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
Paddleboarding requires boulder-shoulders, "for holding the paddle up and drawing it out of the water," says Kalama. So, although you might scare a few beachgoers, the Frankenstein is an essential.
Walk with your arms straight out in front of you, at shoulder height. "Don't let them go below shoulder height, and you'll look like Frankenstein walking down the beach," says Kalama. "After about two minutes, you could care less about what anybody is thinking. If you get up into the three, four minutes, or more, you're getting strong."
Credit: Shaina Kalama