About

I intend this blog to be a literal journal–a daily (more or less) record of the things I do. I cover a lot of ground and wind up in a lot of out-of-the-way places, so this will be a challenge, but I’ll work at it. It will also feature instructional articles and videos on the water sports I do, mostly stand up paddle surfing and downwinding. I also plan to add some products for sale.

It’s embarrassing to write about yourself so I’ll take the easy way out and paste in the Wikipedia entry on me. It’s more or less accurate but not very complete. But I guess I can’t complain since I could change it.

Dave Kalama is a big wave surfer/tow-in surfer, stand-up paddle (SUP) surfer and racer, surf and SUP board shaper, windsurfer, outrigger canoe racer, private adventure guide and celebrity watersports enthusiast. Kalama, his wife, 2 sons and 1 daughter live in Kula, Maui.

Kalama is credited with the co-development of tow-in surfing, along with Laird HamiltonDarrick Doerner, and Buzzy Kerbox.[1] Recently, Kalama together with close friend Laird Hamilton have been actively promoting and mastering an ancient Hawaiian mode of water transportation and watersport called SUP, “stand-up paddling”, and he has begun a series of increasingly longer solo paddle events between various Hawaiian islands. Kalama and Hamilton are also credited with the co-development of “foil surfing” (hydrofoil surfing).

Kalama is a descendant from a long line of noteworthy Hawaiian watermen; his grandfather broughtoutrigger canoe paddling to the mainland U.S., and his father Ilima Kalama was the 1962 world-champion surfer and a lifelong outrigger canoe paddler.[2]. There are, among others, a beach on Maui and a town in Washington State named after family members. Kalama is known socially amongst surfers as placing high respect on local/community surf etiquette.

Kalama is a part-time coach to SUP competitors Kai Lenny (2010 and 2011 SUP Surf World Champion) and Slater Trout.

As a high school age athlete, Kalama was a competitive ski racer and high school football player in the winter sports resort town of Mammoth Lakes, California.[3][4][5]

In July 2006, Kalama and BamMan Productions business partner Laird Hamilton were jointly awarded the Beacon Award at the Maui Film Festival for “helping to revive the surf film genre.”[6]

Kalama and fellow celebrity surfing pal Laird Hamilton have been featured in big wave riding films and photographs while riding the largest ocean waves in recorded history. For survival, they surf together and only with other wave riders they absolutely trust (critical life-saving rescues from the tow-in watercraft are commonplace–they take turns piloting the craft– trust is paramount). Their preference is the tow-in surfing method (which they co-invented), which affords them the ability to catch the largest (and fastest) of ocean waves; their preferred location is the reef at Pe’ahi (pronounced pay-ah-hee) (commonly called “Jaws”) on the northcentral coast of the Island of Maui (known for holding and breaking the largest waves on the planet); and their preferred riding style is “radical, late take-offs, forceful sweeping drops and turns across the face of 60+ footer waves, exiting over the shoulder of the wave at the end of the ride (to catch a tow ride back outside for another ride, of course)”. Their extreme wave rides, chronicled in film and photographs, are daredevil conquests that do not seem possible (or wise!). They have survived near-death experiences in major “wipe-outs” under mountains of falling water.

Kalama appeared in the opening sequence of the James Bond film Die Another Day.

In October 2006, Dave Kalama, along with friend and celebrity waterman, Laird Hamilton, biked and paddled the entire Hawaiian Island chain—more than 450 miles—in a week. The feat was featured on Don King’s film A Beautiful Son in support of those afflicted with autism. [7]

Kalama won an award for his role in Riding Giants.[8]

Kalama has also appeared in All Aboard the Crazy TrainPath of PurposeEndless Summer IIStep Into LiquidWatermanHereafter,Kaho’olawe, and Radical Attitude.