|Favourite waves||Jaws (beach)|
|Favourite maneuvers||Tow-in surfing|
Dave Kalama is a big wave surfer, windsurfer, and celebrity watersports enthusiast. Kalama and his family live in Hawaii.
Kalama is credited with the co-development of tow-in surfing, along with Laird Hamilton, Darrick Doerner, and Buzzy Kerbox. Recently, Kalama together with close friend Laird Hamilton have been actively promoting and mastering an ancient Hawaiian mode of water transportation and watersport called "stand-up paddling", and he has begun a series of increasingly longer solo paddle events between various Hawaiian islands. As a high school age athlete, Kalama was a competitive ski racer and high school football player in the winter sports resort town of Mammoth Lakes, California.
Kalama is a descendant from a long line of noteworthy Hawaiian watermen; his grandfather brought outrigger canoe paddling to the mainland U.S., and his father Ilima Kalama was the 1962 world-champion surfer and a lifelong outrigger canoe paddler.
Kalama and fellow celebrity surfing pal Laird Hamilton have been featured in big wave riding films and photographs while riding the largest ocean waves in recorded history. For survival, they surf together and only with other wave riders they absolutely trust (critical life-saving rescues from the tow-in watercraft are commonplace--they take turns piloting the craft-- trust is paramount). Their preference is the tow-in surfing method (which they co-invented), which affords them the ability to catch the largest (and fastest) of ocean waves; their preferred location is the reef at Pe'ahi (pronounced pay-ah-hee) (commonly called "Jaws") on the northcentral coast of the Island of Maui (known for holding and breaking the largest waves on the planet); and their preferred riding style is "radical, late take-offs, forceful sweeping drops and turns across the face of 60+ footer waves, exiting over the shoulder of the wave at the end of the ride (to catch a tow ride back outside for another ride, of course)". Their extreme wave rides, chronicled in film and photographs, are daredevil conquests that do not seem possible (or wise!). They have survived near-death experiences in major "wipe-outs" under mountains of falling water.
In October 2006, Dave Kalama, along with friend and celebrity waterman, Laird Hamilton, biked and paddled the entire Hawaiian Island chain—more than 450 miles—in a week. The feat was featured on Don King's film A Beautiful Son in support of those afflicted with autism.