Among watermen, Dave Kalama is a guru, reverently pushing the limits of his body. One of the first to develop tow-in surfing in the mid 1990s at the famous "Jaws" break, Kalama was pulled by a jet-ski into 60-foot monsters, only to emerge purified, ecstatic. In the past 20 years, he has revived the ancient Polynesian practice of standup paddleboarding through an ethos of exploration, perseverance, and humble nobility. He offers thorough technique advice on his blog, "A Waterman's Journal."
Five years ago, Kalama paddled across every major channel of Hawaii and cycled over every island. The man is an endurance powerhouse. We recently caught up with Kalama the day after a 32-mile race from the island of Molokai to Oahu, to find out how he trains for his standup challenges.
Paddleboarding, Kalama says, demands total body fitness. A proponent of the basics school, he opts for compound bodyweight exercises on the beach over the claustrophobia of gyms. To get all-around ripped in a more organic way, find some sand, and your limits, with Dave Kalama's ultimate paddleboarding workout. Launch Gallery >>
Photograph by Shaina Kalama
It's brutal, but that's why you love it. The bear crawl utilizes all of your musculature. "It ties in your lower trunk to your upper body. That's essentially what standup is," Kalama says.
In soft sand, get down on your hands and feet so that your core is thoroughly engaged. Choose a point 50 yards in front of you, and crawl toward it as quickly as possible. When you reach your target, stand up, and take a 15-second rest. Then get down and complete another rep, crawling back the other direction. If you're fit, you might be able to finish 10 in a row without extending your rest time.
Credit: Shaina Kalama