KALAMA KAMP - Turks and Caicos

Kalama Kamp Down Winder

Thank you to everyone who has sent me such nicely written testimonials that relay just how great the Kalama Kamp experience is! To all that haven't gone, I wanted to share with you the thoughts and gratitude that our Kalama Kampers have. Without them, Kalama Kamp would just be another surf trip with boys. With them, this becomes an SUP excursion and trip of a lifetime! I am very grateful for the chance to have shown them our lifestyle and to get to know them on a one-on-one basis. If I have missed your testimonial, I apologize. I am finally gaining control of my blog and will be posting on more of a regular basis. As I come across them, I will share the love you shared with me! Again, thank you to everyone that has supported Kalama Kamp with Dave Kalama, Brody Welte, and Myself... John Denney. 

Also a big Aloha and thank you to Big Blue Unlimited for the great time and the photos! Visit them here: Big Blue Unlimited

KALAMA KAMP - "Dave is the quintessential waterman..."

dave kalama at kamp

"I just got back home after spending a week in October at the Stand Up Paddle Kalama Kamp at beautiful Club Med in Turks and Caicos Island under the direction of Dave Kalama and John Denney. Dave is the quintessential waterman who is not only a human highlight film but a teacher extraordinaire. He incorporates attention to detail, constant monitoring, feedback and analysis of skills through a keen eye and videotape discussion.
I came to Turks and Caicos with tendinitis in my shoulder. By the end of the week Dave corrected my stroke mechanics. I was paddling and surfing efficiently and pain free. Dave made himself available from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm for beach workouts, paddling instruction, island tours, SUP surfing, story telling as well as being enthusiastic and encouraging to all kampers.
John Denney, Dave's partner is a sports psychologist. He incorporates a mind - body and spiritual approach to improving athletic performance through concentration, focus and stress reduction. His "Finding Calm in the Eye of the Storm" program involving "Heart Math" and "Interactive Metronome" kept all the kampers in a calm and positive frame of mind. This translated into improved paddling and surfing performance. John was a great help all week both in and out of the water.
Also, a big thank you to Captain Philip Shearer, the cheerful and helpful proprietor of Big Blue Unlimited. He was our host who provided us with SUP boards, a practice site, paddling tours around the island and took us to outer reefs to surf.
I spent my entire professional life of 40 years as an educator and supervisor and I can say without hesitation that I would rate Dave and John an A+ as teachers and facilitators. Having been a surfer for 50 years I have to say that this was the best trip I ever took. It was well worth the price of admission. Going to Kalama Kamp is  a  "must go on trip" no matter what your skill level is."
Dr. John W. Roberts
Rockaway Beach, New York 

KALAMA KAMP - "John Denney is a great coach..."

"Who knew that at Kalama stand-up paddle board Kamp in Turks and Caicos, I would be sitting in a room monitoring my heart rate?  But with the help of Performance Coach and Big-Wave rider John Denney, I learned techniques to transform stress and deal, not only with athletic challenges like waves crashing on you, but handle everyday life events as well.
John Denney is a great coach and his heart-math system and words of wisdom really work.  I highly recommend that anyone who wants to increase performance in sports or in life give coach John a call."
James Statham

KALAMA KAMP - "Dave was there all the time..."

Cromwell Coulson's Kalama Kamp testimonial.
This guy sets records for sailing across the Atlantic!!!

Kalama Kamp Cromwell Coulson

"When I signed up for Kalama Kamp it was all a bit mysterious. I was not really sure what I had coming. All I knew was that I wanted to get my paddling form to the next level and Dave Kalama was the expert almost everyone (in Standup Zone) said was the person to teach you. So I signed up and bought my plane ticket to the Turks & Caicos. I arrived in the airport and easily found Dave and John Denney waiting outside and we were off to Club Med Turkoise for the start of a fabulous adventure and learning experience.

The first night was when the information from Dave started flowing, as I met the rest of the group. He had assembled a great mix of people, of varying skill levels, who were all great company for the Kamp. 

The next morning after one of his famous beach workouts, he gave us the full download on how to be an efficient paddler. The theory, the technique and the individual muscle movements. John gave a great initial presentation on how to calm yourself down for maximum performance (and when the surf is crashing around you). As a teaching team they filled our heads up and then it was off to Big Blue Unlimited for putting our new found knowledge into action. As with all great teachers that are upping your game, putting the new ideas into action was hard as you clumsily try to reprogram your muscle memory with Dave's techniques. Dave was there all the time demonstrating, giving us little drills and adjusting our movements. Each time he shared not only how you should do it, but why as well. How to stack up our muscles for the maximum reach in the most efficient manner, and how to flow more gracefully. 

By the end of the first day I was on my way to changing my technique and upping my skills. Dave was a reassuring voice that we should not try to remember everything, as we had a whole week where he would be reinforcing it in our minds and our muscles.

As the week went on, my paddling, and the Kamp, just got better and better. The beach workouts were a fabulous way to start our day. The meals with the group were filled with interesting stories, learning and lots of laughs. As Dave built up our flat-water technique, and then introduced us to Surfing waves. I had never surfed before and Dave was right there next to us, helping us catch waves, get on them and get out of the white wash with confidence. When I lost a paddle, or struggled to get back on my board, Dave would magically appear to chase down the paddle or calmly talk me to the channel. I cannot emphasize how great it was to be introduced to waves with such a great team of coaches building my confidence. And of course watching Dave surf the big waves from the Big Blue dive boat was awesome and inspiring.

Phillip's team at Big Blue was across the board fantastic. We had his ace SUP coach Ray looking out for us and everyone else making sure we were safe and well hydrated. 

The worst part of Kalama Kamp was when I realized it would be ending and I would have to return to the real world from my Kalama Kamp. But I came back much fitter, a better paddler and with a taste of wave SUPing. 

I am definitely going to do another Kalama Kamp and can highly recommend it to any other stand-uppers who wants a very fun way to improve their technique and fitness. Anyone who is in the Turks & Caicos should check out Big Blue Unlimited for SUP, Kite Surfing, or diving. Phillip runs a great show there."

Cromwell Coulson
Unknown Location

KALAMA KAMP - "A unique combination..."

"As new stand up paddlers, my wife and I wanted a vacation where we could improve our paddling technique and have a good time in the process.  Kalama Kamp with Dave Kalama and John Denney in the Turks and Caicos exceeded our wildest expectations. 

Dave has a unique combination of deep knowledge of paddling technique and an ability to relate to each of his students on an individual level.  The constant one-on-one attention that we received from Dave and John, combined with frequent video feedback sessions, helped us understand what good technique looks and feels like.  Constant reinforcement during paddles through the mangroves or out to the reef helped us incorporate and internalize the right technique.

 Prior to this trip, I had no experience paddling in the ocean.  While I am not even close to a “natural” surfer, by the end of the week (with constant attention and limitless patience), Dave and John had me riding waves.  The feeling of riding the wave with Dave happily cheering behind me because he was totally stoked that I had finally done it will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life. 

For us Kalama Kamp turned out to be much more than just paddling.  The beach workouts each morning were a fun and challenging way to get the day started.  They also gave us a template that we hope to incorporate  in our post-camp lives to get our bodies active and in shape.  The small group size, meals together, and shared adventures on the water led to a camaraderie within the group that made this our most memorable vacation ever.  Whether it was shooting hoops or beating Dave and John at ping-pong, there was always something fun to do and a great group to do it with.

The best way to illustrate what Kalama Kamp is like is to describe one typical day.  On the second day, we met at 7:15 on the beach for a 45 minute beach workout and a quick swim in the ocean.  Back to the rooms for dry clothes and then breakfast together.  A quick van ride over to Big Blue’s marina followed by a technique session where Dave and John worked with each of us individually, using video and side-by-side demonstrations, to teach us the proper technique and make sure we were getting it.  Lunch together, followed by a (mostly flatwater) paddle out to the reef.  Snacks and drinks on the boat, then snorkeling surrounded by bright and beautiful fish as well as the occasional reef shark or turtle.  Back to the boat and a quick motor over to a great surf spot with chest to head high sets of perfect waves that were great for learning, but also big enough to watch Dave do spins and other cool moves on.  Surf and play in the waves until the sun starts to set.  Boat ride back to the marina surrounded by the orange, then pink, light of an awe inspiring sunset.  Shower and meet for a drink at the bar, dinner, great conversation, reliving the funniest moments of the day, and then off to bed for a deep and contented sleep knowing that you get to do it again tomorrow."

John Denney's HeartMath

"My wife and I were lucky enough to work with John Denney as part of a Kalama Kamp that we attended in the Turks and Caicos.  We had never heard of HeartMath before talking with John and listening to his presentation.  After working with John during the week, we both feel like we have learned a very valuable new skill.  John teaches the ability to calm the mind and body in a way that can be applied immediately to any aspect of our lives with positive results.  We both know that the ability to apply what John has taught us will improve our relationship, as well as the way that we interact with everyone around us.  We have introduced it to our children with impressive results as well.  John is an engaging, warm teacher whose enthusiasm rubs off on everyone who interacts with him.  We felt very lucky to have the opportunity to learn about HeartMath and work with John."

Dan and Elle Shanahan
Unknown Location


Our next trip is planned for November 1-10, 2012 in Namotu Fiji. It will be another unbelievable excursion and we hope you can make the trip! To find out more information go to KalamaKamp.com.