Just like the SUP explosion a few years ago, outrigger canoeing is no longer just something you do in Hawaii. It’s now an East Coast thing too!! So if you’ve been looking a for a place to buy outrigger canoes, we’ve got you covered. That’s right, we now have Outrigger Canoes for sale at Carolina Paddleboard Company in Wilmington, NC!
What, exactly, is an outrigger canoe? You might have already seen these paddle craft around your home waters. The simple definition is that these are canoes with an “ama” or an arm-shaped piece of rigging that balances the racer in the canoe. The “‘īako” are the arms that connect the ama to the boat. The outrigger is generally fastened to the left (port) side of the canoe. Double outriggers have amas on both sides.
The most commonly paddled outrigger canoes are the OC1, OC2, and OC6, which hold one, two, and six people, respectively. These are the outrigger canoes represented in competitions, as well. So for you competitive types considering outrigger canoe racing, read on.
Origins of Outrigger Canoeing
Outrigger canoeing started in East Asia and Polynesia. They were used as the primary means of transport between islands, as well as for subsistence fishing. Canoes paddled and sailed to Hawaii around 200 AD, some holding as many as 50 people or more, with paddlers using nothing but the stars for navigation. Outrigger canoes became an important part of life on the Hawaiian Islands, as their stable construction allowed for easy navigation around rough water surrounding the islands. Building canoes was considered a sacred process and the canoes were highly revered.
In 1908, the Outrigger Canoe Club was formed on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The club has grown to 4,000 members and has consistently championed the sport of canoe racing and surfing, keeping this traditional paddle sport alive.
Outrigger Canoe Traditions and Customs
An outrigger canoe is not just a boat. Paddlers of outriggers today are part of a long history associated with the watercraft and, by keeping with tradition, can preserve the history of the sport. Here are some of the traditions observed by outrigger clubs and teams:
- Never step over the canoe. Always walk around it.
- Only sit in the canoe when it is in the water—not on dry land.
- When the canoe is sitting on land, always point the front of it toward the water.
- Treat the canoe with the same respect that you would treat a person.
- Never swear or argue in the canoe, as that will slow it down!
- Get in and out of the canoe on the left side.
- Always treat the canoe with respect.
Outrigger Canoes for Sale at Carolina Paddleboard Company
As we’ve already said, outrigger paddling is not just a water sport for the islanders in Hawaii. You can quickly learn how to paddle your own outrigger canoe. This is a fun sport for individuals, couples, and families. The outrigger canoe easily breaks down into parts that can be bagged and transported on the top of the car or truck.
Outrigger Canoes at Carolina Paddleboard Company are available from Puakea, and you will be amazed at how lightweight and easy to carry these models are. We will gladly teach you how to assemble and paddle your canoe upon purchase! And if you’re a local, outrigger canoeing in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach is now easier than ever.
Additionally, per Coast Guard regulations, all outrigger canoe paddlers are required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when on the water. The outrigger also requires a shorter paddle created especially for the sport of outrigger canoeing, and of course we have all the needed accessories to get you on the water and having fun in your new canoe.