Kainalu and Wainui

anyone tried john puakea's new kainalu?? What's it like?? How's about Maui's new wainui?? looks pretty cool.

Submitted by kainoa on Tue, 05/16/2006 - 8:48pm

I've used the Kainalu a couple of times. I have never paddled slower the first time i used it-- it made me want to quit paddling. But, after that, it just kept on getting significantly faster every time i used it. By about the fifth time i think that i was going almost the same speed on it as i go on my Waveblade. It surfs very different from anything that i have ever been on, in that it drops in in funny ways--- but it just takes getting used to. So if you're going to try it out, make sure you try it a couple of times before you pass judgement on it. I hated it, but over the course of a week grew to really like it.

The Wainui looks really good, especially that ama, and Maui is doing really well in it... so i'm sure it's a good canoe.

#1 Wed, 05/17/2006 - 11:52am

reading over my post again... i just want to clarify it a little bit. The Kainalu is definitely a really good canoe. Just if you go and demo it, make sure you use it a couple of times. At least for me, it was really really hard in the beginning, but it got faster and faster over the course of a week, until by the end of the week, i was going just as fast as i can on my own canoe. That says a lot for it-- that after using it five times it can go the same speed as something i've used for six years.
And the canoe definitely proved itself today... by placing third in a big channel.

#2 Sun, 05/21/2006 - 4:53pm


What is different between this new boat and the Kaimana. I have a Kaimana and I love it. Has the hull shape changed significantly between the two boats? I know John was lowering the deck and seat for the new Kainalu based on the original Kaimana specs.

#3 Mon, 05/22/2006 - 7:39am

I'm not really sure what the exact difference is. It seems a lot smaller and i guess he also moved the seat more forward. Where the Kaimana seems kind of big and... unwieldy... the Kainalu is now fast and maneuverable. It has that small boat feel instead of a big boat feel. So it's pretty different. I think that someone else can probably say more about it though.

#4 Mon, 05/22/2006 - 8:23am

I never feel the current Kaimana is unweildy. I actually feel it tracks real well and rides bumps awesome and is pretty good in the flats too. The seat and deck is a little higher than I would like but I can live with that. Having the deck lower will help in the wind/chop for sure by reducing drag so even if that is the sum of changes in the Kainalu it will be a much better Kaimana and would explain why the boat feels smaller.

#5 Mon, 05/22/2006 - 10:33am

I tried Maui's boat the day after the Kauai relay. It is super comfortable and really maneauverable. The thing was a rocket on the waves. I could jump on waves even though they were stacking up a little from the current. The new ama design is really nice, easy to fly and light on the water without being tippy. I think he has a good thing going with this boat. I was disappointed he couldn't race yesterday, would have loved to have seen how the boat did in the solo.

#6 Mon, 05/22/2006 - 10:47am

I've only been in a Kaimana three times, and the one time in the surf i had a teeny california rudder... so i was having some trouble with it. Maybe it's not unwieldy...
I think he changed it more than just lowering the deck.. even with my lack of experience in a Kaimana... the Kainalu felt completely different.

#7 Mon, 05/22/2006 - 11:27am

Must have been the rudder Luke. Mine is not teeny and the boat tracks like it's on rails and turns and shifts direction like a dream. Now you guys got me really stoked on this Kainalu; if it's a better boat than the Kaimana it must be one hell of a boat!

#8 Mon, 05/22/2006 - 4:00pm

I haven't tried a Kainalu myself so everything I know about it is anecdotal.
Everyone that I have talked to, excluding Luke, have raved about it. I talked to a guy today that had just taken it out for a test run from Hawaii Kai and was very happy with it. He said not only did it surf well but when he dropped into larger swells it cleared the water easily and did not require him to lay back to keep it from pearling. Imagine after he does the recomended four or five runs!
I've talked to several other people who test rode and were very happy with it. Two of them put their money down after the first test ride.
Another thing that I'm sure has caught a lot of peoples attention is Danny Chings 3rd place finish in the Solo Molo. And this is a guy who, up until now, has been pegged as a flat water paddler, not a surfer. How's that. Third place in the Solo and he didn't catch a single bump :).

#9 Sun, 05/28/2006 - 7:47pm

Just to clarify again--- because i was exluded from verylowtide's list of people who like the Kainalu.... i know that i did start off my first post by saying that my first time on the Kainalu made me want to quit paddling-- but the thing is a very fast canoe-- it just takes a couple of times to get used to (at least for me). Just thought i'd say that again.........
I bet Danny didn't catch a single bump in the channel, but he probably passed like eight guys paddling upwind into Hawaii Kai. Nah---- it was probably all cause of that secret polish he busted out for the race in an unmarked water bottle.....
You stop thinking that California guys cant surf when you try and paddle with them in light winds--- they pick up every teeny little bump and leave you behind--

#10 Sun, 05/28/2006 - 9:35pm

Danny is a phenomenal paddler both on the flats and on the surf. Thus, I wouldn't attribute his 3rd place finish at Molokai solely to his boat.

Remember it's the paddler who makes the boat and not vise-versa

#11 Mon, 05/29/2006 - 8:37am

any pictures available of either?

#12 Wed, 05/31/2006 - 4:39pm

Only ones I have seen so far are the ones on Y2kanu for the Solo 2006. They are very small however so you really can't see much. Looks like a lower profile Kaimana.

#13 Fri, 06/02/2006 - 9:24am

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.199 seconds.