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Canoe etiquette

An outrigger paddler will always be welcome at any outrigger club anywhere in the world, providing you adhere to the basic "Canoe Etiquette". Even if you don't have the best technique or years of experience, you will be welcomed with open arms if you respect the traditions of outrigger canoeing. Each club has their own culture, along with a list of do's and don'ts, we felt it is time that CanoeAcademy could work on our very own"Canoe Etiquette".

* When we are in the canoe, we are all “Ohana”, meaning family.  We are one entity! There should be one voice and one attitude in the canoe as opposed to six! Leave any differences that you may have outside the canoe.

* Treat the canoe like you would your grandparents, with respect! Don’t step over the canoe it can cause bad Kama (feeling) to all those who paddle her. Paddles are our paddling ancestors.  Do not dig your paddle in the sand!

* Silence in the canoe is golden while training. Everyone needs to be listening to the steers, listening for the change and keeping their focus on their technique & timing.  Don’t swear in the canoe. If you do, apologize to her.

* Standing up in a canoe is heavily frowned upon in some clubs. Try to avoid doing this.

* Always focus on how YOU can make the canoe faster and smoother.  Eyes always forward watching the paddler and paddle in front of you. Do not distract your performance by focusing on what you think someone else is doing wrong. If you feel the need to say something, kindly talk to your steers after practice. We all need to maintain an open and respectful attitude.

* Always board and disembark from canoe on the ama side, take your seat withoutstanding or walking in the canoe. Never step over the hull of the canoe or lay on the Ama! This is considered very bad luck and disrespectful to the canoe.  If you really need to step over the Ama, do so carefully.


* Never leave a canoe unattended in the water.

* Approach the beach at slow speed, do not run the canoe into the sand and always face the canoe to the ocean.

* Everyone needs to help launch and land the canoe, clean and wipe it out and make sure it is securely placed and the covers put on. If you are unable to lift or push, help by collecting paddles or other equipment to make it an easier job for all. 

* Enjoy paddling, do your best and keep good thoughts and spirits in your heart. Everyday you are on the water, is a good day.  So be happy and smile in the canoe. Recognise that paddling is more than a sport.  Outrigger canoeing is a spiritual experience for many cultures – it connects paddlers to the heavens, the ocean, land and each other.  


Practice the O'hana spirit with a warm welcoming attitude that extends to everyone! A success for one is a success for us all!

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