MOLOKAI 2013, who goin win?

Who is going to be the 1st Hawaii finisher? How much is shell going to win by? Thoughts?

Submitted by numerouno on Tue, 08/20/2013 - 8:52pm

No response? Apparently we don't care about the Hoe any more. Ho hum. Escort boat wakes and 400 lb boats. Engage in the traditional Hawaiian sport of scooping water out of the fiberglass hull with old shoyu bottles. Play musical chairs and try not to get run over by motorboats. whee. Drive 40 minutes into Kaunakakai to get banded so we don't cheat. meh.

#1 Wed, 08/21/2013 - 9:45pm

Shell 1st. Wailea first HI team. 3rd overall.

#2 Thu, 08/22/2013 - 11:48am

It sucks that the attitude is that, "we know Shell is going to win, but whatever, we'll just place as high as we can..."

I know they get sponsored to paddle, yada, yada, yada. But, since when did we as Americans start having such a defeatist attitude?

#3 Thu, 08/22/2013 - 1:27pm

The oahu clubs have a nice battle between occ,lanikai,hui nalu,,kailua,and keahiakahoe who i think differ in styles of racing but yet are very close in speed of boat. Of course there is wailea. And livestrong(mellow johnnys)seems to be getting faster and faster.They may be training harder and learning more new ways than other crews from what ive heard. One crew im interested in seeing how they do is puuwai. Luke has got them looking good. They were with the crew i was with for most of channel last year until we pulled away in hk. But puuwai looks better so it would be nice to see how they finish. I think most just say a tahitian crew will win because of how dominant their crews have been and you are talking about 3-4 crews jus dominating. Ive trained as hard as id like to at times and have only managed a couple top 10s. But i can live with that because i had alot of fun which is the main thing for me. If there is a better way to paddle im up for learning but if gotta do 2 a days and all kind running and lifting no thank you. I do hope hawaiians can close the gap but im not sure how.Top 20 is going to be close i think lots of good battles this year!!

#4 Thu, 08/22/2013 - 3:13pm

'.....but if gotta do 2 a days and all kind running and lifting no thank you.'

This is the reason why Tahitian crews are dominant - they train and prepare like professionals.

#5 Thu, 08/22/2013 - 4:10pm

A little birdie told me that a strong masters/ veteran team from Pirae in Tahiti are going this year.
My money is on EDT ,
Mellow Johnnies , Wailea, Occ.for the Hawaiians.

#6 Thu, 08/22/2013 - 7:20pm

I think, The team that trains the hardest and the longest will win, SHELL and EDT put in alot of dedication for the results they get. Im sure they get payed for the work they do for the company. If the company pays for them to race internationally its win for the paddlers (free trip) and win for the company (free advertisement) either way they train more than I ever could which is probly why they win.

#7 Thu, 08/22/2013 - 7:34pm

Yup, Primo/Wailea looking strong. Big Island boys are going to have a different crew makeup compared to last year; so an unknown variable at this point.

As far as the professional paddlers at Shell and Edt, yes they are faster because they train harder and longer than Hawaii.

It really doesn't matter what boat these guys are in either. You put them in a Hawaiian racer and they probably still win Molokai.

#8 Fri, 08/23/2013 - 10:10pm

By the way still a big fan of pswitzer's humor. Refreshing to say the least.

#9 Fri, 08/23/2013 - 10:18pm

no need to rehash what we already know...

the elite Hawai‘i clubs remain the same. Lanikai, OCC, liveJohnny, Primo, etc.

the elite Tahitians get younger.

same result. 11-12 minute (~1.75 mile) gap from first place to first Hawaiians.

to make things interesting Keahiakahoe, Hui Nalu, a Cali all star team, and Hanalei make a run at the big dog category this year.

#10 Sat, 08/24/2013 - 12:37pm

I think having the proper organization and plan with coach is more of a problem than having the paddlers.

#11 Sat, 08/24/2013 - 3:41pm

What is an "All Star Team" is it a team like Wailea or Livestrong? Is it a team like HCKT or Team New Zealand a few years ago, or is it simply local teams that bring in paddlers from other clubs in the hope of better competing like Outrigger has done this year and others in previous years? Some of the Hawaii Teams that have gone to Tahiti in the past approach all star, but it is usually a club or group putting together some elite paddlers and hoping to turn it up a notch. Maybe there are more top level younger paddlers in Tahiti competing for crews that they don't even have to consider all star? Just posing a question.

#12 Sat, 08/24/2013 - 5:04pm

It's not the coaching nor the organization, it's the simple fact that, with the exception of a handful of paddlers, there are no professional paddlers in hawaii. We are not paid to paddle.

Without being paid to paddle, it hard to justify training as hard as the Tahitians. I honestly believe we have the paddlers to compete with them, but that economically, here in hawaii, it's just not realistic.

Until we start training as much as the Tahitians only then can we seriously consider the chance of beating them.

#13 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 11:19am

this been said before,tahitian paddlers in the top 3 sponsored teams( Shell,EDT,OPT) have to go and put in a day of work after very early morning practice,then again after's not like you're paid and just show up for got to have the moral fortitude to put up with.and there's plenty competition for your spot,,jobs are hard to come nephew paddles for a top team.just so you case you like try .

#14 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 5:28pm

True. But unlike here, the jobs are catered to paddling. Furthermore, other family members are offered jobs if you are good. Simply, if you are good at paddling you will be taken care off. In hawaii, such don't mean $hit.

#15 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 8:16pm

For an indication of the depth and quality of Tahitian paddlers look at the recent Super Aito V1 results, over 100 paddlers all finishing within 10 minutes of each other, you will not find a field as competitive as that anywhere else in the world, and having spent a bit of time in Tahiti I know it's a cop out to say they are better because they are paid, that's bullshit, paddling just means more to them than the rest of us, like the All Blacks and Rugby.

#16 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 8:16pm

Kevlon, you are missing the point, it's the fact that without the $$ or the possibility of a job, it is not only impractical but impossible to train like them and support oneself and family. There are different economic realities.

#17 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 8:23pm

i have to agree with numerouno.. Although i have no idea how the lifestyle is in tahiti.. I know from when i leave to work till i get home takes up min 10hrs of my day. With family and kids it is extremely hard to put in the training to win the channel. I know of crews in the past who had a good channel one year so decide they will train even harder the next did the 2 a days and all the extras only to place the same in the channel as the previous year.So how hard are we suppose to train? I do think their youth growing up is much more into the sport then ours is. And much more numbers on V1s and doing distance races. So more talent to choose from and push eachother. In oahu most first crews are far more faster than second. So not much push. Creating not much drive. Just my opinion,

#18 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 8:38pm

I totally disagree with both of you. Coaching is what makes the difference.
It takes a real paddler to see what they're doing wrong, to become better and
Stronger! so that's bull crap about allstar crap save it....

#19 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 8:53pm

@assita who would you recommend as that coach? Lanikai,outrigger,primo,livestrong all had great coaches who we felt were the best of them. Still 12 mins off the mark in the channel. So who? Most guys want to learn proper ways including myself but when we go train 6 man its "im not gonna listen to you because im faster in the oc1" or vice versa "you listen to me because im faster". Or its even im stronger than you so im
better. So who should that coach be?If we dont have it then yup we are out of luck. Which is why i say i might as well just make sure my races are fun because most i wont win.

#20 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 9:07pm

All the best paddlers think that nothing is wrong with the
Way there paddling but that's wats hurting them. Hey you
Can put 9 of the fastest people in Hawaii in a boat and still
Lose by 10 min. But think if those peps got putt on the spot on
Why or what there doing wrong to make them get better they will
Be that much faster.

#21 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 9:43pm

Yes but you still haven't said who could be that person. And what stroke would be the correct stroke,entry,release,style,stroke count,changes,combos,surfing,hydration etc. You would need to prove to the paddler that this will guarantee work. Heck if I was the fastest oc1 paddler why would I listen to someone who has coached a good crew and still didnt win? I guess what im saying is you are absolutely correct on the coaching. Many of us dont know tahitian style. I heard they go hard here and there and when boat is up to speed they dont do as much planting and paddle to keep up to speed when boat loses speed they grab and go hard again. Then I heard they have a long stroke and quick recovery kinda like what mellow johnnys been looking like(in my eyes). But i really dont know what they do. And I dont know anyone who could teach it right now. Lot of hawaii crews look amazing sometimes especially in surf but even in surf we getting beaten.A bunch of hawaii guys go to tahiti to race yearly they would know much more than me on whether its coaching,training,way of life. Those guys I would love to hear what they have to say.

#22 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 10:10pm

The fact of the matter is we reach a certain point in our training, in our technique, in our hearts, and in our minds and say to ourselves, "I'm good enough." This time and effort that I have put in (what ever that time and effort is) will get me by. We are unwilling to be better than we are or than we were, we are unwilling to try harder or put in the extra time to make changes to our mental, our physical, and our spiritual selves that the idea, "I'm good enough" is always staring back at us in the mirror. We are satisfied with where we are at and always making excuses when trying to explain why others are so much more better than we are, farther ahead than we are, or simply have a stronger desire to be better than we are.

My hat-is-off to those who train hard because they are the ones who are not complaining, they are the ones not whining, and they definitely are the ones who are not willing to settle for second place.

Professional or not, it is the heart of a winner that will beat the loudest.

#23 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 10:19pm

Hey I can name the crew that would beat them

#24 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 1:16pm

Okay, I hope the word "Punk" was not in reference to me. Now, if you see yourself in the mirror by what I just said then that is your own opinion about yourself. We can only fix ourselves and we can not fix others.

Now, calling some other crew a derogatory name like you just did was really uncalled for. What did these crews ever do to you? I have never heard of these crews ever coming here to the islands and saying we are going to kill those guys from Hawaii. Come on, this is shameful and you should be embarrassed to call yourself a paddler. Have some class. If there is a crew that is out there that can beat the reigning champions then so be it. This will only heighten the competition. Paddling and paddlers like to stay dynamic, never staying in one place for a long time (maybe only waiting for a friend on a downwind run). If we remain static then we are no better than the stick stuck in the mud. Never going anywhere and rotting with every waking moment.

Before you make a stink of this whole thing you might as well name that crew. If they have put in the time and effort then they are more than deserving to be put into the conversation. I definitely know that this crew you mention would care less about calling other crews derogatory names. I bet they rather let their actions do all the talking.

#25 Sun, 08/25/2013 - 11:58pm


#26 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 1:18pm


Give it up already! You say you live your "life a 100% Hawaiian" then let your actions do the talking. All you do is grumble, grumble, grumble. Like I tried stating earlier, actions speak louder than words. Your words (or the lack of) have been the only thing all of us have been listening to (re-read your past posts).

Your thoughts and ideas about what outrigger canoe paddling is all about is way of target. Before you even start the races you are already doubting your self, doubting your abilities and doubting your training. As a KANAKA HAWAII, I remember the words of my ancestors to guide me in my future. This is what gives me courage. You should also look to your past to maybe guide your future.

I bet you can not find a quote anywhere by say the likes of Duke Kahanamoku saying something like, "those professional athletes from across the ocean are going to come here to the islands and win because they are professionals, because they have coaches," and worst yet, because they are getting paid. Duke Paoa Kahanamoku won because the ocean was not something he played in, it was something that was a part of him. Our Polynesian brothers, the Tahitians, are great at water sports not because they get paid, but because it is a part of them. The ocean is part of their past, their present, and their future. It can be seen in their culture and their traditions. The ocean and the activities that take place in, on, or around it is part of them and that is why they are so successful.

If we change our own mindsets and see the ocean as part of who we are and not something that is simply there to keep us entertained when we want to getaway or a fast workout, then maybe we can be successful like our Polynesian brothers from Tahiti.

#27 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 1:21am

My two cents is as follows:
Kanaka,s get off Your OC1 TRAINING WHEELS and then learn to paddle, paddle in a v1.
Only then will You futher your understanding of moving a v6! Until then, Imua Shell Vaa and EDT................!


#28 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 6:29am


I can not believe what you just wrote. I am here defending those that put in the time and effort in the sport of hoe wa'a and you try to attack me. Read my earlier posts I am pretty sure you miss your READING TRAINING WHEELS!

This is suppose to be a positive sight for INTELLECTUAL discussions, not a sight for uneducated, unverified, and uneventful information.

#29 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 7:35am

Im going with outrigger for first hawaii crew

#30 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 1:21pm

Lets not get too crazy here as nothing in this thread was intended to insult the tahitians. Like I said earlier, everyone here has good points. Yes I truly believe we have the paddlers to beat them, but until we train like them, this simply is not a reality. A good example of this was the first leg of olamau this year, there were two hawaii paddlers in a mellowjohnny/tahitian throw together crew that beat EDT and nearly beat shell. just an example mind you.

Having a full time coach would definitely help; but who out there is willing to pay a coach full time to make this happen?

#31 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 11:18am

for sure a bradley lightning will win the race. lol

#32 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 9:16am

Unklekahi's post #18 is right on the kinipopo: Try look around next time you go paddle solo out in the ocean and check out who stay paddling out there? You see any kids? That's right: no more! No more kids doing Hawaii Kai runs by themselves, no more kids doing Alan Davis runs by themselves, and no more kids paddling on their own out in the ocean by themselves or with friends anymore. Where them? Sure, get plenty on SUPs and stay surfing. But, none stay paddling one-man's or even surfskis by themselves out in the ocean anymore like they did before. How they going learn? At least 1/4 of the racers for Na Wahine and Molokai Hoe should be kids. How they going learn if they no go race? There's no quick fix, but the solution is simple: equip our next generation of paddlers with all the tools and knowledge for enjoying the ocean before they grow up and decide to play golf.

#33 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 2:59pm

Yeah. Fuck golf.

#34 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 3:28pm

golf is fun too. Kind of like the ocean but different. Both can be peaceful or frustrating depending on how you look at the sport. Make the sport fun and accessible and more people will participate. Tahiti may have more paddlers than Hawaii and they are very passionate about their sport. We have fun with the sport too. Take it too seriously like Assita (Outrigger, seriously?) and it will become no fun. Most important is to get more people involved so everyone should do their part to get their friends into the sport. Best fun is to be out on the ocean racing with your friends on an OC6 or OC1 or V-1 whatever, and hang out for a few cold beers and pupu after.

#35 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 3:45pm

It sucks but like many other things.....Its all about money. Look at any other sport where 1 country dominates over the other. Most of the dominant areas have fans and sponsors. And when I say "fans" I mean fans who buy hats and shirts and pay to watch events etc. Like when US soccer wanted to be compettive. They built stadiums and recruited big name players to attract fans and sponsors. And they still have years to go. I think people in Hawaii want to win just as badly and paddlers in Tahiti. But until someone comes into the work place in Hawaii and tells their guys to stop working so they can go paddle, I imagine it will be very tough.

#36 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 4:35pm

would be great if UH had a paddling team with scholarships. if i was rich, i would fund such a program.

Everyone has valid points, and i regret this thread becoming so negative. In the end we should all be lucky and grateful to have fun.

#37 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 5:53pm

this was a fun read!

Mahalo Ass Ita

#38 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 7:55pm

Shit ! I forgot the popcorn !

#39 Mon, 08/26/2013 - 9:52pm

I'm calling Shell 1, 2 with EDT close behind in third.

last year i'm pretty sure Shell's second crew was all U19's. imho, that's the difference maker -- Tahiti brings athlete's in their early 20s who've all got a decade+ of serious racing & training under their belt. here, by the time a team gets their approach fine-tuned all their best paddlers are 30 and up. its like Heat vs Spurs, while the old guys can be equally skilled and maybe even more savvy -- over the course of the entire contest youth & athleticism usually win out.

#40 Tue, 08/27/2013 - 7:06am

what if the course is lengthened to make it a bit more interesting and challenging. perhaps start at hale o Lono, go around a designated bouy at laau, head north to ilio then straight shot to waikiki?

Or in the alternative, have an iron division? would be grueling but would help the race stay in touch with modern developments in paddling. all the other major races are iron, ie. ola mau, paa eono, hawaiki nui ect.

#41 Wed, 08/28/2013 - 2:11pm

It's not that hard to train twice a day ( & hold down a full time job ) if your motivated , organised , have a supportive family & are willing to make the sacrifice to do so.
So the argument about our Tahitian brother's doing so doesn't really hold water, although if your a Pro it would be easier.
Why Tahitian's paddle so well is shown perfectly in the post on this Forum on the results of the Super Aito.
1st - 24th places less then 10 minutes. 1st to 100th only a little more then 30 minutes.
So to me the answer to why the Tahitian dominate Molokai Hoe is that there is an enormous pool of quality paddlers , all fighting for a seat , competing from a early age in super tough local competition in both V1 / V6.
Don't bash them about there success , applaud instead & learn from them.
My personal opinion from a kook that's paddled 15 years , won a couple of Molokai Hoe's in Masters & no's shit !

#42 Wed, 08/28/2013 - 2:38pm

you have valid points, yes they have a tremendous pool of quality paddlers, however, your argument puts the cart before the horse in that the first 24 finishers were able to train hard enough to place so well. they aren't just born into paddling excellence, rather an enormous amount of training was required. while we dont have the specifics of each individual, if you paddle for shell, edt, ect., you have the necessary employer support. i dont think a lot of the paddlers in hawaii grasp the amount of time the tahitians put into paddling. we are only scraping the surface. of course the top dogs here know, but to find 6/9 paddlers with the same dedication and resources to draw from is the biggest challenge.

their twice a day training regimes are not practical nor realistic in Hawaii unless 1) you have a substantial sum of money to draw from, or 2) your job is catered to paddling. again, hard to find one of these for 6-9 guys in the same crew in hawaii.

I in no way am attempting to dog the tahitians, or the us here in hawaii. I take great pride in hawaii paddling, but am merely engaging in dialog which someday may result in a hawaii hoe victory once again. maybe in my lifetime.

thats just my personal opinion from a kook who has done nothing in paddling, but has performed exceptionally well in the ocpaddler video game.

#43 Wed, 08/28/2013 - 7:09pm

Oh well said Numerouno !
For me the twice a day can be done as I'm on the water at 4.45am , at work by 7 - 7.30am & finish at 3pm , ready for the afternoon session.
It's just that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak ( meaning I can do doubles , 2/3 times a week then I'm stuffed ).
A lot of guys here in Aus train twice a day.


#44 Thu, 08/29/2013 - 2:46pm

numerouno can I ask you how many times you came to Tahiti and how long you stayed here ?

twice a day training regimes are not practical nor realistic

Really ? Those guys just get out of bed while it's sill dark, while their wives and kids are still sleeping. They go for a training session before they even think about having a breakfast, then they go to work. A whole day of work. Full time job. Then they go for another training session ntil the sun sets. 5 days a week. Then on saturday they spent another 4 to 6 hours on the water... no surprise they sleep the whole sunday. They have no life outside of paddling.
If one wants to reach the same level, one has to train harder. No secret !

the first 24 finishers were able to train hard enough to place so well. they aren't just born into paddling excellence, rather an enormous amount of training was required.

You're right, an enormous amount of training... and you're wrong, they were not "able to" train that hard, they chose to make a lot of sacrifice and to organise everything in their life around their training sessions.
Life is made of choices. Those guys just chose to place paddling above everything else.

#45 Thu, 08/29/2013 - 10:48pm

Hiro C, I am sorry you have misinterpreted my posts. I forgive you. Maybe not.

Anyways, I was referring to the people in Hawaii, not Tahiti. Thanks for the out of context and incomplete quotation. There are simply different economic realities and less opportunities to find a job which can be structured and catered to paddling. I would encourage you to come to Hawaii and try it out yourself.

The use of the word "able" was not intended to slight them either. I even qualified my statement that we dont have the specifics on each individual. thanks for leaving that part out of your out-of-context quotation. Asshole. I have nothing but tremendous respect for them. Of course they care about paddling Hiro, but, please, spare me your gibberish. Please.

Maybe a game of thrones trial by paddling is in order. You paddle and i'll doggie paddle. We shall see who wins.

#46 Thu, 08/29/2013 - 11:44pm

Asshole ? Thanks ! That's real aloha spirit here... Did you read anything in my post that was insulting you ?
And talking about job opportunities structured and catered to paddling : there are only 3 teams that fit in this category (Shell, OPT and EDT). Any other paddler, from any other team don't get any sort of help from their boss... and they're still doing well when they come to Molokai or the Olamau, and Hawaii still have a hard time beating them when they come to Tahiti...
Every year it's the same question when the Molokai is getting closer "What to do to beat the tahitians ?" As I said before, there's no secret recipe. They're better because they train harder.

#47 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 12:19am

@ Hiro C.

You nailed it my friend. If you want to beat the best.......train harder, as well as smarter. If you're not willing to make that sacrifice, then all excuses/rationale are moot.

#48 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 6:31am

Hiro, dont back track and act like your replies were benign. stick to your guns and your bread and butter which is to vicariously live through these top Tahitian crews and brag about them more than anyone else even though you are well below their caliber. please dont lecture me on the "real aloha spirit" either. and you wonder why you are an asshole. hmmm.

My prior posts clearly indicate i was referring to the professional teams, again you misinterpret and twist my posts. the focus all along is how to beat the fastest teams.

and lastly even though your posts reek of douche baggery, i agree with you regarding why they are better, you are just restating the my points. however i was not referring to non-professional teams either, the burning desire is not beat those teams, but, again, rather be the best.

#49 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 7:53am

When i get beaten in races, i just moan that they're able to train more than me. Thats pretty much all i can do. Or is it?

#50 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 9:30am

Here why I think a little more blame needs to be put on coaching and organizing instead of just paddling.
Only the most astute thinkers out there will see through this and realize it's just sour grapes. But, for you mere mortals maybe you will see some logic in this.

In Tahiti Nui the paddlers representing Kanaka Ikaika, (all people who paddling is secondary to whatever else is in their lives) were only 3.5 % slower than the the winners. KI finished in 740 min and 1st place was 714 minutes. So I have to believe if you ad some serious blending to the crew with constant video feedback, you can improve KI's time by over 5%. The KI guys were just talent put in a canoe (relatively speaking). When you slow down the Tahitian teams you see their blending is close to flawless, when you slow down the best Hawaii teams they are at the exact opposite end of the spectrum (a little exageration).

I feel bad for Tahitians if they spend all that time paddling and they are only 3.5% faster than people who do this as their leisure time. Like my main man Rich Homie Kwan would say- That gotta make you feel some type of way.

#51 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 10:14am

Hey Hiro , at least the usual villains are getting faster................. at Tahitian bashing.
Still August & there in full flight.


#52 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 10:55am

To start with, I think that passion on Ocpaddler (and in paddling) is a great thing, and there is tons of passion in this thread, but I think we have to agree to be "civil" to each other. I'm always very optimistic of the power that Ocpaddler has to act as a lever for change in the paddling world, simply because (other than sitting around drinking after a race) it's the best platform for dialogue that we have. But, in order for the dialogue to be effective, we all have to be nice to each other. Because, when we're not, we scare away a lot of potential voices. The more we talk about it, the more progress we'll make (IMHO).

I'm mainly starting with that so nobody attacks me for what comes next:

With no disrespect intended for anyone, I think that the reason for the Tahitian dominance is (and should be) the most important question of our time. And it's why the forum explodes every year in September/October. We have two similar locations: Hawai'i and Tahiti. Both are in the Pacific, both are populated by people with similar genetic make-up, both have outrigger canoeing as an integral part of their history and culture: yet Tahiti is incredibly dominant. Take the top ten Hawai'i crews to race in the Hawaiki Nui and, apart from probably two of them, those crews will place in the 20s - 50s. Take the top ten Tahitian crews to the Moloka'i Hoe and we'll be lucky to have two Hawaiian crews in the top ten. (source: I've raced Hawaiki Nui twice, both times with top ten Hawai'i crews (probably top 5), and we placed in the 40s both times. I'll never forget the image burned into my mind of senior masters crews passing us as I literally was in the best crew I'd ever been in. Likewise after a year of training as much as I felt humanely possible, I raced in the Super AIto and I got almost last place). So, there's no doubt that their talent pool and depth extends much further than just the "professional" teams of Shell, EDT, and OPT.

Theoretically, Hawai'i has everything going for it: bigger population, more people paddling (or at least close to equal), more money, better training conditions, better made equipment (for the most part), and home court advantage. Yet Tahiti has us by a wide margin. So, what the hell are they doing? To ignore the question means we are relegating ourselves to second place forever. To use an over-quoted Einstein quote: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." We're not going to just get up and beat them one year, we have to change some fundamental things.

Are the top Shell/EDT paddlers actually more passionate than Hawai'is top paddlers? Is their full time job any more flexible than some of our top paddlers? I would argue not. Our top paddlers have made HUGE life sacrifices to get to where they're at. Take the top five paddlers in the Moloka'i solo: every one of them has, for the most part, dedicated their entire life to paddling. No matter what their job/financial status, they've given themselves to the cause of being the best paddler possible. Every year, those top paddlers get together as Team Hawai'i and race in Tahiti and, while in the front pack, they are not actually competing for the win. (To concede a point on this, yes, in the Moloka'i Hoe you won't (with the current exception of possibly Primo and Livestrong) find a Hawaiian crew with nine guys who have dedicated themselves as completely to the sport as Shell/EDT. But, the Team Hawai'i crews that race in Tahiti consist of nine Hawai'i/California guys who have sacrificed themselves completely).

I've never been in one of those crews, so maybe it's best if someone who has chimes in: what would have to happen for them to beat Shell? If they worked at a gas station full time and had no paddling related expenses, would that do it? I'm not trying to be facetious. But I don't think that that would make the difference. You can only train so much, and, I think that our top guys are training at, or close to, that amount.

So, while there is undoubtedly more passion throughout Tahiti for paddling (which is something we should strive for), I don't think it's what makes their fastest crews faster than our fastest crews.
So, here's my list of factors (only relevant to top crews):
Equipment: NO
Environment: NO
Training regime: NO (again, I would say that the average Tahitian team trains harder than the average Hawaiian team. But we're just looking at the top team)
Passion: NO (same as above. More passion in general, but not amongst the top).
Stroke: ?????

In a long winded way, what I'm getting to is that I think a big part of it comes down to our stroke. In my opinion, it's the biggest fundamental difference between a top Tahitian crew and a top Hawaiian crew. And I don't mean that we should all go out and start paddling at a 90 stroke rate, as there is a lot more to it. Not only do I think that their stroke is more effective for achieving higher hull speeds (when you're in shape), but, because they paddle together more than we do, their blend is leagues better than us. If you were at the State race watching the Sophomore/Senior races, it was amazing to watch how well Wailea (Primo guys) blended with each other. And, because of it, they crushed it. For almost as long as I've been paddling, those guys, in some combination, have been racing with each other. They, over the last decade, have achieved the blend that the top Tahitian paddlers get within a few years (because they train together more).

So, I would say two things need to happen:
1) We need to commit ourselves to trying to win the Hoe. Which means focusing less on OC-1 paddling and more on OC-6. If you want the blend of Primo/Shell/EDT then you need to train together, a lot.
2) We need (and this is the part that I'm going to get reamed on) to focus on applying more power at the front of our stroke with a more effective catch. We slip in our catch but build momentum through the stroke. Whereas, from what I can tell, Tahitians apply explosive power at the catch, and don't accelerate through. However, without blend, it's nearly impossible to do effectively as there is no margin for error on your power-phase.

If you disagree with me, please be nice. Just adding my thoughts to the chorus.

TL;DR (too long, didn't read): The passion/sacrifice/dedication amongst the top crews are equal. It comes down to training together in an OC-6 with an efficient stroke.

#53 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 11:17am

Woah. I just realized two things:
1) I took 45 minutes to write that
2) I didn't see Healthy's post before it. I basically said what he said, but with 7.5x the wasted words.

#54 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 11:03am

Luke- I think you should have waited for my post to marinate a little before you outshined me. Now everyone probably going to skip straight to your post and skip past mine.

Assita- I know we've had our differences, that's not what took me so long to help back you up.

#55 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 11:13am

Luke, I completely agree with you. My observation, as you note, was that it is hard to find 6/9 in the SAME crew who, across the board, have the same resources to make it happen. of course i dont doubt the top hawaii dog's sacrifice dedication and passion. its there most definitely. the biggest challenge is to have them all in the same crew and train together.

Your point regrading the stroke as well is right on, but unless 6/9 guys across the board in the SAME crew put in the time and training regime together this will not create any significant progress. I think we are arguing the same thing.

#56 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 12:02pm

Yeah, I don't think i was contradicting anything that anyone said on here. Or at least I didn't mean to. More so that I think the focus needs to be on: winning the Hoe, improving our stroke, blending together.

#57 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 12:14pm

Best post all year,
There is one huge difference between Hawaiian and Tahitian paddlers that everyone seems to overlook when this conversation comes around every year.
A 6 man canoe is a rudderless canoe,
Think about it, the differences between an oc1 and a rudderless canoe are huge in terms of feel and stroke.
The top Tahitian crews are all instinctively aware of the " steering "effect of their stroke from their v1 paddling,
When you're talking a relatively small percentage in performance speeds it's gotta make a difference.

Would the results be the same if canoes had rudders?

#58 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 12:30pm

What the rudduless would teach would lie under the category of technique mainly. It's a factor for sure.

UOEN1a read this. Naw main. Tahition stroke rate has nothing to do with making the canoe go fast it's a product of the canoe going fast which is a product of propulsion application and strength endurance.

OR click on these links

IMHO- age is an overrated factor of performance ability in this particular sport.

#59 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 12:47pm

Very good insights.
Two things that stand out to me in all of this wealth on knowledge is up front stroke, and time together. When I watch videos of shell vs primo/livestong the biggest difference I see is that pop up front from the Tahitians. Primo guys have been paddling for a long time together and there blend is one of the best I've ever seen. There are so many different philosophy's about technique in Hawaii and I think that's where we're falling short. I could be wrong, but it seems like in Tahiti they have a set way that works and all the crews have a very similar stroke. That would explain why the youth can jump right in to the top crews. They have been training that stroke their whole life. Now, I have only paddled for a couple years and all the different ways coaches have tried to train me is frustrating. It just seems like unless we admit that our stroke is inferior to the Tahitians and learn to paddle like they do, Hawaii will be second best for some time.

#60 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 12:58pm

"Tahition (sic) stroke rate has nothing to do with making the canoe go fast......"

I've seen and heard some variation of this statement for some time, and I think discounting the Tahitian stoke rate as a significant factor in their performance is a HUGE mistake. Clearly, it is not the ONLY variation that makes them faster, but as a former world champion taught me, "in order to go fast, you must paddle fast. But just because you paddle fast, doesn't mean that you WILL go fast." Get it?

We need to paddle smarter and more EFFICIENTLY, and the Tahitians have raised the bar significantly with their efficient stroke and stroke rate, as well as their magnificent conditioning. It seems pretty clear to me that emulation and even improvement of the Tahitian methodology is the only way to beat 'em.........the old ways sure aren't working very well!

#61 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 1:24pm

@ everybody,really,no need to call names like that.Makes this forum look like immature people.@ Luke,really like what you wrote.I'm old,been paddling since very, very small kid days.Paddled to go to school,and the store. I spend my time between Tahiti and Hawaii.I would like to see a Hawaiian crew win the Molokai Hoe for a change,light some more fire under the teams back home.There was mention of the toll paddling at the elite level takes on family life? (like wives and girlfriends finding someone else)Social life?(zero) So yes,if there is no financial or economic reward,as in the top 3 teams in Tahiti,it's hard to justify.Certainly,there is more money here in Hawaii.But no entity with financial resources passionate about paddling.There is the difference as I see it.There is more passion about paddling in Tahiti.There is nothing else to be passionate about in sports besides soccer.The economy sucks,,jobs are scarce for the younger generations,politics are rotten.Paddling is an escape.You don't need that here in Hawaii,too many other things to do or sports to play for the youth.Like someone posted,if UH had a team with scholarships.Utilities or big companies had their teams.And prestige.Who, outside of the paddling community, knows or can name any paddlers?In Tahiti,you are someone.Here you are nobody.(sorry if you somebody!) And about the training wheels thing.I never used anything with a rudder before I jumped on a OC-1,so kinda hard for me to say,but I feel that steering is instinctive,if you never paddled a V-1, you would not have problems steering it if you are used to paddling a OC-1,you would catch on quickly.But I am curious about why you need a rudder in the first place?Why is that on there? Just asking.

#62 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 1:38pm

One more thing I forgot to say is that paddling ( as well as the language of your island group) is part of the curriculum in school in Tahiti.Not after school .During school.Would you not rather paddle a canoe than be stuck in the classroom?

#63 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 1:49pm

Love your posts Kava. Makes me want to go try a V-1!

#64 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 2:36pm

kava, excellent insight. i fully concur with your assessment of the paddling experience and economic factors in hawaii. i have always thought that a UH paddling team would be the most realistic method of making hawaii the best again. scholarships would drive more kids into paddling and into paddling excellence, and give the athletes an opportunity to be completely devoted to paddling.

jerryguy, awesome point regarding paddling fast and going fast.

kevlon, you raise an interesting question. i think that a crew like shell's hull speed would actually be hampered by a rudder. regardless, i dont think the hawaii crews could compete even if the six mans were equipped with rudders. this would also be true in the surf, because, i guess, this would differ with a one man because of the one man's length and its ability to maneuver in the trough. the six mans dont have the same maneuverability in the trough as one part of the canoe, either the bow or the stern, more often than not would be burried in the front or back of a wave thus a rudder would create more drag and slow the canoe down. good thing about a six man in the surf is that you can release the steering blade and the canoe will run. however, the benefit of a rudder would be after the canoe has dropped in, and in between the trough (clear of the front and back of trough), the canoe released and the crew chases the next wave. a rudder in this instance would most definitely help.

#65 Fri, 08/30/2013 - 3:21pm

Great Thread boys, I agree with much that has been said here, but one thing that I have noticed about Hawaiian crews I have paddled in and others I have known is the amount of shit talking that goes on outside the boat. There is always gonna be a weaker guy or less experienced guy on the crew that everyone is going to point their finger at. It is a team sport and a lot of times guys paddle like individuals and let their reputations or egos do the paddling for them and when the results are sub par they talk shit and blame the weak link. If the team wants to get better, the weak links should be the focus and more experienced guys who want those results should encourage, help and push those weaker guys in a positive way to make the team stronger. Team trust and support go a long way, but once that is compromised it hurts the crew.

Many of the Tahitian clubs are made up of families and extended families, not only are the paddlers involved, wives, girlfriends, parents, uncles, aunties, cousins often play a big role in the paddlers success. I have never heard any Tahitian talk negatively about one of their team mates. Rather, I have heard the opposite and have seen how they treat each other with the upmost respect.

I do believe we have the talent and passion, but are missing humility, heart and trust.

#66 Sat, 08/31/2013 - 3:06pm

First asshole then douchebag... Come on ! You can certainly do better. You just need to improve your insults by 3.5% to reach the top. That should be easy.

#67 Sun, 09/01/2013 - 11:54am

Hiro, buddy old pal, nice try. that would be a witty comeback if i came up with the 3.5% number, cant take credit for that one though. good luck next time.

#68 Sun, 09/01/2013 - 12:08pm

Lots of wala'au kukae going on here. Lets get real....and not to be trivial....the way the Tahitian crews fly their ama on a 6man is way cool.

#69 Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:13pm

Luke, it may be an overused quote, but, I believe your statement sums up the issue entirely:

To use an over-quoted Einstein quote: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." We're not going to just get up and beat them one year, we have to change some fundamental things.

We do need to challenge assumptions and we need to experiment. Both of those temporarily take time away from training to win... sometimes it is necessary to recluse yourself to improve. One way to improve experimentation is to have more fun.

#70 Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:58pm

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