Viper Vaa Paddles

I have had two Viper Vaa paddles now for over four years. They are the most durable paddles I have ever owned plus they feel so good in the water. Purchased them from a dealer on Kauai but can no longer do so...he kept inventory so you could call and he would ship. That is not the case anymore. Does Pure Paddles carry inventory? Somebody on oahu should get a dealership and take on some product......great paddles and deserve more availability then order and wait plus shipping.

Submitted by poidog on Fri, 09/02/2016 - 4:52pm

Island paddler kapahulu has some for sale. Unsure of price though, but I agree they are very durable and great paddles.

#1 Tue, 09/06/2016 - 9:28pm

Is everyone here aware of the race rule for Viper blades come Moloka?i Hoe? They are not allowed to be used in the Moloka?i Hoe. Any crew seen using these blades will be disqualified. Go check out PalaFaMala and place your order.

#2 Fri, 09/09/2016 - 9:41am

Correction for this post> I have been informed that Viper Va'a paddles FSN and ETR paddles are legal to use in the races sanctioned by HCRA....but NOT those by OHCRA. Good to know for the Oahu distance races leading to the Hoe and for the OHCRA regattas.

#3 Mon, 09/12/2016 - 9:09am

Poidog, I thought I remembered seeing them used previously. But couldn't find pics. Maybe a new rule? Admittedly I haven't looked at the approved list of paddle brands in years.

#4 Sun, 09/11/2016 - 1:53pm

Poidog. Here?s the message that I got below.

Im not aware of FSN or ETR. Would kind of suck to race 41 miles to later get disqualified because of the paddle. State Race saw Leeward Kai Open 4 get disqualified for its race number being 1" to small. Or, Namolokama getting disqualified at Lili?uokalani for crossing with 5 guys and not 6 after one of it?s paddlers went down 1/2 miles from finish line in the iron race. Lastly, isn?t HCRA and OHCRA two different associations? Seems that OHCRA will have the last say.

Aloha Eddie,

I have included Mike Willett OHCRA Race Rules chairmen in this email.

Viper paddles that have hollow shafts and blades are prohibited in any OHCRA sponsored canoe race. This also includes the Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe. If any crew is found using these paddles they will be disqualified.

If you have any questions please email Mike Willett and cc.

Mahalo for your inquiry
Luana Froiseth
OHCRA/HAMH - president

#5 Sun, 09/11/2016 - 4:49pm

Thank you for the update....I was just going by what I read on the HCRA website which lists paddles which are legal and by the fact that Tahitian crews used the Viper Fusion in the Hoe. Both HCRA and OHCRA describe what is a legal paddle in the exact same terms but OHCRA disallows the Vipers. . Strange. Yeah....not using the correct matter how arbitrary OHCRA rules seem at times...would be a disaster. I appreciate being corrected and hope visiting crews will get the message. There are top Tahitian crews sponsored by Viper...wonder what they will be using instead ?

#6 Mon, 09/12/2016 - 9:19am

Another stupid ass rule isolating us from the rest of the paddling world.

#7 Thu, 09/15/2016 - 8:18am

Kinda like having to weigh an unlimited canoe......

#8 Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:27pm

Thought I saw a pic of RBW using them too.

Hopefully everyone (Tahitian and Hawaiian) gets the memo to not use the hollow ones.

#9 Thu, 09/15/2016 - 2:25pm

The reason we were told was because bamboo isn't wood. Smh

#10 Sat, 09/17/2016 - 8:42am

well jokes on them, they are not bamboo, they are a laminate.


#11 Sat, 09/17/2016 - 9:34am

so lame they Dq'd Red Bull team for using viper vaa paddles!! smh

#12 Sun, 09/18/2016 - 6:49pm

Yeah Aukina...agree. Guess the boys did not get the memo....and if they did ...they did not care. Everyone knows who came in first. Wonder if some of the Tahitian crews will do the same...screw the rules...use the paddles of choice..get DQ 'ed and just say UFA to crap rules that mean nothing. Wonder if OHCRA will be ripping
paddle blades apart to see how many millimeters of balsa are encased with carbon..and if there is actually any balsa or any other sliver of wood at all to meet their criteria of a wooden blade that can be covered by a protective covering.

#13 Wed, 09/21/2016 - 6:47pm

Aukina3 & poidog, is this Red Bull DQ thing for real, or are you guys just being sarcastic. I am reading this from overseas and am not all caught up on the news, but it may be an important point for my crew's plans for the Molokai Hoe. If you have any links to the news it would be perfect (but if you don't it is all good too).

#14 Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:33pm

Aloha Alex....they were indeed DQ'd for using "illegal" paddles. I heard they had contested the ruling but do not know where that went. OHCRA website has a description of what a legal blade is....wood shaft, wood blade and the blade can be covered with a protective coating like Kevlar or carbon and can have a protective edge.

#15 Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:34am

Yes This is an interesting one. I think you have to look at the beginning of this decision and what values are being considered.

Value of competitive advantage=

To start it was an issue of competitive advantage related to weight. ZRE and Bart full carbon paddles were 5 to 7 oz and (20 years ago) the wood paddles being used by Hawaii crews were between 24 to 26 oz. So with steering blades and extra paddles on the canoes a team could be 8-12 pounds lighter with the carbon blades. Also with the sharp edge, that wasn't available in wood paddles at that time, carbon paddles allowed for better catch. So "Not Fair"=Ban. Also the carbon blades would damage and nic the sides of canoes. That was an issue too, since mainland crews were borrowing canoes. The carbon paddles and many paddles still damage the sides of canoes (with bad technique) and mainland and local crews still borrow canoes. Also the core might be the mainland issue. We do it this way in Hawaii, so you do it this way in Hawaii.

Of course there were changes to blades and hybrid approaches to construction and the rule was made to at least 50% wood. Holding on to some tradition and recognizing the change in construction.

At his point in time with the wide variety of construction, there is no competitive advantage. So the paddle rule and any DQ's should be removed in my opinion.

Value of Safety:

It is not a safety issue. In fact I think the full carbon blades break more and the construction is hit and miss. Some paddle builders are getting carbon blade blanks from China and then adding the shaft and handle.

Value of Culture:

Still a small issue. Promoting the uniqueness of Hawaii and that each region has different rules, so follow the rules.
Tahiti, Australia, California all have different rules related to equipment, safety, and requirements. Read the rules, plan ahead and deal with it. You want change go through appropriate channels at right time.

Just some thoughts for the newbies to this issue.

#16 Fri, 09/23/2016 - 9:55am

This is interesting... they going tell EDT and Shell they can't use Viper Blades, and DQ them too. Should be easy for a hawaiian crew to win now, just no give them the memo. Smh

And if they don't DQ them, better give the redbull boys their medals back

Lots of mainland crew use illegal paddles too...Hawaii needs to open the doors to innovation, you gottah allow for progression of the sport

#17 Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:18pm

Here is the exact rules word for word

"Paddles must be single bladed and shaped of wood only. However, the paddle used for racing may have a protective or supportive (strengthening) covering which may be fiberous, kevlar, carbon fiber, etc. The paddle may have an edging or prosthesis for protection on the bottom or sides. The paddle may have laminated (horizontally or vertically) synthetic materials (kevlar, etc.) for strength and support. Extra paddles may be carried in each canoe during a race."

#18 Sat, 09/24/2016 - 11:51pm

I think Kailoa blades are made of foam from the shaft down. Anyone break one before?

#19 Sat, 09/24/2016 - 11:53pm

Pretty much all carbon blades are foam filled in some way , broke a couple of Kailoa & 1 Viper to be sure.
Confessed paddle snob & pretty much have all the main players & boutique paddles in my collection.
Now days I go straight for my Palafamala's.
The best.

#20 Sun, 09/25/2016 - 5:45pm

Apparently 2 top teams DQ'd at Na Wahine (Hui Nalu A and Waikiki BB). Was this the issue?

Edit: Never mind. Apparently that un-happened.

#21 Sun, 09/25/2016 - 7:36pm

Great news are among us gangy....that is all. See you on Moloka'i.Malama

#22 Sun, 09/25/2016 - 10:15pm

Wonder if approval has been granted?

From the look of the above hashtags, RBW and EDT will be using vipers.

#23 Tue, 10/04/2016 - 3:05pm

Is it just a rumor or was the Henry Ayau DQ for Red Bull reversed ? I heard it was. Maybe some pressure from the Tahitian crews made OHCRA accommodate.

#24 Thu, 10/06/2016 - 7:47am

Reminder-Some of the Viper paddles are approved some are not.

#25 Thu, 10/06/2016 - 7:53am

Just heard viper paddles are approved

#26 Thu, 10/06/2016 - 10:11pm

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.209 seconds.