Switching from OC1 to V1

I've been paddling my Hurricane OC1 for a year now and also train and race with a Sr Masters Women's team. We went to the 2012 Sprints in Calgary and now already have our sights set on the 2016 Sprints in Australia. I got to pondering the possibility of racing V1 in the 2016 Va'a Sprints.

I am basically a rookie in this sport, so please bear with me. You guys know loads about this sort of thing, so, what do you think, is my potential goal realistic? Could I make the switch from an OC1 to a V1, train for two years and have half a chance of being competitive?

Also, again, totally rookie stuff here....I guess I'd need to purchase a V1 because my Hurricane is not going to do it as it seems most OC1's are not designed to go rudder less, is that right?

I've worked hard to get some sort of semblance of a decent stroke in the OC1 and OC6, is learning to paddle V1, with all its steering strokes thrown in, going to mess up my regular OC stroke?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and perspectives.

Submitted by ho'okele on Sat, 07/19/2014 - 6:10am

You got the perfect canoe in the Hurricane to train rudderless in. In fact, you'll turn better and do figure 8's around buoys better on it than the V-1, which is designed to track straight ahead. Fifteen years ago, paddling a Hurricane, Jim Foti won the first rudderless, "No Ruddah Bruddah" race put on by Nappy and Anuenue Canoe Club. Even at the World Sprints, years ago, only designated OC-1's, like the Naia, could compete in the rudderless races.

Originally, 25 years ago, all OC-1s or "Lagoon Boats," were raced rudderless for the Steinlager Sprints in the Ala Wai, until Walter Guild started manufacturing them with rudders as the Horizon. Yet, there were a few die hard rudderless paddlers back then, who would remove the rudder and race without them. They would win too, because they felt the rudder slowed them down.

So go ahead, remove your Hurricane's rudder and see how you like paddling rudderless? It won't cost you a cent. You can always tack on a rigid small skegg or fin to help you track straight ahead. Then once you have developed your rudderless skills, go ahead and invest in a brand new V-1.

ps: there are a lot of stories out there where OC-1 paddlers have lost their rudder out in the ocean and were still able to finish in the top five.

#1 Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:58am

Thanks for some glimpses at rudderless history and the suggestion to try my Hurricane sans rudder, koacanoe. Much appreciated.

#2 Mon, 07/21/2014 - 6:48am

I've been reading through Steve West's V1 book and it has a LOT of awesome info on the origins of the V1, stroke technique and basically a bunch of more stuff that would take me a year of typing to describe. I highly recommend it if you're wanting to get some good V1 insight!


#3 Mon, 07/21/2014 - 7:14am

Thanks for the tip about Steve's V1 book, TI. Yes, it does look good - I think I will buy it!

#4 Mon, 07/21/2014 - 8:09am

just a thought. if you're going to own one boat, maybe a V1 is the choice. especially in the PNW where flat water prevails, the V1 is by far the more efficient hull.

as demonstrated in this last moll solo. the transition is certainly easier when going from a V1 to an OC1. the guys that came to hawaii had all never trained on an OC1 in their lives and yet they were all competitive. people that train full time on an OC1 are not quite able to make the transition the other way so easily.

just my totally biased opinion since all i own is a V1 and i whole heartedly promote that kind of paddling. after all it is practiced in the biggest races, world sprints, and i could be totally wrong but i heard it's a demo sport for the olympics?

plus Steve West wrote a book about it, so it must be legit.

#5 Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:07am

jc9_0 which V1 do you have? I take it that you too live in the PNW so I wonder if you can point out a couple of potential suppliers of V1's in this area.

I like the idea of starting with my Hurricane rudderless, as koacanoe suggested, since I already own the Hurricane. Once I see how I progress I would consider selling the Hurricane, that is if things are looking hopeful for me and rudderless, and then purchasing a bone fide V1.

#6 Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:44am

From what I've heard, there are a few guys putting in orders to get Odie's new V1 down in Seattle. If you were interested in getting one, it might be a good time to jump in on an order to save you some shipping $$. If you are interested, PM me and I can point you in the direction of the gentlemen that are ordering the Pure V1's.

#7 Mon, 07/21/2014 - 12:26pm

In this weekend's Blackburn Challenge results to Tevenue V-1s finished among the top ten OC-1 fisishers (Tavenier and Blais).

As I understand it, Tevenues are not made with carbon fiber (I may be wrong). The sea was pretty flat, but still....

#8 Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:32am

Is there a WEB site for the V-1 mentioned?

#9 Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:39am

Yankee Hookele
If you are referring to the "Teva Nui", they are carbon fibre construction if I built them. I can't speak for them after the tooling has changed hands. All my new models are have carbon fibre in the laminations.


#10 Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:22am


This is where I was getting my info from: http://www.purecanoes.com/

#11 Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:50am

Terrific! Now we going back to combo boats? But, you know, although it may be a little bit wider than todays state of the art canoes, Tiger's Ono would give those canoes a run for the money? Just hemo the rudder, super glue one surfboard fin under the cockpit and blow em away. Wasn't the Ono the first one man for crack undah 4 crossing the Kaiwi?

#12 Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:25pm

Howzit Yankee Hookele,
At the Blackburn, I (Blais) was on the Aukahi. Would have finished earlier if that OC-2 hadn't run me over a stationary buoy in the first couple of miles ... Great venue by the way. Totally unique race!

#13 Wed, 07/23/2014 - 5:16am

My error, Teva Nui.

And J. Outpaddlin, yours was the red on red other rudderless boat. Yes, the Blackburn is a great race with an interesting background. Another good one in striking distance of Montreal is the Casco Bay Challenge.

I'd always assumed the OC-1 had an advantage because they didn't require adjusting strokes, but I guess they also suffer from a disadvantage, rudder drag.

#14 Tue, 07/29/2014 - 1:38pm

Rudder "drag" is all about how one uses it. ... Or not.


#15 Tue, 07/29/2014 - 10:07pm

Howzit YankeeHookele,

Yes, a red Aukahi. I'm in Saint John, NB, on the Bay of Fundy. Montreal is almost 1,000 km away west. I am heading there this weekend to support the first annual Greater Montreal Outrigger Challenge--August 2nd. Outrigger life style is slowly moving east in Canada and this is very good news!

A V-1 on the Bay of Fundy--BIG tides and cold water all-year around--is a good thing. Initially, I mostly wanted to expand my outrigger experience, now I feel comfortable in a variety of conditions and I want to learn more. I also paddle OC-1 ... and everything outrigger. It's a good addiction!

#16 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 7:13am

Fog. You forgot to mention fog. And rocky shores.

Good luck in Montreal.

If you have an OC-1 and you registered a V-1 in the Blackburn, my guess is personally you find the V-1 faster?

#17 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 7:41am

Yes, fog at times and rocky shores. But also empty sandy beaches, fast currents, standing waves, high winds ... It adds variety and challenge. It's all good.

Thanks. Montreal will be a new experience.

I currently don't own a competitive OC-1, so the Aukahi has definitely become my preferred wa'a.

#18 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 8:31am

J.outpaddlin: Whatevah happen to your great Keokea Invitational video. I can't find it on the internet anymore. Do hope you post it again, for it was very enjoyable watching it. Hey! At the Blackburn, you can't beat the post race craft beer and live jazz band, plus massages under the tent. Adventurous Joe pre-race coffee gets you going too. Hope you have a video to share with us? That unlimited 6 man shut down everybody...too much.

#19 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 4:22pm

Mahalo Koacanoe for your kind comment on that Keokea Invitational vid.
Filming at Keokea was always filled with a variety of imponderables and on my last attempt at filming one of those epic conditions' runs on the back of a jetski--years ago--we ended up responding to early emergencies and then, me, having to paddle someone's canoe after he got hurt--not that I minded, paddling Keokea was always easier than filming in such incredible conditions. 5 minutes of filming is all I had achieved that day. The only video still around from Keokea is a piece blending selected footage captured over the years, and it can be found at the following link: https://

At Blackburn, I was paddling and enjoying the atmosphere, the music--AND the beer--as a participant, not a videographer. In fact, sadly, I haven't had a call or opportunity to film any outrigger canoe racing lately. Aloha.

#20 Mon, 08/04/2014 - 6:29am

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