CHOOSING AN OUTRIGGER PADDLE
Outrigger Paddle Rules
Outrigger paddles used in OC-6 races must conform to the rules of the sanctioning association. While this may seem like a confusing situation, most associations tend to follow the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association's (OHCRA) canoe paddle rule. Why? OHCRA is the largest association and is the sanctioning body for the Moloka'i Hoe. All KIALOA Hybrid and wood outrigger paddles designed for OC-6 use are built to the OHCRA rule and are legal for use in all of Hawaii’s outrigger races. Any single bladed outrigger paddle may be used in a rudderless Va'a, unlimited OC-6, OC-1 or OC-2, whether it is wood, hybrid or full carbon. Ultra-light full carbon outrigger paddles might seem the obvious choice, as they tend to be the lightest construction material, but Hybrid style paddles tend to be the dominant type of paddles on Hawaii’s solo canoe scene.
KIALOA Hybrid Outrigger Paddle
KIALOA's Hybrid outrigger paddles are constructed of a carbon blade with a wood core (with the exception of the Otoro), a triple laminated wood shaft, and a hand shaped wood t-top all of which conform to OHCRA race rules. All of our hybrid outrigger paddles have a 10 degree single-bend at the blade. Hybrid outrigger paddles tend to be the most popular in the racing scene. Whether it is the shock absorbing qualities of the wood shaft, or the slightly heavier weight, which makes control of the paddle easier in the wind and surf, the vast majority of hardcore paddlers choose Hybrid outrigger paddles.
Outrigger Paddle Shape
KIALOA offers a variety of blade shapes designed with different applications in mind. The overall guiding principal is, the slower the craft the smaller the blade. The strength, fitness and technique of the paddler contribute to craft speed as much, or more, than the craft itself and factor heavily into your choice of outrigger paddle. Understanding how you are going to use the paddle as well as your own experience and strength will help guide you to the perfect paddle. Keep in mind that full composite outrigger paddles are not sanctioned by OHCRA for six man paddling in Hawaii.
Double Bend vs Single Bend
A KIALOA single bend paddle has one 10 degree bend where the paddle meets the shaft. The KIALOA double bend has a second bend in the shaft creating an overall 15 degree angle. How does this affect your paddling? That is largely based on preference. Having more angle can, arguably, give you more reach. The double bend in the shaft can also put your wrist in a more neutral, and comfortable, position at the catch. Often the best way to decide which is best for you is to talk to your coach and fellow paddlers. If you can try one, that is even better! KIALOA offers a few options for double bend paddles, the Nehu DB ,the Teva Hoe Hybrid, and even our Mirror Pond Steering paddle. A variation on the double bend is our full composite Wacky Shaft designed specifically for comfort and ergonomics.
Axel II: The all-in-one blade, ideal for men's OC-1 and men and women's OC-6.
Nehu: This hybrid has the thinnest carbon blade with a wood core on the market. With slight hook at the tip it has a clean entry and very strong catch. Ideal for 6 man and regatta paddling for both men and women. This paddle is also available as a double bend.
Otoro: Like the Nehu this blade is super thin with a slight hook at the tip but a bit narrower profile. Perfect for OC-1 or Va'a racing as well as down wind runs.
Mekana: A women's specific paddle available in a 10 degree single or sweeping double bend with and increased blade angle of 16.5 degrees. The Mekana has a slimmer and lighter oval shaft and a blade with a smaller surface area. Perfect for women in both 6 man and one man canoes.
Hoku: The perfect 6 man paddle available in a 10 degree single bend or a sweeping double bend and an increased blade angle of 16.5 degrees.
Teva Hoe: This is the largest blade in the KIALOA line-up and offers the experienced paddler a versatile paddle. It is a Tahitian style paddle with a 15 degree double bend, it has a very thin blade and aggressive PowerHook at the tip. Check out this great article by Alan Goto about how he uses the Teva Hoe.
Wacky Shaft: This S shaped shaft was designed to relieve stress on the wrist and forearm while maintaining a powerful neutral position at the catch. It is a full composite outrigger paddle and comes with the choice of the Helium, Axel II, Lanikai or Nehu blade.
Keone: This is our full carbon paddle designed specifically for outrigger paddlers. It has an Axel II blade and is ideal for one man paddling for both men and women.
The Hoku This double bend full carbon paddle was designed with unlimited canoe racing in mind. The beautful faux-wood veneer adds a natural touch to a very hi-tech paddle.
Axelwood: This all wood paddle has a superior glossy finish, unique wood variations and a design for performance. Based on our most popular hybrid it is also available in a double bend.
Nani: With beautiful dark woods and a hand shaped ergo t-top, as well as a reinforced edgebanding, the Nani is designed for durability and performance.
Kalo:An entry level paddle built to be durable and affordable, it is excellent for clubs and schools.
Keiki Kalo: This all wood paddle is designed for kids. The shaft, blade and t-top have all been sized for smaller hands and the material is designed for strength and endurance.
Outrigger Steering Paddles
Biscuit: This blade was designed for calm to mid-water conditions. It is lighter, thinner and has slightly less surface area than the Foti which allows the steersman to paddle more while steering. It is ideal for regatta racing and paddle-steering across lakes, rivers and bays as well as mild to mid ocean conditions.
Foti: This blade was designed with the Moloka'i Channel crossing in mind. It has a larger surface area and sturdy blade which is required to maneuver a boat in bigger water conditions. The Foti is ideal for big active water that may require stronger corrections. It is also good for smaller or less experienced steersmen as the larger blade adds force to your corrections.
Mirror Pond: Brought back by popular demand in 2013, this blade was designed for the more experienced steersman. The paddle has a 7 degree bend, slightly more than the standard 5 degree bend of most steering paddles. This allows for more efficient paddling and paddle steering. Best for use in calm waters, like rivers, lakes and bays and not ideal for aggressive pokes in big water. This steering paddle is also available as a double bend.
For further help choosing a paddle please contact us by e-mail or phone 541-382-5355.
KIALOA is employed by experienced paddlers and paddle makers and we would love to hear from you.