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
Pull-ups remain a classic for a reason: They flat-out get you strong. Pull-ups tax the latissimus dorsi, or lats, those wing-like muscles running laterally down the back. The lats are primarily responsible for rowing and pulling motions, making this exercise a key component of Kalama's training regimen.
Most of us claim to be able to do more pull-ups than we can. To complete a true pull-up requires a one-second hang at full-extension in between each rep, as well as bringing your chin all the way above the bar. If you really want to do it, Kalama-style, then find a tree branch and don't cheat yourself.
Credit: Shaina Kalama