Meet the Commentary Dream Team Calling the Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup for The Paddle League on Saturday

We’re just 48 hours out from race day at the Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup here in the sleepy-hollow-turned-paddling-mecca that is Wrightsville Beach.

With its mix of elite superstars and everyday paddlers combined with a festival setup and early-season “reunion” atmosphere, Carolina is always a special stop on the circuit. This year, however, the cake’s got a nice little cherry on top in the form of The Paddle League World Tour, which aims to give the sport a solid foundation and help support/elevate these classic races such as Carolina–the events that act as true pillars of our sport.

A Brief History of Dave Kalama

dave-kalama-history-stand-up-paddleboarding-videoWatch this very interesting short film about the life of the man, the myth, the legend, Dave Kalama.

Apart from being at the forefront of the SUP movement, Kalama could also list the following on his extensive resumé: alpine skier, pro windsurfer, big wave tow-surfing pioneer, high-level paddle coach, WSL commentator, TEDx talker, and father.

While his humble, laid-back nature means he doesn’t always have the Instagram reach of some of the other big-name paddlers, Dave is definitely one of the all-time most respected guys on the water. Whenever he speaks, people listen.   → READ MORE

“Train Hard. Go Fast. Have Fun.” Quickblade’s Motivational Trip Down Memory Lane (2008-2016)

Quickblade Train Hard Go Fast Have FunIn case you need some mid-week motivation, or if you just want an entertaining trip down memory lane, watch this four and a half minute montage from Quickblade, which features some of the biggest names and events in stand up paddling accompanied by a couple of iconic speeches from the wider sporting world.

Simply titled “Train Hard. Go Fast. Have Fun.” – the official mantra of QB Paddles – the clip is an interesting look back at the past eight years of not only one of the sport’s most iconic brands, but of the sport itself   → READ MORE

RESULTS: Connor Baxter Wins 5th Straight ‘OluKai’ Crown, Sonni Hönscheid Claims Women’s Title

OluKai paddle race Maui
Connor Baxter has won his 5th straight OluKai title, defeating an all-star cast of the world’s best downwind paddlers in near-perfect conditions on Maui this afternoon.

After going into the race as red hot favourite – Connor has won every edition of this event stretching back to 2012 – the world number one relished the excellent downwind bumps on the famous Maliko run to finish in a time of 47 minutes, 41 seconds, while Mo Freitas put in a commanding performance to claim the runner-up spot.   → READ MORE

Dave Kalama & Friends Take Over Maui on a Big Inflatable SUP

giant inflatable stand up paddleboardIn case you somehow forgot to follow us on Facebook or Insta, here’s a great little clip that’s been doing the rounds the past 24 hours.

Dave Kalama and friends taking over Maui on the aptly-named “Invader” giant inflatable stand up paddleboard from Imagine Surf.   → READ MORE

Big SUP, Big Fun: Dave Kalama and Imagine Launch the ‘Invader’ Inflatable Behemoth

Imagine-Invader-big-SUP-inflatable-boardSo I spotted this shot of Dave Kalama on Instagram a couple of days ago. He’s standing in front of what looks to be a ridiculously oversized inflatable stand up paddle board, and he’s got that very subtle grin on his face that you just know means one thing: Fun.

Dave and Imagine Surf have just launched the “Invader” big SUP, an inflatable board that can carry up to 10 riders at once. The Invader is 17 feet long, 58 inches (almost 5 feet) wide and 1,213 litres in volume.   → READ MORE

Andrea Moller Wins 7th Straight OluKai Crown, Connor Baxter Makes It Four-In-A-Row Ahead Of Travis Grant And Dave Kalama

OluKai race Connor Baxter
Connor Baxter has won his 4th straight OluKai title, claiming a strong victory ahead of Travis Grant, Dave Kalama, Travis Baptiste and Danny Ching. Minutes after Connor crossed the line, Andrea Moller triumphed in the women’s race for an extraordinary 7th straight year, further extending the greatest winning streak in the sport of stand up paddling.

Click through for full results + the updated World Rankings…   → READ MORE

Throwback Thursday: Relive Dave Kalama’s Inspiring Story Of A Near Death Surfing Experience

Dave Kalama motivational speech big wave surfingA quick little throwback to last year, when Dave Kalama delivered an entertaining and motivational speech about his near-death experience surfing big waves in the early days of Jaws.

The story doesn’t have anything to do with SUP racing, but Dave is one of stand up paddling’s true pioneers and this is one of the best speeches you’ll hear about living in the ocean. There’s some great wisdom at the end there, so watch it right through and enjoy.   → READ MORE

With An Eye On Molokai, Dave Kalama Officially Partners With PaddleFit

Dave Kalama stand up paddlingPaddleFit announced a new partnership with Dave Kalama last week, which will see the SUP legend become even more involved in the group as it expands its training accreditation programs around the world.

Kalama, who needs absolutely zero introduction, is becoming more and more active off the water these days.   → READ MORE

Dave Kalama, Jim Terrell And The Quickblade ‘V-Drive’ Paddle: Game Changer?

Dave Kalama Jim Terrell Quickblade V Drive PaddleThe Quickblade V-Drive paddle made a lot of noise upon its release earlier this year. With its unique double-dihredal design, the Dave Kalama-inspired paddle instantly became a must have among the elite and amateur paddling community alike.

Some even hailed it as a game changer. Well now in this new video, Kalama and Quickblade’s Mad Scientist Jim Terrell do a hard-hitting (pun intended) analysis of that claim…   → READ MORE

This Aerial Video From Maui 2 Molokai Is Quite Literally Epic

Maui to Molokai M2M SUP race videoWe’re right smack bang in the middle of the grand spectacular that is SIC’s Downwind Month, when the world descends on the Hawaiian Islands to chase big bumps and endless glides.

Downwind Month is about having fun in the open ocean no matter how fast you go, though it does happen to feature a string of big, elite races as well. In a week and a half it’s the grand daddy: Molokai 2 Oahu, which we’ll be covering LIVE on July 27th. However last weekend saw another big channel crossing: Maui 2 Molokai, where Connor Baxter defeated the likes of Kai Lenny, Dave Kalama and Travis Grant to claim his 6th straight M2M crown.

And thanks to EPIC Aerial Productions, we can now enjoy the race from above…   → READ MORE

Connor Baxter Wins Maui 2 Molokai Ahead Of Kai Lenny, Dave Kalama And Travis Grant; Devin Blish Fastest Of The Women

Maui 2 Molokai Stand Up PaddleDownwind Month Glides on… Connor Baxter has just won the Maui 2 Molokai race yet again, beating an all star field and firing a shot across the bow ahead of the big one, Molokai 2 Oahu. This must be about the 6th or 7th time in a row that Connor has claimed the M2M title, however this year the win was more hard fought than ever. Connor edged out fellow Maui young gun Kai Lenny by a couple of minutes, while behind him was a who’s who of the downwinding world including Dave Kalama, Travis Grant and Livio Menelau.

Very interesting to look at today’s result in relation to the Molokai 2 Oahu race coming up in two weeks (and which we’ll have live coverage of). Today’s Maui 2 Molokai could be a bit of a form guide for the big one: All five of the top guys from today will be back in action on the 27th.   → READ MORE

Dave Kalama Speaks: Some Inspiring Words From The Carolina Cup

dave kalama motivational speechOne of the highlights of this year’s Carolina Cup was hearing Dave Kalama speak on the eve of the race. The big guy shared a story from his 2009 Molokai campaign, which didn’t end the way he wanted it but still taught him a very good lesson about quitting (or in Dave’s words “Being a whiny little bitch”).

It’s a little longer than the usual SUP edit, but definitely worth paying attention til the end. Watch above and enjoy. And remember: No matter how many excuses you can come up with, you don’t get in that boat…   → READ MORE

First Look At The New ‘V-Drive’ Paddle From Dave Kalama And Quickblade

V-Drive SUP PaddleI was very lucky to get my hands on one of the most eagerly-anticipated new paddles recently: The Dave Kalama inspired “V-Drive” paddle from Quickblade Paddles.

As luck would have it, I was on the same flight as Quickblade founder Jim Terrell (as well as Danny Ching, Thomas Maximus and Chance Fielder) from LAX to Puerto Rico last month. We were all heading to the Paddle Royal event and, as luck would also have it, I had no paddle with me while Jimmy just happened to have two, both of them new, secret prototype models.   → READ MORE

What Do The World’s Best SUP Racers Do In The Off Season? (Hint: Involves Giant Waves)

Jamie Mitchell So what do the world’s best SUP racers get up to in the off season? Train on their new 12’6″ prototypes? Practice their buoy turns? Do lots of dips & lunges? Well if your name is Jamie Mitchell, Matt Becker, Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Chuck Patterson, Dave Kalama or any of the other SUP racers who clearly have a screw loose, the answer is: Hell no, let’s go surf stupidly large waves instead.

I guess after six months spent grinding across flat lakes, surfing 12’6 race boards on 2 foot waves and riding bumps in the ocean that don’t even break, you might as well take it to the extreme opposite end of the scale, right?   → READ MORE

[VIDEO] Dave Kalama Unveils His Latest Contribution To The World Of SUP – The “V Drive” Paddle

Dave Kalama V Drive Quickblade PaddlesAs a SUP pioneer, downwind king and occasional guest pot-stirrer, Dave Kalama needs no introduction. The man was there from day one of modern-day stand up paddling and has more experience in this sport than just about anyone else on the planet. Dave is also a keen tinkerer and innovator, constantly working on new types of equipment to make himself and others go faster and further on the water.

Dave Kalama has also had a long association with another pioneer of the sport, Jim Terrell from Quickblade Paddles. The two recently collaborated to create a unique new design called the Dave Kalama “V Drive” paddle. Click through to see what it’s all about…   → READ MORE

Dave Kalama On Men’s vs Women’s Prize Money: “It’s Not About Equality, It’s About Competition”

Dave Kalama Boss Man’s note: This is a guest post by Dave Kalama on the current debate around equal prize money for men and women in Stand Up Paddle races. There’s already been a lot of suggestions about this but recently the top women came together to have their say.

Before you read Dave’s comments let’s get some background. The top female paddlers recently sat down at the Gorge Paddle Challenge to debate the future of the sport from their perspective. A lot of the biggest names in women’s SUP racing were there and a lot of issues were covered, but the main topic was prize money. The general consensus was that women should receive equal prize money because: Gender equality is important, women train just as hard as men and women race the same courses as men.

But is that the best way to approach it? Click through to read Dave’s response plus his own idea for how to make prize money fairer between men and women. Dave has been around since day one of stand up paddling (literally) and has competed in the ocean for over 30 years, so it’s safe to say he’s got a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to this sort of thing.   → READ MORE

Fun Times In Canada, aka Results From The 6th Annual Easy Rider SUP Cup (UPDATED RESULTS)

Easy Rider SUP CupEarly results are in from the 6th Annual Easy Rider SUP Cup in Edmonton, Canada, which saw a 15km down-river race and an indoor SUP surfing contest. Quite possibly the only SUP contest held in a mall…

Team Quickblade cleaned up, with the Mad Scientist himself, Jim Terrell, taking out the men’s race, while Italian QB team rider Silvia Mecucci took out the women’s.

Runner-up in the men’s was Olympic Gold Medalist Larry Cain, which made for a fitting 1-2 given the history Jim and Larry share in the world of sprint canoeing.   → READ MORE