Hawaii State Team Sport Outrigger Canoe Paddling

Hawaii State Team Sport: Outrigger Canoe Paddling

Are you looking for a fun and exciting way to experience Hawaiian culture while staying active? Look no further than outrigger canoe paddling, the official team sport of Hawaii! From its ancient origins as a vital transportation method to its modern-day status as a thrilling competitive sport, outrigger canoe paddling is a deeply-rooted part of Hawaiian history and culture

Let’s explore the world of outrigger canoe paddling, from its history and traditions to its current popularity and the benefits of recreational paddling programs.

Outrigger Canoe Paddling in Hawaii, History and Tradition

Outrigger Canoe Paddling in Hawaii, History and Tradition

Are you fascinated by the history of outrigger canoe paddling in Hawaii? Here’s a look at how this sport has evolved:

  • Outrigger canoe paddling is the official team sport of Hawaii (and surfing is the individual sport)
  • Canoe racing and surfing were essential skills for Ancient Hawaiians.
  • Outrigger canoe paddling became a sport in the early 1800s.
  • Outrigger canoes were traditionally made of Koa wood and first arrived in Hawaii around 200 AD.
  • They were essential for tasks like fishing and transporting goods and people. Hawaiian outrigger canoes are recognized for their unique shape, design, and lack of extra ornamentation.

The law that officially designated outrigger canoe paddling as the state team sport of Hawaii can be found in the Hawai’i Revised Statutes, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 5-14.

It’s clear why outrigger canoe paddling has been so popular throughout the centuries! It has been an integral part of Hawaiian culture and continues to captivate adventurers with its thrill and beauty.

Types of Canoe Paddling

Outrigger paddling is a popular pastime in Hawaii, with canoe types ranging from single-person vessels to four and six-man boats. The most popular competition type is the 6-man, in which all men, all women, or a mix of both can crew. 

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Each team member has an important role – from the stroker and caller to the engine seats and steersman – to ensure the boat gets across the line first.

At all ‘State Championship’ races, crews must paddle in a Koa canoe to keep the tradition alive. The Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) oversees over 5,000 paddlers across seven island member associations.

Every year includes three main events – pre-season, regatta, and HCRA Distance – providing plenty of opportunity for competitive paddlers to show their skills!

Moloka’i Hoe and Na Wahine O Ke Kai Races

Moloka'i Hoe and Na Wahine O Ke Kai Races

Ready your paddles because the Moloka’i Hoe and Na Wahine O Ke Kai races are here! These events are world-renowned and considered the International Championships of canoe racing. 

Every year, competitors paddle across the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu for a grueling 38-41 mile trip that takes over 4 1/2 hours.

You can join in on all the excitement at the finish line at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Pier on Waikiki. The races take place annually, usually in September or October, and it’s a fantastic experience you won’t want to miss! So grab your gear and prepare for some awe-inspiring feats of strength, endurance, and skill.

Recreational Canoe Paddling Programs

Are you looking for a fun and exciting way to enjoy the water while getting a workout? Look no further than recreational canoe paddling programs in Hawaii! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, these programs have something for everyone.

Here’s why you should give it a try:

  • Participate in off-season clubs to hone your skills
  • Enjoy the unique fellowship that comes with being part of Hawaii’s oldest team sport
  • Take on regattas with crews from ages 7 through 70
  • Get fit and see beautiful Hawaiian waters at the same time
  • Feel free to explore and paddle wherever your heart desires!
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Recreational paddling is a great way to experience freedom while having fun and staying active. So what are you waiting for? Join a paddling program today and start exploring Hawaii like never before!