Practice Schedule:
Sunday 9:30 AM: Open to all members and newcomers
Sunday noon: Men's race crew
Monday 5:30 PM: Women's and Men's race crews
Tuesday 5:30 PM: Novice race crews
Wednesday 5:30 PM: Women's race crew
Thursday 5:30 PM: Men's and Novice race crews
Saturday 9:00 AM: Women's and Novice race crews

Newcomers are invited to paddle with us on Sundays at 9:30 AM. We will ask you to fill out a liability waiver, and we will provide you with a paddle, instruction, and a fun day. You are welcome to paddle with us two or three times before deciding whether to become a member.

Meet at Santa Cruz Harbor on Lake Avenue at the equipment shed (next to Dock N), on the Crow's Nest side of the harbor. Practice and drills commence at the boat-launch ramp using the colorful 6-person outrigger canoes Maka Nui and Makani Akua and the club's one- and two-person canoes.

Suggested Wear:
  • Footwear that is lightweight and can be worn in the water, such as thongs and reef shoes.
  • Comfortable clothing that allows movement: shorts, tee shirt or rash guard, and a sun hat or visor on warm days; on colder days, slightly warmer clothing such as a long sleeve rash guard, beanie, and windbreaker. (We warm up quickly as we paddle!)
  • A strap for your glasses or sunglasses.
  • A bottle of water.
  • Sunscreen.
Don't hesitate to email us with questions at .

Community Outreach Workers:
Akau Hana has on going, year round need for planners and helpers interested in making our community a better, healthier, culturally non-biased environment for our children and ourselves. We plan and deliver a variety of programs all year long.

Recreational Paddling
Newcomers of all physical abilities and cultural backgrounds are welcome to join our recreational paddling programs. These include keiki (children) crews; kapuna (seniors), mom’s crew and other age based crews, as well as specially organized crews for the physically challenged or persons in recovery. Recreational paddlers may paddle from one to three times or more per week, depending upon scheduling. Age- and ability-appropriate “fun” races are scheduled depending upon interest.

Yearly dues for adult recreational paddlers: $130.00
Yearly dues for 18-year olds and younger: $75.00
(Note that there is also a one-time initiation fee of $50.00 to join Akau Hana OCC.)

Recreational Paddlers Certification Information:
To paddle the small (OC 1 & OC2) canoes
To steer an OC6 canoe (forthcoming)

Competitive Racing Program
For those members interested in racing, Akau Hana belongs to the Northern California Outrigger Canoe Association (NCOCA), which sponsors a variety of long and short distance races year round. These races include OC-1 and OC-6 competitions. Racers at this level are expected to cross train vigorously, as well as practice 2 or 3 times per week or as directed by their coach.

OC/6-Sprint: Jun.-Jul.
Long Distance (+-12 miles): Aug.-Oct. and May
OC/1: Feb.-Sept.

Yearly dues for racing paddlers: $175.00

Race divisions are typically as follows,
by female, male and co-ed:

Under 12,14,16 and 19 years
Novice first year
Novice second year
Open: ages 20-35 but open to any age
Master: age 35-45
Senior Master: age 45-55
Kapuna: age 55 and up

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, sharing and 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, Canada, Cook Islands, England, Europe, Fiji, Hawai’i, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa and the United States. In the U.S., there are clubs in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

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

In 1959, Toots Minville, a pioneer of outrigger canoe racing started the Newport Beach to Catalina race, thereby introducing the sport to Southern California. The sport came to Northern California in 1978, with the founding of the Northern California Outrigger Canoe Association. Today, there are 20 clubs throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, with hundreds of clubs worldwide. It is one of the very few sports where children through seniors of all shapes, sizes and physical capabilities can excel. Outrigger canoe paddling is the official state sport of Hawai’i.

Club and Canoe Names
Akau Hana: North Bay
Maka Nui: Big Friend
Makani Akua: Wind Spirit

Parts of the Canoe
Wa’a: Canoe
Ho’e: Paddle
Ama: Outrigger float
Iako: Beams that hold the ama
Manu: Bow or stern endpiece
Gunnels: Side frame