Outrigger Canoe Paddling

Aloha....


Today I want to share one of my favorite sports that is in full swing during the summer months.

This is outrigger canoe racing season in Hawaii.... only a couple of races are left before the last regatta culminating in the State races. Canoe races are great fun to watch, and even more fun to participate in.

Each canoe club has divisions from the keiki (kids) to the Golden Masters. I paddled for Hawaiian Canoe Club in Kahului for many years. My club has always been very competitive ,often winning the State Races. We have done a lot for the kids in our community, and we take racing very seriously. Even though I have not raced for years, I still feel a kinship with my canoe ohana. The camaraderie and bonding is born out of a deep respect for this sport and the Hawaiian culture. It is a lifetime connection.


Racing in and watching the State Races is awe inspiring, as this is when the revered koa canoes come out to shine. Members of our canoe club hiked through upcountry forests until the perfect koa tree was found. After prayers many hands brought the tree down the mountain to be lovingly fashioned into a beautiful vessel. Getting the koa canoe up and running takes finesse and a lot of hard paddling, it is heavier, but once it is going...................


When the regatta season is over, comes long distance paddling. After training for short races, it is time to get out into the open ocean and go for distance. At this point of the summer paddlers are in good shape and jumping at the chance to get in the zone and become one with the ocean. It is a hypnotic rhythm with a very particular stroking method and pace. I used to sit seat one, the stroker of the boat, the person who sets the pace. When in long distance it is important to be able to feel the waves in order to catch as much of a push as possible. There is a special point when you feel that the boat is about to lift ..and that is when the stroker can dig deep and change the intensity of the pace. It is such an amazing feeling.! I have raced accross a few channels in the open ocean. The 40 plus miles Ka'iwi Channel runs between Molokai and Oahu. The pictures posted here are from that amazing race in 2009...one of my favorite photographers Mike Elhers took the shots from the escort boat...my paddling buddy with an AMAZING reach, Susan Ramos, seat four, is in the boat racing her way across this awesome challenge.

My daughter's family used to have a 4 person canoe and we spent some great times surfing the waves in the canoe........oh, how incredible to dig in hard and feel the canoe lift up on the face of the wave...one of my all time favorites feelings rushing down a wave in an outrigger canoe !!!!!!!!!

Outrigger canoe racing caught the attention of the ali'i (royalty) during the later part of the 1800's. It was reported that canoe competitions were fierce with intense betting and high stakes.


The early seafarers made their way across the oceans in sailing and paddling canoe. Great distances were covered in large well stocked double hull canoes. The warring Hawaiians would paddle across dangerous channels, fight a battle, loose, and have to paddle back.

That put some perspective our our races, one of our coaches used to remind us of this fact.


So, state races are in Oahu this year, coming up soon...check it out, and island hop over to Maui for a different pace.....You'll be very happy that you did.


See you out there, and remember to tell the special people in your life just how much you care.


" Ho O Makaukau. Hoe Hapai. Imua~ Huki": "Get ready, lift paddles, forward... pull!"


Commit, and go for it!


Much Aloha,
Cherie

Stand Up Paddle



Stand up paddle long board surfing on Maui Hawaii
Aloha Folks,

Ku Hoe He'e Nalu...Stand Up Paddle..

A new water sport was born in the early 2000's. Some surfers scoff at it, others really enjoy the freedom of being out on the water, even with no waves. They say, necessity is the mother of invention. Maui's own Laird Hamilton and other big wave riders developed this sport as a means of training when waves were down.

I have yet to try this sport, but there are a couple of things that are apealing to me. This is a surface water sport. From the stand up perspective, the paddler has a great view down into the water.

paddle surfing on Maui HawaiiI also like being able to cruise on calm, no wind, no wave days. I spent alot of years racing outrigger canoes. Having a paddle in my hand is a lovely and familiar feeling.


Last week I was able to jump into a canoe and have a leisure afternoon paddle I was so happy, it had been way too long. I just wanted to paddle off into the sunset. Hawaii has Outrigger Canoe and Paddleboard races interisland.

Maui Hawaii surfing long board stand up paddleI have crossed the channel a few times in the Outrigger canoe races. A lot ot training was involved, and it was wild, challenging and alot of fun. There is now a division for the Stand Up Paddle as well in some of these races.

stand up paddle surfing on MauiMy suggestion for stand up paddlers who are new to the sport, pick calm days and areas that are not crowded to get the hang of it, and maybe stay in those uncrowded areas until you really know what you are doing, and can do it well.. These boards are huge, and nobody wants to be on the receiving end of one.

Above all, have fun and be safe.

stand up paddle board surfing on Maui HawaiiSummer is officially over, ahh, it was a nice summer, not too hot, some really gorgeous days.

As the days start shortening, and our thoughts turn inward, may you all enjoy this season of harvest.

Aloha for now,
Cherie