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History and Culture 

Malama O Ke Kai, Malama Kakou
Take Care of the Ocean, Take Care of Each Other

The sport of outrigger canoeing has been practiced for over 5000 years. Polynesians navigated the South Pacific in canoes almost 1000 years before Columbus landed in America. Today, Pacific Islanders still use canoes for inter-island transport. For the Polynesian culture, outrigger canoes are more than just a means of transportation. It is the primary means by which teamwork and sharing a sense of extended family (Ohana) are communicated to one another all centered on the core value of performance through cooperation.

Outrigger canoe racing is popular in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cook Islands, England, Fiji, France, Guam, Hawai'i, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand - Aotearoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa and the United States. In the U.S., there are clubs in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Philadelphia, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC and Washington State.

Modern clubs were founded in Hawai'i during the early 1900s. The sport faltered during the World Wars, but came back strong to become one of the most popular activities in Oceania.

In 1959, A.E. Toots Minvielle, a pioneer of outrigger canoe racing started the Newport Beach to Catalina race, thereby introducing the sport to Southern California. Today, there are 28 clubs within the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association (SCORA) which encompasses Southern California, Arizona and Nevada and hundreds of clubs worldwide.

Outrigger canoe paddling is the official state sport of Hawai'i.

Traditional Hawai'ian Dance shown through art
Artwork by Kim Taylor Reece

History of Outrigger Paddling

SCORA Racing Association Chronicle

Respecting your Outrigger Canoe

Spirit of Aloha

Canoe Etiquette

Hana Hoe Series




"The aloha spirit is real simple.  You give and you give and you give ... and you give from here (the heart), until you have nothing else to give." Rell Kapolioka`ehukai Sunn


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This site was last updated 08/09/16