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Check out some of the action from last year’s epic Maui to Molokai race (part of the Triple Crown of SUP race series). Our playlist consists of videos from Bill Boyum and SUPHQ

If you’ve seen the race results you’ll know that the finishing times were insanely fast, with the overall winner (Connor Baxter) averaging over 9mph for almost three straight hours.

Dave Kalama & Friends SUP Surf Maui

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Perfect conditions with a great crew of stoked surfers and SUPers. Dave Kalama with some really nice barrel rides. With all the usual suspects enjoying another memorable session.

Dave Kalama – Testing My Latest Shapes

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I’m pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made with shaping boards that do what I think a great SUP surf board should do.  Here’s a video of how a few of my latest shapes perform.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxzxHjVyxDE&[/youtube]

 

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

Dave Kalama – Move’n on

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

My exit from Naish has been getting much more attention than I expected. There seems to be a lot of conjecture–some of it is pretty dramatic–so I feel motivated to give some insight as to what would make me walk away from a great company like Naish.

First, I want to acknowledge the huge debt of gratitude I owe to Robby for sponsoring me in the first place. He brought me on to the team at a very precarious time for me, because South Point had defaulted on both Timpone and my contract, which left a big void in my income. With Robby’s support I was able to continue my waterman lifestyle and support my family. I have a huge appreciation for Robby and the Naish company, and the friendship and support he has given me.

Like any relationship not everything was perfect, it doesn’t necessarily mean one or the other is at fault but rather an evolution of different paths. The Naish company path is naturally driven by corporate responsibilities. My path is driven by personal goals, the challenges of the lifestyle I follow, and creative freedom. Robby runs his company very efficiently, and like any good, strong leader it goes his way, and that’s as it should be. It is his company, he has taken all the risk and made all the decisions that go along with being successful. But unfortunately for me that meant more and more that there wasn’t much room to make my imprint on the company. At the end of my contract I had to make the difficult decision to renew and carry on with the status quo or do something different.

Had I not learned to shape a few months ago I probably would have stayed with Naish and carried on with business as usual, but the exposure to shaping got my creative juices flowing again and in the end I just could not deny what has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my whole career–the creative process.

My whole career I’ve been very involved in the design and creation of all my equipment. Windsurf sails, windsurf boards, my own fin company, longboards, shortboards, tandem boards, tow boards, stand up wave boards and race boards, foil boards. I’ve worked with Gerry Lopez, Karl Hill, Bill Foote, Sean Ordonez, Jeff Timpone, Tim Patterson, Donald Takayama, Harold Ige and Mark Raphorst. All very accomplished shapers, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount along the way.

Now I have an opportunity to take all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained and couple my own vision and feeling into boards I can ride and perfect myself. It’s really exciting to try and get the outline right, the rocker how you want it, the rails shaped properly and then go out and ride it. The best part is I don’t have to try and explain to somebody how it felt or what is right or wrong with the board, and what needs to be changed. I know already. I can take that feedback and put it directly into the next prototype. It’s awesome and so much fun. It’s got me excited to go to the beach every morning and try to learn how to make everything better. I am far from a master at this craft but at least I can create what I believe works best.

So that’s where I’m headed. The path isn’t completely clear yet, but I’m moving in a direction that feels great to me. I wish everyone at Naish, and specifically Robbie, full enjoyment of the great success that their hard work over many years has brought them. But it’s time for me to move on.

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

Dave Kalama – Up Next

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

You’re invited to participate in my backyard playground. What? I’m partnering with the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea to host a Kalama-style Maui Surf Camp. You can find the skinny of the play date here. Hope to see you soon, and be ready to get your feet sandy and gills wet.

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

Dave Kalama ” Spin’n and Grin’n “

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

My good friend Pat Myers has been in town the last few days, trying to collect some footage of me, and threw together this little piece of some fun south side action. Hope you like it. Also a quick congratulations to Connor Baxter for doing such a great job in the Molokai to Oahu. I didn’t have such a good day, but he sure did. He truly earned it and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Aloha, Dave

Ps. Check out the clip

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax0aA0lSzHg&[/youtube]

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

Get your mind right – Dave Kalama

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

I’ve offered quite a bit of technical information over the last year playing with this blog. Hopefully some of it helped you. But I’m continuing to learn new things myself, both about my own approach to challenges and about coaching. One thing I’ve discovered is how important mind set is. I guess I’ve known it all along, but lately that fact seems to be pushed at me in new ways.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to wander off into psychobabble. First of all, I’m not qualified, and second I’m just not all that touchy-feely. But in looking back over the instructional articles I’ve written, I see that I refer fairly often to the mental aspect of meeting challenges. I’ve kind of glossed over it and left just enough of a trail to connect the dots yourself. But I think I should address it straight on: Mind set and/or intention can have a huge influence on performance.

For example, the other day I was teaching someone to surf, and they were having a lot of trouble committing to the act of standing up once they caught the wave. So I told them they looked like they were standing up to go clean a toilet (meaning not very motivated). I want you to stand up like you are going to get a double dip of coffee Haagen Dazs. As soon as I said that I could see their whole attitude change from “maybe I can” to “you bet I will”.

Just a tiny swing in intention can give a significant chance of success. Sure enough that’s just what happened. I know they were ready to quit–to paddle in disgusted with surfing. Instead they stayed out another hour, had some real success, and most likely will be a surfer for life. Besides helping them it also reminded me how significant mind set is, not only for myself, but for instruction as well.

Anyone is far more likely to succeed in executing a challenging task if they are motivated to believe they can do it. In my experience the best way to make them believe is to give them a mental connection to something they can already do. That’s why I usually ask lots of question at the beginning of a coaching session to find things that I will be able to relate my explanations to. If I can explain something to a person in terms that already make sense to them then I can most likely get them to do what I’m trying to teach them.

I think people build a mental picture that helps them aim for a goal. If they can imagine achieving what ever goal they have set for themselves they can get there quicker. I think the connection to things people already can do helps them break the goals into manageable pieces, They can imagine achieving something much closer to their current ability, and when they get there they can appreciate the success. If the only mental picture you have is of pulling off a driving cutback when you haven’t successfully popped up on a board yet, you aren’t connected to a goal that’s going to improve your current performance. If your mental picture is something like “I’m going to pop up on this board like I’m excited to get there”, then you will, and you’ll taste success.

Mood is also just as important. So if you can relate the current task to a past pleasurable experience then most likely the mind will be more engaged in the specific goal or task, thus the mention of coffee ice cream (hey, I know it works for me). Involuntarily you get an internal smile because that thought makes you happy. That’s the perfect mind set to being physically and mentally open, to learning new movements and balances. If you can create that good mood prior to learning or for that matter racing, performing, or competition, you give yourself the best chance of success. That’s not to say you put your head in the clouds and walk around in la la land. You’ve got to be focused on the task at hand. But if you do it with a positive confident attitude, it can make all the difference in the world.

Let me know what you think. I’d like to hear how you focus your mind on goals and keep yourself motivated. For that matter, anyone out there teaching or coaching folks, I love to hear how you maintain motivation and focus in your students.

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

Dave Kalama Story – Possessed

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

About four years ago, Laird and I had concocted a plan to Stand up paddle across all the major channels in Hawaii and ride our bikes across every island, in an effort to help support our friend Don King, who was making a documentary about raising a autistic child.  He needed some money to finish the project and Laird and I needed something to occupy our comfortable summer with some type of pain and suffering.  It seemed like a great idea at the time of inception but turned out to be way more than I bargained for, but that’s par for the course when you run with a like minded, slightly skewed, well intended, but over zealous type like Laird (meant in the best way possible).  In the end, it was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.

While there are numerous stories to pick from, for this article I’d like to share an experience that I had while paddling between Oahu and Kauai.

NAISH featured at REI

We started from Kaena point at ten thirty at night, hoping that we would get to Kauai before sunset the following evening.  That channel can be done in the course of a day but unfortunately for us the winds were blowing Kona.  Not strongly but nonetheless the opposite direction you want for paddling that channel. With trades it’s 12 to 15 hours, with Konas 18 +.  I honestly thought when we jumped in the water we were just playing a game of chicken, because neither one of us was going to back down–the Kauai channel is hard enough when the wind is blowing with you, it’s just unimaginable when the wind is against you.  But in classic testosterone-fueled fashion, neither one of us was going to be the first to say uncle, so we paddled on into the night and for the next twenty two hours.

Somewhere around one or two the next day, Laird had managed to get at least a mile ahead, probably closer to two.  It was weighing on me heavily at the time because I wanted this to be something we did together–literally.  But over the course of about three hours Laird was really maintaining a faster pace then I could.  When I first started to consider a push, to try and catch up, it seemed unimaginable.  After paddling for at least fifteen hours at that point, where would I find the energy to make a push like that?  I waffled back and forth for about twenty minutes trying to decide if it was a smart thing to do.  If I went too hard, I might kill my chances of even making it, and after paddling that far I did not want to come up short.  So I came up with lots of sound reasons to just maintain my pace and finish the journey. But I would have finished in the dark and probably an hour or two behind Laird.  No shame in finishing second to Laird right?  Wrong!

This was a moment in my life, where I was presented with a true challenge. Not a game of chicken with a friend or a challenge from a drinking buddy, but one that could possibly define me.  Define what was inside, define what I stood for, define my very soul.  Was I going to be content to just finish, or was I going to stand up to a task that just seemed unfathomable at a point where everything sensible told me to be smart, conserve my energy and finish.  So to get my mind right for the challenge I used a technique I employ when I am being worked by a big wave.  I compartmentalize the situation and just try to manage the task right in front of me.  Don’t try to manage the whole thing at once, just deal with what’s right at your finger tips.  And then after a few seconds deal with the next thing that’s at your finger tips and so on.  That way you make your path through a tough situation one small manageable step at a time rather than overwhelming yourself with the whole ball of wax.

So with that in mind, the first thing I attacked was my breathing.  Starting slow at first and very cautiously increasing at an almost unmeasurable pace forward.  In my mind I kept saying to myself  ’just go for a little while and see how you feel’, being careful not to try and catch up all at once.  After about five minutes I felt like I was playing with fire but still under control, so I thought I would turn up the focus on breathing for a while then turn up the intensity of my stroke.  This went on back and forth for about twenty minutes and by this point I was starting to work myself into a bit of a lather.  I had focused so much on my breathing that it had literally sucked me into a trance.  I looked up occasionally  to see if my effort was making any difference and for the first half hour it was hard to tell because he was so far ahead of me.  And then one time I looked up and YES!  It was making a difference.  So that fueled the fire and I took my breathing to a full blown possessed inhale and exhale, which in turn sucked me into a complete paddle frenzy.  So much so, I distinctly remember saying to myself ‘I don’t care if I make the paddle across the channel, I will catch Laird if it takes my last breath’.  I had managed to work myself into a full blown possessed paddle frenzy, and I don’t say that lightly.  I’ve never experienced anything like it before or since, but at least I know it’s in there. If I ever really needed to call upon it again I hope I could find it, but I’m not sure.

What I think was unique about this was not that I had got myself into that state, but rather that I maintained it for about an hour and a half to two hours.  I remember seeing Laird’s escort boat captain Donny looking back when I started to get closer and doing the full double take with his head, as if to say, ‘you’re not supposed to be there, you were just a couple miles back’.  During most of that time I had never considered what I would do if I actually caught him.  I was so focused on paddling, but as I began to near I thought to myself, ‘now what are you going to do if you actually catch him’?  I hadn’t put much thought into that part of the equation but it started to dawn on me that, yeah I might have caught him but now can you stay with him after expending that much energy to catch up?  I didn’t know. I was in a very vulnerable place.  When I finally did catch up and Laird turned around and saw that I was ten feet behind him, it was one of the most satisfying moments of my athletic career.

Winning prestigious down-wind or channel races is great don’t get me wrong, but people expect me to do well.  I expect me to do well, so there’s a bit of this: I’m only doing what is expected of me. But this time, I didn’t expect it, and anyone that really knows Laird knows what a physical freak he is.  True, some of his strength is God given, but nobody out works him when it comes to preparation, not even me.  He’s not just the kind of strong that comes from weights, that strength is accessible to anyone.  His might comes from within, within his heart and his mind.  There is never doubt in his actions, there is never caution in his movements, only confidence. To me that is real strength.

(more…)

Dave Kalama – Costa Rica Vista Guapa Surf Camp

Monday, February 21st, 2011


Costa Rica here we come. In just about two months the Kalama Kamp crew and I will be hosting our first camp in Costa Rica. I’ve been to Costa Rica a few times myself, but I have a feeling this will be the best one because we will have one of the best surfers in Costa Rica, Alvaro, to help make sure we end up in the right places at the right times, thus taking full advantage of local knowledge. I’ve already started to brush up on my spanish, most of it focused on three sayings that seem to get you pretty far. Donde esta la playa ( where’s the beach), un cervesa por farvor( a beer please) and another important one, donde esta el bano ( where’s the bathroom ). I’ve even changed John’s name to Juan for the camp and Brody is El Mono( The Monkey ). I hope you’ll consider joining us, even I’m tired at the end of our Kalama Kamp weeks, from doing so much and having so much fun. Below is some more info that Brody put together on how to sign up and general info. Hope to see you in Costa Rica. Pura Vida, Dave

Kalama Kamp is coming to Vista Guapa Surf Camp (www.vistaguapa.com) from Saturday, April 9th thro ugh Saturday, April 16th 2011.  Spend time with renowned waterman and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) pioneer Dave Kalama.  Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is a weeklong SUP adventure retreat featuring private instruction, daily SUP activities and nightly social gatherings.  The all-inclusive (excluding airfare) Kalama Kamp offers the unique opportunity for SUP enthusiasts to explore one of the world’s most coveted surfing destinations while receiving personalized instruction from top SUP industry experts.

“We are thrilled to host Kalama Kamp at Vista Guapa,” explained Alvaro Solaro, co-founder of Vista Guapa.  “We guarantee that it will be the SUP/Surf experience of a lifetime in beautiful Jaco Beach with instruction from some of the industry’s best watermen and top surfers in the world.”

Kalama Kamp Costa Rica will include one-on-one instruction from Kalama, the Hawaiian Big Wave Surfer and Windsurfer who is considered one of the driving forces behind the reemergence of stand up paddling into the watersports arena.  Additional instructors include Solano, Stand Up Fitness founder Brody Welte and John Denney of Jupiter Paddleboarding.  Kalama Kamp is limited to 12 spaces assuring the most intimate, personalized SUP experience possible.

“We are stoked to be bringing Kalama Kamp to Costa Rica, one of the most beloved surfing spots in the world,” added Welte, founder of Stand Up Fitness.  “Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is the perfect opportunity for anyone, regardless of skill level, who wants to take their paddleboarding experience to a completely new level and meet like-minded individuals. Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is ready to embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle!”

Nestled on five beautiful acres of hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Vista Guapa is an upscale surf and stand up paddleboard camp offering a first class surfing vacation for water lovers of any skill level.  Run by Solano, the camp is located in the well-known surfing destination of Jaco Beach and conveniently located with easy access to some of the best surf breaks on the Costa Rican Pacific coast.  In addition to surfing and stand up paddleboarding, Vista Guapa guests enjoy a range of outdoor activities including yoga, canopy tours, mountain biking, fishing trips and kayaking in partnership with local tour companies.

Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is currently accepting registrants for this exclusive opportunity.  Rates are $3499 per person and are all-inclusive excluding airfare.  To reserve space in Kalama Kamp Costa Rica, please call 727-902-4294 or email brody@standupfitnessinc.com.

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

Dave Kalama – Who cares

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

It seems that everybody around at the beginning of stand up wants to claim that they were the one that started the whole thing. Who cares, no one is giving away awards for the one that is responsible for it all. There’s no cash bonuses being handed out, even if we all did agree one person is the most responsible, then what. Is there a parade, or a big sponsorship waiting? I don’t think so. Does that person get a hall pass at any surf break he wants? If so I want to be that person, but unfortunately I’m pretty sure there’s no hall ojypasses being handed out.

Is it a matter of recognition? Maybe, but let’s examine that for a moment. The most I can ever see is an honorable mention at a future stand up hall of fame. We know there will never be an honorable mention at the surfing hall of fame, they can’t stand us. Who would that be anyway? Do you take it all the way back to John Zapotaky. While I’m sure he enjoyed it, it didn’t exactly take off from his involvement. How about back to the Duke, he’s the one that showed Zapotaky. Or do you go all the way back to the ancient Hawaiians? There’s just no question they did stand up paddle surfing. Even though there is no photographic evidence that they were doing stand up paddle surfing, they were all paddlers. Is there even the slightest chance they failed to put paddle and surfboard together?  Surely it would have been done by at least a few of them, and probably the folks that stuck with prone paddling complained that they were hogging all the waves.At least they probably didn’t get grief about having dangerously big boards.  ALL the boards were dangerously big.

Then there’s these guys:

The Peruvians also have a legitimate claim in their Tortoras and I’m sure they’re not the only indigenous people to discover this mode of transportation. So I guess it depends how far you want to go back to give credit. Again even if we designate one person or group prior to Laird’s involvement, the sport didn’t exactly take off.

No matter what your perspective of Laird is, to me there is no question he was the tipping point factor that got the sport to the masses. Did he do it alone, absolutely not, would it be where it is now with out him, absolutely not. You have to admit that Laird has transcended surfing and has become a bona fide celebrity. Whatever he does draws attention, whether it’s stand up or just standing on the beach. He draws a crowd and I’ve seen it first hand over and over again. And even though I was there on the first day he and I did it together, the likes of Jennifer Aniston and  Pierce Brosnin aren’t going to try it because Dave Kalama does it.

H2O Audio - Paddle With Music

The real beauty of all that is the guy most deserving of the recognition could care less about it, He’s much too busy doing it.

Is the first domino the most important or is the domino that spreads the single file line into a sprawling fan of dominos the most important. Like I said, who cares. The important thing is that the dominos are falling and spreading at an incredible rate. So try as you might to get the magnifying glass at one point, you’d be missing all the beauty of the bigger picture. I guess the people that like to argue can argue over this for quite some time because from what I can see, there is no one to give ultimate responsibility to. To some degree it really is and has been a team effort to get this message of stand up out to the world. Not so one person can wave his flag and say it started with me. Instead we can all fly the flag of this great sport and share it’s benefits to help make the world a little better, even if it’s for an hour or two, or as long as you are on the water.

Sure, I would like to say I’m the guy as much as the next guy, but even if I were, so what, I wouldn’t get a prize, I don’t get to drive in the carpool lane by myself, guys aren’t going to give me more waves because of it, fellow competitors aren’t going to let me win the race because of it, my mortgage company isn’t going to say ” Hey your all good, don’t worry about the loan, we’ll cover it for you”. It ultimately serves no real purpose. I’m just glad I’m one of the lucky ones that get’s to do this sport as my job. So while I might not be “the” guy, I am the guy that’s on the water as much as anybody, which is good enough for me.

Aloha,

Dave

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

Dave Kalama – Tempo Paddling Techniques

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Photo Darrell Wong

So you’ve read all the technique articles, watched all the videos on you tube, maybe even attended a clinic from one of the pros. You’ve spent countless hours processing all the information and tried to integrate it into your stroke. Maybe you’ve even gone as far as having some one video tape you so that you can go through it with a fine tooth comb, and slow-mo it like the sports analysts do on any given Sunday. Well there’s one little detail you seldom hear in the stand up world… tempo( or cadence ). In outrigger it’s quite a common term because of the team work factor. Everyone must paddle exactly together or blend as they say, and at the same rate or tempo.

There are many factors that determine your speed, for instance, the amount of power you apply, efficiency of your technique, fitness level, board design, etc. For the sake of argument,  let’s say you paddle pretty much the same every time you go. So the easiest way to control your speed is by the number of strokes you take per minute, or tempo. If you only take forty strokes per minute no matter how good they are you will only travel so far, but if you take seventy stokes per minute( provided they’re good strokes) you will travel a lot further.

The trick then becomes setting your tempo to three key factors. One, your technique, be it Hawaiian or Tahitian. Two, your fitness level, meaning how much cardio stress can you put on your body and maintain a certain level of efficiency. Three, your level of power output. When anyone of these factors is too high you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns, simply meaning, that you no longer can maintain a efficient movement when you’re trying to hard.

Because the length of a stand up paddle is so much longer, you will do fewer strokes per minute compared to the rates of an outrigger paddler. In an outrigger, the Hawaiian stroke can vary from the low fifties to upper sixties, whereas the Tahitian stroke can be anywhere from the lower sixties to the low mid eighties. For stand up you can subtract five to ten strokes per minute for the longer paddles.

Setting your tempo on a stand up is a very subtle thing because adding five strokes per minute is barely noticeable. That’s just a little more than one stroke more per fifteen seconds, which by the way is generally how you count your strokes. Count the number of strokes you do in fifteen seconds and multiply by four.

If you’re more of a cardio type person you should lean more towards a Tahitian style stroke since the rate is higher and will require more cardio endurance, thus playing right into your strength. If you’re a bigger stronger guy perhaps you might slow your stroke down and take advantage of your strength by powering your paddle a little deeper. Whatever you favor naturally I highly recommend mastering both techniques as they both use slightly different muscle groups, which allows for less fatigue because of load sharing throughout the body.

So instead of always working on just your technique, try adjusting your tempo to suit your stroke and technique to enhance both factors and become that much faster over the long run.

Aloha,

Dave

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

Who cares

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Darrell Wong photo

It seems that everybody around at the beginning of stand up wants to claim that they were the one that started the whole thing. Who cares, no one is giving away awards for the one that is responsible for it all. There’s no cash bonuses being handed out, even if we all did agree one person is the most responsible, then what. Is there a parade, or a big sponsorship waiting? I don’t think so. Does that person get a hall pass at any surf break he wants? If so I want to be that person, but unfortunately I’m pretty sure there’s no hall passes being handed out.

Is it a matter of recognition? Maybe, but let’s examine that for a moment. The most I can ever see is an honorable mention at a future stand up hall of fame. We know there will never be an honorable mention at the surfing hall of fame, they can’t stand us. Who would that be anyway? Do you take it all the way back to John Zapotaky. While I’m sure he enjoyed it, it didn’t exactly take off from his involvement. How about back to the Duke, he’s the one that showed Zapotaky. Or do you go all the way back to the ancient Hawaiians? There’s just no question they did stand up paddle surfing. Even though there is no photographic evidence that they were doing stand up paddle surfing, they were all paddlers. Is there even the slightest chance they failed to put paddle and surfboard together?  Surely it would have been done by at least a few of them, and probably the folks that stuck with prone paddling complained that they were hogging all the waves.At least they probably didn’t get grief about having dangerously big boards.  ALL the boards were dangerously big.

Then there’s these guys:

The Peruvians also have a legitimate claim in their Tortoras and I’m sure they’re not the only indigenous people to discover this mode of transportation. So I guess it depends how far you want to go back to give credit. Again even if we designate one person or group prior to Laird’s involvement, the sport didn’t exactly take off.

No matter what your perspective of Laird is, to me there is no question he was the tipping point factor that got the sport to the masses. Did he do it alone, absolutely not, would it be where it is now with out him, absolutely not. You have to admit that Laird has transcended surfing and has become a bona fide celebrity. Whatever he does draws attention, whether it’s stand up or just standing on the beach. He draws a crowd and I’ve seen it first hand over and over again. And even though I was there on the first day he and I did it together, the likes of Jennifer Aniston and  Pierce Brosnin aren’t going to try it because Dave Kalama does it.

The real beauty of all that is the guy most deserving of the recognition could care less about it, He’s much too busy doing it.

Is the first domino the most important or is the domino that spreads the single file line into a sprawling fan of dominos the most important. Like I said, who cares. The important thing is that the dominos are falling and spreading at an incredible rate. So try as you might to get the magnifying glass at one point, you’d be missing all the beauty of the bigger picture. I guess the people that like to argue can argue over this for quite some time because from what I can see, there is no one to give ultimate responsibility to. To some degree it really is and has been a team effort to get this message of stand up out to the world. Not so one person can wave his flag and say it started with me. Instead we can all fly the flag of this great sport and share it’s benefits to help make the world a little better, even if it’s for an hour or two, or as long as you are on the water.

Sure, I would like to say I’m the guy as much as the next guy, but even if I were, so what, I wouldn’t get a prize, I don’t get to drive in the carpool lane by myself, guys aren’t going to give me more waves because of it, fellow competitors aren’t going to let me win the race because of it, my mortgage company isn’t going to say ” Hey your all good, don’t worry about the loan, we’ll cover it for you”. It ultimately serves no real purpose. I’m just glad I’m one of the lucky ones that get’s to do this sport as my job. So while I might not be “the” guy, I am the guy that’s on the water as much as anybody, which is good enough for me.

Aloha,

Dave

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

Congratulations Kai

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

I would like to say how proud I am of Kai Lenny for winning the wave riding stand up world title. I had a chance to work with him a little bit on his wave riding technique and style prior to the event, so like any self respecting coach, I would like to take more credit than I am certainly due. The problem with trying to claim any credit is that the kid is so talented. But his success really comes from his work ethic and passion for the water in general.

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Kamp Kalama……….

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Well I just got back from a fun trip to the state’s which saw me go to the Maverick’s Opening Ceremony in Northern California which is now the Jay Moriarity Event and then straight to Hawaii for the Eddie Opening Ceremony. Both Ceremony’s were awesome and a honor to be involved with. After the Eddie I had about 7 days to hang out and do whatever I please. The Triple Crown was on and the whole surf circus in on the Nth Shore so I called my mate Davo on Maui and said hey I’m on my way.

I love Maui and hanging with Dave and his Family.. They have a beautiful place up on one of the Mountain’s there and its so refreshing to be able to go back after a day on the ocean and Unwind. Every time we get together we always find stuff to do whether its ocean based or land based. It’s funny cause we have this relationship that’s pretty cool that we can talk about anything to do with Paddling,SUP Surfing,Technique, how we are training and what we are doing to improve, nutrition and how we can help each other out to get better and saving the world etc haha.. But we want to kick each other’s ass at everything as well.. We are how shall I say COMPETITIVE with each other. Its a good thing but. I think we thrive on it. Dave won Molokai this year on the SUP and after the previous year and his troubles in the race i think i was more stoked than him. I saw the effort he put in this year and the pain from the year before. But what i do know is that he wasn’t completely satisfied! Why? Because he doesn’t have the fastest time across the channel on a Paddleboard. Yes he does on the SUP but i have a faster time on the paddleboard.. He wants that record. And he told me so. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is really special to have a bond like that which is open and honest and where we are willing to try to help each other to beat each other? Funny hey..
My time this trip on Maui was no different to most. I call it Kamp Kalama. From beach workouts to 1 man Maliko runs to my 1st Mountain Bike trail run we did alot. Then add our HORSE competitions on the Basketball Court(yes Dave is a Fanatic Lakers Fan) and our famous 7 hr Cornhole contest with about 25 Coors Light’s to boot and u have a action filled week. Oh yeah i forgot to mention we taught 3 Tour de France riders from Team Garmin how to SUP and got them out on Dave’s 4 man.
But i must say the most defining experience of my trip was a pretty funny moment i had while i was babysitting Dave’s son Cash. He was asleep upstairs and i thought how easy is this till i hear Dadda Dadda.. So i raced upstairs to Cash saying Poop Poop and pointing to his Diaper. So hear i am trying to work out what to do next while the whole time Cash is telling me how to change his Diaper.It was too funny. I pulled it off but. I was pretty Proud. haha.
So in finishing if anyone is thinking of going to Maui and needs that extra help with there stroke or some coaching then Dave is your man. Check out his blog www.davidkalama.com and you will see what i mean. He has a wealth of Knowledge that goes far beyond Paddling. You will come out a better person as well… Or check out his Kamp Kalama Camps he does.
Thanks for another great trip mate and watch out I’m practising my Jump shot’s haha.
Im going to attach a video of Dave predicting my next year of racing. Don’t miss it it’s quite funny.

Kalama Interview from Jamie Mitchell’s Blog on Vimeo.

Dave Kalama’s Blog on PA

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/17839598[/vimeo]

Dave Kalama – Use Your hips while paddling

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
OTL

Many of the technical parts in a good stroke come from canoe paddling because canoe paddling and canoe strokes have been practiced and refined for hundred, perhaps thousands of years. Extending your arm all the way forward, twisting the upper torso towards the extended arm, bending at the waist slightly to extend all the way forward, extending the shoulder itself forward to get absolutely every inch of reach you possibly can.  All of these are vital to maximizing your potential, and any good canoe paddling coach will pound them into your practice. But there is one thing you won’t hear from canoe paddling coaches because its unique to Standup Paddling. Using your hips.

Hip movement is an overlooked but critical element of thrusting forward. I like to tell people to envision pulling yourself to the paddle as opposed to pulling the paddle to you. The main reasons for this is because when you envision pulling yourself to the paddle, you will naturally try to pull your whole body to the paddle. By default that means pulling your hips( or your center of mass) up to the paddle, whereas when you try to pull the paddle to you, you will automatically drop the hips back and anchor them there so that you can pull the paddle to you, just as you would pull a rope in a “tug of war”. What’s the difference between the two? Pulling your body to the paddle creates forward momentum, pulling the paddle to you doesn’t.

As always, you need to exaggerate the movement to feel it’s effect, and then add it to your conscious practice. As you do that it will pattern into muscle memory and become part of your stroke. To integrate the hips thrust them forward while you are pulling on the paddle, so that as the shoulders and torso pull back the hips thrust forward and meet in an upright body position. You will feel the board thrust forward as the movement draws your feet under your hips and you straighten. Just thrusting the hips into the stroke at any random moment won’t do much. It has to be synchronized with the pull of the paddle, so that your maximum point of hip thrust corresponds with your maximum amount of pull on the paddle. That hip thrust can easily account for an extra inch or two of forward movement per stroke. Again, as an individual action it doesn’t account for to much, but when added up over thousands of strokes it can begin to make a significant difference.

In pure flatwater paddling or long distances you won’t use this stroke element constantly, it uses your large central muscles which burn a lot of energy. But if you practice the movement so you can engage it smoothly over the length of a sprint it can help you catch bumps for down wind. In sprint races it can be your ace in the hole, that lets you break away from the pack, or pass your rival before the finish.

Best of luck with integrating this into your stroke. I know these fine tuning elements can be hard to master through a written description. I’ve had a lot of success in teaching these refinements at Kalama Kamps and individual training sessions. It’s really interesting to see how much faster people can paddle when they  pull together all these bits–even in a single day of instruction. If you visit Maui remember I am available for one on one coaching when my schedule allows. The winter big wave season makes that a little more difficult to coordinate, but if you’re interested just contact me through the “Contact Dave” tab at the top of the page or just fill in the Contact Dave form in the sidebar.

Aloha, Dave

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

Dave Kalama – One Fun Day

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago we had a very nice surfing day here on Maui. Here are a few shots from that day. Aloha, Dave




Photos by Jerome Houyvet

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

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.

Aloha,

Dave

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

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.

Aloha,

Dave

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

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.

Aloha,

Dave

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