Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kalama Kamp in Turks and Caicos: Part I

Ok, just a short intro, my name is Mike, I live and work in Coronado. I had the unique opportunity to attend Kalama Kamp in Turks and Caicos (British West Indies/
Carribean) hosted by none other than Dave Kalama. The camp took place from November 13-21st of this year. I wanted to share my experiences so I decided that was the idea place as John is the most enthusiastic promoter of stand up paddling that I know! This was the second Kalama Kamp that Dave hosted, the first camp was in Florida. I originally heard about the camp after a couple months of following Dave's blog.

I was intrigued by his blog's on the Tahitian stroke technique that he's adopted from the Tahitian outrigger paddlers. It seemed from what I had read/ heard that this particular technique might offer some much needed efficiency in my own stroke. I asked Dave during the trip why chose to develop this technique to others? His simple answer was that "when somebody using a different technique could beat the Tahitians, he would consider something else". In addition, Dave just believes that this particular stroke is the most efficient he's found and since paddling requires so much repetition of movement, the smaller you can make each movement the faster and more efficient you will be!

So after talking to other paddlers that have personal instruction from Dave, I pulled the trigger, booked my flight, paid for the camp, and counted the days until I would leave for T&C. I will admit, at first I was a little hesitant because of the cost but after factoring in that all the food, booze (yes all the booze you can drink), equipment and transportation was included, the camp seemed to provide good value. Besides, how often do us mere mortals get to learn from one of the best at what they do, and in paradise nonetheless?

As an avid SUP racer and surfer, my initial motivation was primarily to increase my speed for racing and improve my surfing technique, but little did I know the simple lessons about life that Dave would pass on to us.

I arrived on the island of Provo on Sunday around 2 pm, November 14th. After a quick ride to Club Med, I was greeted by a beach scene that can only be described as "spectacular". I had never seen a beach and crystal blue/ green water anything like this my life!

After a quick bite
at our hotel, Club Med, I hopped a ride with a few others to Big Blue Unlimited's headquarters. Big Blue is the adventure company that is providing us equipment (all Naish and the good stuff) and local knowledge, transportation (boat and auto) etc. Myself and a few other hit the incredible turquoise water and paddled for a few hours checking out some of the mangroves, beaches and small islands. We were also introduced to a small island inhabited by thousands of iguana's. Pretty cool!


John Ashley said...

Bumped you up to the front page- so jealous of you for this one!

Lara Tallman said...

It was such a great trip, if you can go, then go! I hope to join them again soon for another Kamp.