Author Topic: Mr. Dave Kalama talking about the channel foil race  (Read 289 times)

ninja tuna

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Mr. Dave Kalama talking about the channel foil race
« on: July 11, 2018, 11:05:43 AM »
very cool read.

Here's what Dave Kalama had to say about his experience.

Sour grapes never tasted so good! Let me explain, this past weekend I competed in the Molokai Holokai. A race from Maui to Molokaiís Kaunakakai harbor ( 26 miles), consisting of mainly SUP and OC 1 & 2, but this year they added foiling, the discipline I competed in. I believe it was the first official channel crossing race for foiling and it was a doozy. Monster open ocean swells, rain storms that prevented any type of visual reference, and very strong winds, most of the way. ( thatís where the sour grapes come in to play). In any case, the race provided some all time career high lights for me, I had the fastest glides Iíd ever had because of the extreme efficiency of the Go Foil Maliko 200 I was using. I rode the biggest swells Iíve ever ridden in the open ocean. Because of the limitations of SUP and Outrigger canoes, you simply cannot go fast enough to ride those behemoth swells to completion, but with the foils you can, and they do, if you have the weight and gumption to track one down, talk about having a tiger by the tail. I also had another personal best, in that I stayed up on foil for approximately 23 to 24 miles, more than double my previous personal record. This wasnít a solo endeavor by any means though, my fellow competitors( although we felt more like team mates, because we were all jumping off this channel crossing cliff together) were Mark Raaphorst and Alan Cadiz, Zane Schweitzer, and my son Austin Kalama ( his first channel crossing of any kind) .
Off the start I fumbled a bit, was plagued by the confusion of the boat wakes ahead of me, and just general anxiety and stress. I did eventually come down off my foil about a mile into the race. Frustrated, I recognized that I had better hit the reset button and calm down, if I wanted to have any chance of enjoying this experience. To give you some reference of how much I enjoy being out in these channels throughout Hawaii, let me just say, Iíve paddled every major channel in Hawaii at least twice, some as many as 38 times( Kaiwi), Pailolo at least 20, and Iíve even paddled Maliko to Ala Moana (115 mi.) so I know my way around out there, and I also know that the key to success in any crossing is channeling all that nervous energy in to a focused point of calmness, and then finding your rhythm. Once a rhythm is established thatís when the magic starts to happen, and thatís just what happened for me. I took off like a rocket, I realized that the giant swells Iíve always daydreamed about catching were now rideable on a foil, it was literally a channel junkyís wet dream. I not only caught back up to the leaders, but then proceeded to put the hammer down and roll right on by. The internal joy and happiness of this experience put it right up there in my top three days ever on the water. Two of my top three days are in this channel, the other being a 6 man canoe race, and my best day as you might assume is a big wave day at Peahi. Now that I had established a lead I could relax even a little more and truly absorb the pureness of this experience, which in turn creates a freeness to flow and be in the zone even more. At about the half way point I remember passing a unlimited SUP racer, I think maybe Cody but wasnít sure, we were about a 100 yds. apart, but it gave me an understanding of how fast we were all going. (SUP had started approximately 40 minutes ahead of us). Things continued to be amazing, surfing from swell to swell with a flow that felt more like a epic surf session than a downwind race. At about 7 or 8 miles to go my boat told me I had somewhere between a half mile to a mile lead. I thought to myself donít get ahead yourself and start thinking about winning, just stay in the moment and keep flowing, so I did, and at about 2 miles to go I noticed the wind beginning to lighten quite a bit but still enough. It wasnít time to panic yet, but very quickly after that thought, BAM! It went completely still, no wind. I was in trouble, there was still a little a little bump in the water, enough to barely fly but at a much higher energy out put than I could muster. Plop! I went down and I didnít have the energy to get back up or the bumps necessary to give me a chance. The attribute , that helped me establish the lead ( my size and strength) were now working against me( it certainly didnít help that I hadnít done any formal training in the past 8 months because Iíve been so busy building Kalama performance foilboards for everyone. What a shameless plug😂). I had become a monster truck in a 250 cc motocross race and that 250 was coming up my back end. A few minutes later the inevitable happened, Zane went flying by me like a dandelion in the wind and there was nothing I could do about it, other than sit down and have a big gulp of my sour grapes and slice of humble pie. The cherry on top of my humble pie was that not even Zane made it to the finish up on foil, but he sure made it a lot further than I did, so you have to hand it to the kid, he won. And while I was floundering in my pity, I was glad for him, heís such a good kid and a real testament to how great his parents are. And speaking of kids, one of the days most special aspects was the sharing of this crossing with my son. Iím so proud that he did it, and hopefully someday this channel will bring him some of the joy it has given to me.
I purposely waited a few days to write this so that my sour grapes had a chance to sweetín a little bit. Am I disappointed that I didnít win? You better believe it! I have to keep reminding myself though that my time at the throne has come and gone, like the generations before me. Itís time for the next generation to have their turn at the helm. I do take some solace in acknowledging Iím almost 54, am not able to train every day like I used to, and was still able to mix it up with the best of them. Mahalo to my crew on the boat, my coach Bruddah Chris, Brent Deal for making happen, Quickblade paddles for the best you can get, Matty Schweitzer for some insane drone flying, Clare for putting on an incredible race, and my fellow Flyers Alan, Mark, Zane and Austin. Enjoy the wins, enjoy the losses and enjoy a glass of sour grapes now and then. Aloha



connector14

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Re: Mr. Dave Kalama talking about the channel foil race
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 01:37:38 PM »
Great story Dave.....always fun to hear about your continuing adventures. And by the way,  I am really loving my newly acquired Imagine Rocket 14...it's an awesomely smooth and fast board for me and I feel pretty lucky to have been able to pick up one of the last new ones around!
"never leave the dock without your paddle"
Imagine Rocket 14 ...my new favorite, smooth and fast and lite
2018 Red Paddle 14 x 27 Elite
2014 Bark Dominator 14....smooth and quiet
2014 Imagine Connector 14...the "barge"

Area 10

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Re: Mr. Dave Kalama talking about the channel foil race
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 01:58:25 PM »
Very inspiring at any age, but at age 54 it is truly remarkable.

digger71

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Re: Mr. Dave Kalama talking about the channel foil race
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 02:12:54 PM »
Some good video of the last part of the race from Zane.  Pretty sure that is Dave in the background starting about 15 seconds in - already off foil. 


« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 02:14:25 PM by digger71 »