All canoes built in CHINA!!!

I just read snrfblat comments on the Hyper Vantage, and I appreciate his input, I was just recently at OC (Outrigger Connection) and they are also going to China for labor, but all materal, design and everything is coming from Karel, they will still build you a custom canoe made here in the Islands, but according to them the only difference is 1-2 pounds, and you can't have radical color choices, what they paint, is what you get. I suppose NAFTA is to blame, or the fact of the matter we were asking for canoes NOW not wanting to wait 4-6 months. Any way, paddle hard and lets hope these China boats hold up. ALOHA

Submitted by nalu on Tue, 01/10/2006 - 9:09am

This seems to be a big thing this year for almost all oc manufacturers. This is a move to stay competitive on their part, since it costs less and takes less time get a boat from China than either from Hawaii or North America. Nevertheless, the issue of quality is a big concern, but Hurricane was the first oc to be manufactured in China and so far I haven't heard anything dramatically wrong with the build.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that everything will be okay.

#1 Tue, 01/10/2006 - 11:13am

Am I correct to assume that only one company in China is making all of these Canoes?
So the same company now makes the Hurricane, Pahoa and Vantage?

#2 Tue, 01/10/2006 - 11:35am

Both the Pegasus and the Huki S1-X are now manufactured in China too.

#3 Tue, 01/10/2006 - 11:49am

There are currently 3 factories in China manufacturing outrigger canoes with an additional factory being looked at to manufacture surf skis.

The predominant reason for manufacturing canoes in China is cost and speed to market. With the sport increasing at such a rapid rate, the canoe manufacturers are having trouble producing enough canoes in time to sell them to the ever-increasing number of prospective purchases.

In addition, the cost of shipping canoes from Hawaii makes it ridiculously expensive to sell them anywhere outside of Hawaii - you can thank the US government for that one!

I think having more canoes available to allow more people to enjoy this awesome sport is a good thing. The people manufacturing canoes in China are well aware of the "issues" concerning quality control, but given the recent specimens coming from China I don't believe there is a problem. All canoes that leave the factories in China are carefully scrutinized to ensure they meet the high standards of quality that all of the manufacturers (OC, Hurricane, Pegasus etc.) are known for.

Let's get behind these guys and thank them for taking such a bold step (and expensive one - do you know how much it costs to set up a factory?) to be able to have more caneos available for everyone, around the world!

#4 Tue, 01/10/2006 - 2:38pm

I think the quality of these "made in China" boats are actually pretty good. Its the design of the new components which I think needs a little work. I believe the new components are a good-faith attempt by the manufactuer to eliminate some of the perceived shortcomings of the old design. Unfortunately, the new components may sometimes create other problems and prevent paddlers from tinkering around with their setup. Covering the rudder cables at the rudder is one example. It looks nice but prohibits you from jury-rigging a string or cable to the rudder when one fails (I keep some floating string handy when I paddle just in case). The carbon iakos are another example -- light, strong, and solid, but cannot be shortened without great pain. I shortened the aluminum ones on my canoe by 1.5" without so much as drilling new placement holes for the snap buttons. These new boats are a work in progess; and I'm glad someone is mindful enought to try to improve them.

#5 Tue, 01/10/2006 - 2:52pm

I have nothing against building canoes where the costs are cheaper, wherever that might be. But if it's so cheap to make canoes in China, how come the prices for new canoes keep going up? Seems like the only benefit are for the canoe manufacturers.

#6 Wed, 01/11/2006 - 12:50pm

how about the fact that NASA and Boeing are quickly "consuming" all the available carbon fibre in the world which makes it harder to get = more expensive.

#7 Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:25pm

I wouldn't say that the boats from China are more expensive, if anything they are less expensive than their counterparts from Hawaii or North America. My new "made in china" Pegasus was significantly cheaper than Kai Wa'a California offered ½ year ago.

I agree that the worldwide supply of carbon fiber is strained; even a “super mileage” car team from my university can’t find enough carbon fiber for their new shell. Crazy….

#8 Wed, 01/11/2006 - 3:32pm

I wanted to ask a question to those "in the know" about the new manufactureres in China and else where.

I've heard that some factories have terminated lease agreemetns with canoe designers, seized moulds an tools then redesigned those moulds slightly before going into business themselves with a new canoe. Similar to complaints from the mid-90's from NA builders.

To me this is disturbing as a consumer as in today's world it is hard to know what you are really buying some times (history, legalities, ethics, etc.).

I know design protection / property has always been a contentious issue in boat building. As are environamental protection, pollution, etc.

Just some questions and thoughts.

Alan Carlsson

#9 Thu, 01/12/2006 - 10:06am

Although I can understand why builders are choosing to get their designs built in China from a cost/delivery point of view I don't see the benefit to North American buyers with costs not declining as a result.

Personally I like knowing that the craftmanship and manufacturing skills of "some consumer goods" is still available through skilled employable North American hands. I take Alan's note as thought provoking both environmentally and from a labour point of view knowing China's poor history from a labour relations and humanitarian stance. I would rather pay more for a boat made in Hawaii or the mainland knowing that the design, quality and integrity is close to the builders/designers and the spirit of the sport. If production volume is not sufficient then hire and train more local staff and grow to meet demand. Most companies I know of have to reinvest in their own growth rather then "farm" business out.

If it's purely a profit play for builders then I will stick with buying a boat(s) from a builder that I can be assured is made in North America. There have been other builders that have also gone to China to examine the manufacturing quality of boats that have not been happy with what comes out of China and have decided to stay away.

#10 Thu, 01/12/2006 - 5:45pm

Its very simple.

HYPR approached both Kai Waa, Huki and Karel about going to China. Karel took the info we gave him in good faith and went around and did it himself. We ALSO buy our materials from Hawaii, CA etc just like Karel, and yes our boats are also a couple pound heaver than Hawaii boats BUT they are a lot stiffer. The HULL designs are EXACTLY the same as the ones built originally in Hawaii (they are COREMAT boats, not FOAM CORE boats ) Divincel foam core is a very dense stiff foam thus a bit heavier, also it cost 10 times per yard than coremat, do the math.

Kai Bartlett was negotiating with us, we couldn't afford his royalties he demanded of 17% of sales which is higher than what Michael Jordan or even Disney gets. Giblin got kicked out of the China factoryfor "spying", decided to grab Kai and Huki to duplicate our strategy of sharing costs and technologies among different boat builders. Giblin has his own factory, hired the English guy [name removed] that was caught stealing computer files and taking pictures and plans of our boats. We had NOTHING to do with all this. It was between the Chinese company and Giblin.

Giblin decides it was EASY to blame HYPR that we were "holding his molds" when he sends the following SKYPE messag to the onwer of the factory.

Chat History with (giblin1029)

Created on 2005-11-20 00:46:23.

Michael Giblin:
I have a new autoclave, a new CNC machine, new molds, and am making new parts. My interest in dealing with this ( his own molds ) is marginal. I may actually be better off telling people how you and Foo stole my equipment.

I personally do not know Mike well. I have NO ill feelings against him and sure wish we got to know each other better but after all the DISINFORMATION out there spread between him and Kai, have to respond after MONTHS of this kind of stuff. Anyone who's interested in the entire SKYPE conversation ( we got that from SKYPE) is welcome to email me to get a copy


#11 Thu, 02/02/2006 - 11:40pm


For someone who was orginally upset that someone would go to a web forum and potentially damage the reputation of your OC-1 company, you appear to now be the one talking more "fill in here" than anyone. I support that you have passion for your company just as everyone has passion for their boats. All of this talk is really just emotions and conjecture until we have data to review. The data would be the a rundown of every OC-1 supplier, including the following number of boats sold per year, number of complaint calls, number of returned boats, number of boats returned for minor repair, number of boats returned for major repair, number of owners who got their money back, number of paddler completely satisfied.
I doubt we will ever get that information, since we would have to survey every OC-1 buyer (Not going to happen) the OC-1 suppliers provide the accurate information to us. (Not going to happen)

One thought I have is how we tend to focus on the negatives about our canoes. I have a friend who always talks about the rudder of his "fill in here" boat. All I hear about is how the rudder sucks. I ask him how likes the paint, stiffness, ama, seat. He LOVES all of those things, but again all I hear about is the rudder. I do the same thing about the rigging mechanism of my boat.

Don't take offense to the things they hate, because more than likely you'll never hear about the things they love about the boats.

I agree with you about peoples thoughts about China. When a certain manufacturer had boats built in Canada, no one said a word. Now that boats are made in China everyone is upset. That is potentially dangerous thinking. Do paddlers know where their Camelpacks, paddles, sunglasses, hats, shirts, shorts, sunscreen, slipperahs, Aloha shirts etc. are made?

#12 Fri, 02/03/2006 - 6:58am

Dude, you're really digging yourself a deep hole here.

You started off defending your canoes and your customer service, which is understandable since your company was being attacked from all directions.
Then you defended manufacturing in China which, in my opinion, you didn't have to do.
Then you defended your dream of starting your own company, which is admirable.
Then you started talking about how hard it is in this business, that got boring fast.
Now, you're attacking a competitor of yours and making serious accusations, Not to mention telling the whole world about kai's royalties. This is wrong in so many ways.

Dude, take a deep breath and calm down before you post anything else. Or better yet, let your canoes do the talking. Hurricanes had problems a few years ago and now you see more of them than any other canoe. It takes years to get everything right. Hey, noone said starting your own business would be easy. I wish you luck in your venture, but you are risking ruining your company's reputation by talking too much.

#13 Fri, 02/03/2006 - 9:21am

Everyone has to take a look at what the reps and team riders are actually racing. If I were making a decision to buy an OC-1, and I was considering an OC-1 from China, I would look at which chinese boats are used in the races by the "team riders".
I DON'T see any of the "HYPR Team" riders using boats built in China. But I DO see the Foti Brothers race with Hurricanes that have been built in China (and they always finish near the top). It tells me a lot about the confidence they have in their product. If you are going to spend almost $3000 on anything, you need to know that you are going to be completely satisified with your purchase.
As far as this guy, Ian Foo... most people that have known him long enough try to keep their distance from him. And I think everyone is starting to find out why. He's not doing this for the sport, he is doing this for his ego and for money. If he really wanted to support the sport, he would at least pay the entry fee to HIPA before he participates in the Big Island races.
If he is dictating the direction of this sport, I'll hang up my OC-1 and go surf already. I respect Karel, Kai, Tiger, Johnny and all the other boat builders for bringing the sport this far, but all you need is one dumb ass to bring the sport down. I also won't blame them for not even responding to his slander. People with bad reputations will attack the reputations of others because that is their only defense.

#14 Fri, 02/03/2006 - 10:21am

I don't think that we can say that Hypr canoes are any less better or worst then other canoes. It's just another way that paddlers can purchase canoes more quickly. I do agree that there were some flaws in some of the hypr canoes that were received. But I turned down a Hurricane, two years ago, and selected another Hurricane that had to be brought in from another island. The first Hurricane was soft, where I could push the (front/bow) inwards. The second canoe was solid, which is gladly accepted. But soon started leaking at the seat area. And you know for a fact, that the top paddlers would do well in any canoe. Its just that they are offered team member (canoe), which they took. I am sure that if a top one man canoe paddler was offered a sponsered Hypr canoe, but not from the other canoe builders, he or she would take it. There were rumors in the "Hurricane" community, that Ian Foo stole Mike Giblins mold. Well FOO did not. If you were wrongfully blame on stealing property, you would want to clear your name right, right. That's all. So I would take it easy on the guy if you don't know the whole story brah. And one more thing, each and every builder is out there trying to make to make money, or else, how are going to live.

#15 Sun, 05/07/2006 - 9:36pm

I just was talking to a manuacturer of canoes in Hawaii. Not mentioning names, but and their read on it was that if he can get the China boat manufacturing down, he can spend more time in designing and doing research and development.
Sometimes, as many have pointed out, you need to be bold, step out take chances to make things better in the long run. If boat builders spent all their time constructing boats, when do they develop better equipment?I think we all appreciate the advances in canoe design and construction and as with all things growing pains are a necessary evil.
Without new manufacturers and designs, we'd all be paddling first generation canoes like Kaiwi Challengers, Honukai, Arrows, and of course Waveblades...and waiting 6 months for delivery...

#16 Mon, 05/08/2006 - 9:01am

Ian came upon the right idea, at the right time, but is the wrong person, doing it the wrong way. Ian should stick to the equipment side of business as he does not have a hold on customer service and has no idea of the history of OC-1 paddling or the people that brought it to where it is today or that really make the sport happen behind the scenes. HYPR needs a customer service knowlegable person as it's face and voice. Ian, great idea, but stick to the factory floor making the quality you talk about and let someone who knows the big picture do the talking (and writing).
The next step for the overseas bulder is back-up customer service: repair centers, parts centers, etc. You don't buy a car you can't get repairs or parts for. Start the pipeline through the existing paddling stores.

Manini Mana`o

#17 Mon, 05/08/2006 - 12:43pm

Ian Foo has very few friends, he has burned bridges all of his is simply the way he does things and a fact.

#18 Wed, 12/10/2008 - 8:36pm

He must be dragon boating somewhere in Indochina by now...

#19 Wed, 12/10/2008 - 8:47pm

I know a bit about business and what this bloke Ian has written is unacceptable.

He has clearly violated multiple confidentiality agreements.

It is up to the damadged to seek claims. Clearly Keizo should pull his comments ASAP or this site could become embroiled in the fallout.

I'd yank them now Keizo.



#20 Wed, 12/10/2008 - 9:42pm

As fun as it is to throw jabs- enough already- put your energies towards something that may do some good somewhere.

#21 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 12:06am

You guys do realize the thread is 2 years old???


#22 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 2:48am

Somethings are timeless, then again, somethings are worth less time.

#23 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 5:06am

'ouwbout a decent Chinese made OC-1 for $2500.

Now that would be worth something!

#24 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 8:54am

I purchased a China made Pegasus and am thrilled to death with it. It is light, 20lbs, and super solid and rigid.I also got it in about 10 days because Tom had a few extra, maybe I was just lucky on that. I think the factories are getting better and better at putting out a good product. My Hurricane is also China built and have had no problems at all with it.
Just my 2 cents.

#25 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 11:50am

Keep the dollars at home, and get the best boat on the market! Buy Kamanu! No environmental destruction or human rights violations required...

#26 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 3:16pm

According to rumours, just an 8 month wait and you might get one.

#27 Thu, 12/11/2008 - 4:17pm

Not everybody is in a position to buy a hawaiian made canoe. Some china boats are fine. I personally feel way better when I'm in open ocean water knowing that my builder has been in way worse conditions I thought my china made pegasus was very well built. Just happens that the design of my zephyr seems to suit me better. But not all china boats are created equal, end of story.

#29 Sat, 12/13/2008 - 3:06pm

Not everybody is in a position to buy a hawaiian made canoe. Some china boats are fine. I personally feel way better when I'm in open ocean water knowing that my builder has been in way worse conditions I thought my china made pegasus was very well built. Just happens that the design of my zephyr seems to suit me better. But not all china boats are created equal, end of story.

#30 Sat, 12/13/2008 - 3:08pm

Not everybody is in a position to buy a hawaiian made canoe. Some china boats are fine. I personally feel way better when I'm in open ocean water knowing that my builder has been in way worse conditions I thought my china made pegasus was very well built. Just happens that the design of my zephyr seems to suit me better. But not all china boats are created equal, end of story.

#31 Sat, 12/13/2008 - 3:08pm

Not everybody is in a position to buy a hawaiian made canoe. Some china boats are fine. I personally feel way better when I'm in open ocean water knowing that my builder has been in way worse conditions I thought my china made pegasus was very well built. Just happens that the design of my zephyr seems to suit me better. But not all china boats are created equal, end of story.

#32 Sat, 12/13/2008 - 3:08pm

running up the post count?

#33 Sat, 12/13/2008 - 3:49pm

jibofo, it really is the end of the story.

btw not sure where the 8 month wait for a pueo rumor came from. last i heard the list was no more than 3 months. but could be wrong.

the easy way to know for sure would be to call them. i think the ad link on ocpaddler will direct you to the right contact info.

#34 Sat, 12/13/2008 - 8:44pm

So how do we find these companies in China that are building these OC1?

#35 Wed, 08/20/2014 - 5:56am

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