Latch onto an Outrig­ger Ca­noe

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - WATERWORLD -

Des­ig­nated the state’s of­fi­cial team sport, outrig­ger ca­noe rac­ing draws hun­dreds of paddlers to clubs through­out the Is­lands. How­ever, it is more than a pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity—it’s a cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant link to the leg­endary sea­far­ing tra­di­tions of Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i’s first set­tlers ar­rived aboard dou­ble-hulled sail­ing ca­noes that they pad­dled across 2,000 miles of un­charted ocean us­ing only the stars and flight pat­terns of birds to guide them. They found the Is­lands more than 1,000 years be­fore Euro­pean ex­plor­ers ar­rived in 1778. Ca­noes were used for in­ter­is­land travel, fish­ing and sport, to trans­port warriors into bat­tle, and for ex­ploratory voy­ages.

Typ­i­cally, a mod­ern-day outrig­ger is pow­ered by six paddlers in a 45-foot fiber­glass, sin­gle- or dou­ble-hulled ca­noe. The ca­noe features the ama, which is a pon­toon at­tached to one side of the hull to pro­vide added sta­bil­ity.

• Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868

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