what are the top 5 one man canoe's

I had a question I wanted to know if you all could help me? My brother is doing a report and wanted to know your opinion on what you think the top five one man canoe's are based on performance and price????

Submitted by paddlegirl on Thu, 03/04/2004 - 8:02pm

:shock: Wow! tough question. Everybody has a different opinion on this one. Just look at the discussions in the other forum about the canoes that are out there.

#1 Fri, 03/05/2004 - 8:41am

Flatwater? - C-Lion, Surfrigger, Makia
Bigwater? -gawd, too many to list.

#2 Fri, 03/26/2004 - 4:40pm


#3 Wed, 06/02/2004 - 2:29pm


#4 Thu, 06/03/2004 - 9:47am

Put the best paddler in any one of those boats and he/she will win. Most of the boats are getting fairly similar in shape and size. As more R&D is done on shapes everyone is getting closer to the same thing at the water line and below. I think its just a matter of comfort for the individual. :?

#5 Thu, 06/03/2004 - 1:52pm

I havent see the new Fusion but it's placed well this year. The other canoe I would keep my eye on is that new Kaku. It's no wonder your starting to see them everywhere. Both the Hurricane and Pegasus are solid rides as well. The Stingray offers the most comfortable ride of all but I'd only trust it if it came from Karel's shop. That Canadian shop has yet to make a good ride. I dont agree with the prior comment on the Surfrigger or C-lion. These two canoes are real sluggs. That was the reason the C-lion was shelfed a few years back. The new c-lion has no changes at all. It's just another cock-pit canoe designed to keep your feet dry and thats about all it is good for.

#6 Mon, 06/14/2004 - 5:10am

i have to disagree with you about both the fusion and the sea lion.... the fusion has not placed well all year, karel did well in one race, the solo, and i dont really think that the canoe was the reason that he won.. but i've never been in one and don't know anyone who has, so i cannot say that much about it.
On the other hand i have a lot of experience in a sea lion, and i loved it the whole time.. i do 15 minute circles of a resevoir as my training so i can get a pretty exact time trial out of that, and in my old, relatively heavy sea lion my times were comparable to that of a pegasus (which is my favorite canoe-- closely followed by a waveblade or polaris)... in the flat water a sea lion is deffinetely a very fast canoe, especially the new c-lions out of canada since they are much lighter than the one i had..

#7 Mon, 06/14/2004 - 11:01am

15 minutes on a resevoir? The C-Lion is crap and there is no two ways about it. I met a guy at a race earlier this year up in washington state. He said he owned the C-lion manufacturing plant and built them in Canada. I later found out he was not too truthful about that and he only sells them part-time. Actually I see he's part of this conversation, but he told me the they were selling canoes into prarie clubs up in canada and it took up all their production time. I thought that was great getting people on the water and all, but Liuke how can you tell me that you'd take that canoe out into the surf? Why would anyone even concider taking a cock-pitted canoe out? And those canadian boats, the vancouver club mates were telling me they were real heavy canoes and they used them because they were free.

#8 Tue, 06/15/2004 - 4:48am


you really hate the c-lion dont you?
15 minutes on a resevoir?
i do a lot of 15 minute circles, and pegasus compared to sea-lion (i'm pretty sure that the new canoe is the c-lion and the one i have is the sea-lion) is always pretty close... that is in perfectly flat water, i would never dream of taking it into the surf, but just because it isn't designed for the surf does not make it a bad canoe. I have no doubt that cockpit canoes are better canoes for the flat water than non-cockpit ones. Im pretty sure that all they use in Tahiti (where the fastest flat water paddlers are from) are cockpit sit-inside canoes. Have you been in a sea-lion or c-lion? What did you not like about it specifically? Is it the amazing glide after each stroke, or the power you can get off of your legs because of the seating position?

#9 Tue, 06/15/2004 - 4:41pm

I think I agree with luke, that the canoe is not the one that won the race. It really depends on the paddler, conditions, etc. Im sure if Jr paddled a Honu, he could still whoop some okole.

#10 Wed, 06/16/2004 - 2:15pm

good to see some people actually have opinions for once!!!!

As for ripping on 15 minute runs...
The top Australian paddleboarders, the best long distance paddleboarders in the world...in all conditions. Use 1K flat water time trials to monitor training progress. Open mouth, insert your foot when ready... :lol:

#11 Wed, 06/16/2004 - 10:47pm

No ones ripping on 15min trial runs. We all know the value of sprint training and the effects when the skills are put to work in an actual race.
The question was what are the top 5 canoes? One of the answers came back supporting the Surfrigger and the C-Lion as the first two. We are not playing hockey or baseball where equipment is somewhat affordable and you can own more than one bat or stick. We are paddling canoes that range in price from $2000 - $5000. Few of us own more than one. To meet a creditation of top 5 it will need to perform in both the flats and the swells at a level above average. The cockpit canoes just simply dont achieve that.
I go back to my original message. That new Fusion is doing well. It's not just with jr. Look at the lines on that canoe alone, they've decreased the chines and lowered the seating position and raised the ama. The Stingray walked all over the majority of canoes in flats and swells and with the reduction of chines alone the new fusion will increase it's performance on the flats. The Polaris, the Pegasus and most importantly that new Kaku, I think it's a Kaiman or something like that. I think JP may have something big there.
When you make the comment that the paddler makes the boat it is only 50% true. The canoe also makes the paddler. There is no was jr could have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd paddling a surfrigger or c-lion in the championship race.

#12 Thu, 06/17/2004 - 4:40am

The Fusion, Stingray, Polaris and Pahoa are bigger boats in todays market. You should be in the 200 lb range minimum to move these boats effectively in the flat water. In the surf, I think that a small or big guy can surf these bigger boats effectively.
The Hurricane, Vantage, Pegasus & Naia Iki are the skinny 14" wide boats in todays market. I feel that in the flatter water or smaller bumps these boats are faster than the wider ones but you have to be on the lighter side to use these boats in the big surf where the big boats have an advantage. It is definitely a tradeoff and you have to see where you will be most effective.
As far as good boats, I feel that all the above boats are the top boats. I would like to see Karel make a 14" wide Fusion or Stingray and I feel that would be one of the best boats. I heard rumors that he will so we will see. The Fusion is a little too wide to get the flatwater speed if you are 150 to 180 lbs when you compare it to the glide on the Hurricane or other skinny boats. Just my opinion.

#13 Thu, 06/17/2004 - 8:31am

good points "brudda"

#14 Thu, 06/17/2004 - 1:03pm

disregarding price and which boats are all around good boats... all i'm trying to say is that the c-lion is a competitive flat water canoe.. i disagree, i think karel would have still come top three in a c-lion if there was absolutely no wind and no swell... it's a flat water canoe, and for the prices that they are going for (i got mines for 1200 used and would have payed much more) they are pretty unbeatable... and i'm not sure where your coming from in saying that the stingray walked all over the competition.... i dont know who else was walking all over the competition in it besides karel.. i strongly disagree that the paddler makes the boat is only 50% true... these top guys, karel, kai, mike judd, danny ching... it doesnt matter at all what they're paddling, any canoe can be great as long as the paddler paddling it is great.. i'll be far behind whether i'm in a pegasus, fusion or kaimana, and kai, karel, and danny will be far ahead whether they're in any of those canoes.. whatever is most comfortable works, all canoes are good in certain conditions and not so good in certain conditions, nobody knows which canoe is the best all around canoe... i would vote for the pegasus but thats only because i have experience in it, and i cannot argue against someone who would vote for something else (Keizo put up a poll!)

#15 Thu, 06/17/2004 - 7:33pm

"Is it the amazing glide after each stroke, or the power you can get off of your legs because of the seating position?" -luke

I come from a rowing background. Thus I'm bias in saying that any time you can use your legs for power that it's a good thing; it aids in increasing and/or sustaining hull speed. On flat water, I prefer a boat where I can apply some power from the legs and lowerback, without upsetting the run of the boat. The design of the hull is a good start, but equally important is the engine pulling the hull down the course.

I'd say the Hurricane is strong in the bumps and average on the flat water. I can get a Huki moving much faster on the flatwater than I can a Hurricane. But in the bumps the Hurricane kicks the Huki's butt.

#16 Thu, 07/15/2004 - 10:03am

I've been watching this discussion and thought i'd throw my 2cents in.
I think you have to be real wealthy to catagorize a canoe. If I was I'd own a few differnt models so I could choose my ride based on the current conditions. I live on Canada's west coast in Victoria. We have all sorts of weather here. Flat water in the harbour and if it's blowing we don have to go far to play in the bumps. I've had Stingrays (a few of them) for the past few years. When I got into solo's I heard the Stingray was good and it was being manufactured here in town too. I liked them, their a good ride. I sold mine in March and ordered a new one, they told me it would be august before I get it. I was in a position without a full-time ride so I went looking. C-lion was my first stop. After just a few strokes I could bring that canoe to a glide.... it just felt real uncomfortable to me. I'm about 6' and 200+lbs. If it was a sit on top and a lot lighter I'd have bought it. The cockpit thing doesnt work for me. I tried the Elua and really liked it. Nice ride, real light but I found it a slug to turn. I'd race guys that were my caliber and take them in as long as I didnt have to turn. Everytime I'd have to turn I'd watch a Stingray pass me by. I e-mailed JP @ Kaku and he sold me on the Kaimana. He built me a ride and lent it to Danny for the two races over there before he shipped it out. Nice ride! It takes the bumps nicer than my Stingray. Compared to my paddling buddies locally I've still held my own in the flats too.
As for the big guy/small guy boat stuff, I really think the paddler makes the canoe. At least it's proven that way for me.
I think the top canoe is the one you place the best in concistantly in all conditions. My vote is for the Kaimana for both bumps and flats, then the stingray, then the Elua. Then any other canoe I dont have to bail when I huli.... (i do that a lot). It will be interesting next month when my Stingray is finished to see what I paddle more often.

#17 Fri, 07/16/2004 - 4:27pm

I would be curious to see what the beam on the Fusion is at the waterline in comparison to the beam of the smaller volume boats like the Pegasus, Hurricane, or Naia Iki. It looks to me that the Fusion's beam is all way above the waterline (to incorporate the higher sides that make it so comfortable?). The beam at the waterline will depend on your weight, lighter paddlers will sit higher and have a reduced beam at the waterline (the only place it counts in the flat water?). The increased beam only comes into play in the waves where, to me, it is acting as reserve bouyancy and helping the canoe to catch the waves (going down wind... up wind I think it would hurt the lighter guys). Just my opinion... Any Naval Architects out there want to chime in?

#18 Sun, 07/18/2004 - 10:04pm

keizo is majoring in aeronautical engineering... i think he can chime in with a relative amount of authority

#19 Sun, 07/18/2004 - 10:39pm

Hey guys and girls,

I have been out of the canoe for a little while now and have not had the pleasure of paddeling some of the kanu you guys have but as far as surf goes forget a cockpit, if you can use a cockpit kanu its not real surf.

From what I can see the designs are getting closer as somebody already said, but the main thing is find something you like and are comfortable with.

Have a nice wave of a day.

#20 Thu, 10/14/2004 - 2:02pm

I paddle a Stingray (the Current Designs canoe, which has held up pretty well here although its all I've ever paddled) in Newfoundland Canada. The water temperature out here is very very cold (sometimes close to freezing and we have icebergs in mid summer). I do not understand the need for a cockpit in an OC-1. I wear either a wetsuit or a goretex drysuit by necessity when I paddle here. I am always WARM ENOUGH, even in the ocean in a big wind. I think that the essential safety factor here is getting back on board quickly after a huli. Having a cockpit would seem to slow you down. This is my opinion. Any other OC-1 paddlers out there in Newfoundland?

#21 Sat, 10/16/2004 - 11:37am

The Hurricanes are only good for flat water, if you took them out in to a good size swell they would fold as soon as the nose of the boat hit the bottom of the wave. Zulu's are very good boats for both flat and swell. Then there is wave blade "piranah" would probably be the best boat for the swell. The new sea-lion are as bad as apachies, now if you wont to see a slug this boat is it, this boat will break in what ever the conditions are. These boats shouldn't even be menufactured.

#22 Sun, 10/17/2004 - 7:10pm

i have to stronly dissagree about the sealion. I only used the original one, but nobody can complain about the quality construction of the canoe and if it's used in flat water nobody should complain about its speed.

#23 Sun, 10/17/2004 - 9:13pm


#24 Tue, 10/19/2004 - 9:00pm

I have to agree with Pete above. I had a chance to paddle a few boats this year (Huki, Stingray, Kaimana). I am not a big guy weight and height wise (190lbs@5'9") but the boat I loved the most and was very comfortable and fast in was the Kaku Kaimana from John Puakea. The boat surfs great and pics up every little bump and it's pretty fast in flat stuff as well. It's easily the most versatile boat I have ever paddled in so far.

I loved it and just bought one. Try, try, try before you buy. That is the best advice I can give you.

#25 Fri, 08/26/2005 - 8:20am

personally i would only ever buy a boat that was made by karel. his design is always the most advanced. i know here in australia the quality is poor but the boats such as fusion and stingray,made by karel, are far superior in quality and design than any other canoe on the market. i feel it is a shame he licensed other people to make his canoes as it has perhaps, had a bad effect on the performance of his canoe. the difference between manufacturing a boat at karels shop in hawaii compared to what they put out here in australia is phenomenal. For you folks in Hawaii Karel's boats are the highest quality of what you have over there and they are continually improving their designs. Plus the results prove it. Junior wins because he trains hard and his father designs boats that will give him a huge advantage, he paddles boats that are far more advanced than any other canoe in the world - every season!!!

#26 Fri, 08/26/2005 - 10:00pm

I agree. So what about the Fuse?

#27 Sat, 08/27/2005 - 12:06am

broke the nose off.

#28 Tue, 08/30/2005 - 12:02am


#29 Sun, 08/31/2008 - 5:32pm

What about the scorpius? Looking through the photos in the last series of the big Hawaiian race series there are a TON of them out there. I was so excited to give one a try but the Chinese ones are not going to be in for a few more months. I think it is the coolest looking OC-1 I have ever seen and I am hoping in has enough vol to float my big butt. Kind of like a big peg with a seatwell that mated with a zephyr.

I own a Fusion. The quality is great and the vol is good for my weight but the cockpit is not that comfortable for the way I am built so I am still waiting for my perfect ride. Also there are not usually any waves here in So Cal (relative to other places) so in addition to my lack of skills, the great surfing ability will go unappreciated.

I talked to Kai and he said the scorp would float me at 255 and would be faster than the polaris (the other canoe he suggested) in the flat water. Cant wait to give the scorpius a try.

#30 Sun, 08/31/2008 - 6:01pm


#31 Sun, 08/31/2008 - 7:46pm

I agree....PUEO

#32 Sun, 08/31/2008 - 9:58pm

KA NALU NUI...............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#33 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 9:19am

It is clearly a matter of personal preference. Nobody has compared the boats, not even the basic technical specs are known.

They all have specific characteristics and may be good for one and not for the other, good in one condition and not good in the other.

You could as well ask: 'Which surfboard is the top surfboard ?'

trial: http://www.oc1design.blogspot.com
(please bear with me I am trying to set up a blog)

#34 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 1:03am

None of the current boats really qualifies; but it depends on what you want.

Here is my reason: A racing canoe must be optimized for you;
but the manufacturers offer a 'one size fits all' approach.

As an analogy: try to ride a bicycle road race over 50 miles on a bike too small, uncomfortable seat, wrong tires or else.
Same with a canoe - if the trim of the boat is off because you are not sitting in the sweet spot it will affect your performance.

I would like to see a small, medium, large, extra large series of each model with the option to place the cockpit according to individual needs.
This creates much more work and is not optimal economically - maybe the future will allow this type of production.

#35 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 10:16am

Amen. This is a lot easier for paddleboarders and standup paddlers...a lot of that stuff is custom. If you are heavier a lot of the top boards can be made 10% bigger etc. Of course they are simpler machines. I know Tiger builds his oc-1 to put you centered on the boat

#36 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 10:22am

"I know Tiger builds his oc-1 to put you centered on the boat"

How does he do that?

I think its feasible to design a canoe that is substantially more "tunable". It will happen when the market demands it and I think we're getting close to that point. Im sure there was a time when only one type of tire was made, no?

#37 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 11:09am

He builds the pahoa custom to your inseam to get the seat in the right place, I think there is more about this on the web site.

#38 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 11:18am

I skipped over most of this to add one point, The Original Sealion made by Dee Van Winkle in San Diego, It was a top selling boat at the time, Prior to the addition of new manufacturers, He stopped building the boat due to physical limitations, He simply could not stand long enough to lay up the boat before the resin went off, This was just before his third new hip, and I believe a new knee, I remember I was at his shop once and he showed me a neat trick, he bent his knee at 90 degrees then shifted the lower part of his leg about 2" in towards his rear, One of the grossest things I have ever seen a body part do, You are way off base about why the SEALION was shelved. Dee is the toughest paddler you will ever meet. His involvement and dedication to the sport has helped put OC paddling in So Cal where it is today, Dee deserves more respect than what you are showing and how you are bashing his canoe, Also keep in mind the design is well over 10 years old, "Paddler" remind me again what canoe you designed?????

In addition lets make sure we are talking about the same design, A tiger Pahoa is not the same as A Hypr pahoa, A Sealion is not the same as a C-lion, A Karel Stingray is not a We-No-Nah Stingray.

Luke had a Dee Sealion (I know I sold it too him)

Sorry to go off, This one struck a nerve, Please as OCP members lets try and remember that we all want the same thing, (i Think) to learn, share, and grow our sport, But ask yourself this when you post "Would I say what I am writing, If I were face to face with others" I am fairly certain that if you know Dee you would never say to his face that his boat sucked.

EDITORS NOTE: I didn't realize this was a four year old string until I read the "best off string", However my view still stands.

#39 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 12:50pm

I tell you what... Bring all your boats to One location: start w/ a flat water, 5 mile piece, let a bunch of people do the time trial, on different boats, then let them decide. Make sure they're all the same weight and material, then let the facts speak. Same goes for downwind.: Set up a HKai run, a Makai to Kailua, and a Maliko or Keokea. How'bout Kalihiwai to Haena
Symposium/ workshop. This should really settle it AND, we would all learn so much about the sport...

#40 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 7:39pm

Oh, I paddled w/ Dee @ Kai Elua when Ako was our coach: Ther is only one Dee Van Winkle.

#41 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 7:46pm

Keep in mind, the more custom a canoe, the more sizes and models available from each builder, the more expensive each one will be. I know we all want the perfect canoe but I think if more people did more research and demo rides before buying, more people would find the right canoe the first time. I think its tougher for newer paddlers because as your skill level increases, your wants and needs change. I may be way out in left field with this as I too am a novice paddler but this is exactly what happened to me. I had 4 canoes before I found what I feel is ALMOST the perfect canoe for me, but each one felt great at first. People keep asking, and people on here keep saying "try em" and yet people keep asking..."which is the best canoe for me"?

#42 Mon, 09/01/2008 - 7:49pm

The best OC1 is the one you got now .... ride it often.


#43 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 1:50am

True that, Rambo.

#44 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 2:28am

Im having a difficult time deciding whats the best OC1 .

For me , Ive narrowed it down to two boats. Its going to be either Fuze or Zephyr .

At 172 pounds of pure raw power , both boats go well for me . They are comfortable , fast and very fast downwind.

The chines give me confidence to know that I`ll be leaving town in a hurry when the bumps get big enough to make chine effect a factor.

The women here on Casco Bay have seen speeds approaching 20 mph on thier gps`s riding Fuzes on good days.


#45 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 3:16am

Rip into him Mafia. Hahaha.


#46 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 3:20am

Bring it on . As a well ensconsed member of the mafia myself , I`m ready for all attacks and charachter assasination attempts.....hahhahah


#47 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 3:24am

Who needs technical specs when your canoe makes you faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? That's right ladies and gentlemen. Karel must be from Krypton because my zephyr turns me into superman. If you buy one today, you can be superman or superwoman also.

Also note, I have no financial interest in selling these canoes, unlike many of the others above, so you can absolutely believe my unbiased opinion. A final note, my zephyr motors at 30 mph when I just think about paddling.

#48 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 3:31am

Good on you Zephyrrider for resurecting this old thread.


#49 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 3:34am

Mafia has been known to turn on it's own Fuzy. Only safe place might be up on the roof of the Camper with the Zephyrs. Hahaha

Cheers rambo

#50 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 3:38am

Two points:

1) fuzerider is NOT in the mafia.
2) I resurrected this thread, bitches.

#51 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 5:32am

gangplank t' th' mafia be nereclaimed, 't first must be given.

nice try confuzie.

#52 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 8:45am

Oh thank god........some controversy. I have people begging me to start something with poops cuz they are getting bored.
I concur with rambo.....besides whats all the talk about canoes? Wouldnt you rather have the SKILLS of Jr, or Kai or Danny with any ol canoe?

#53 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 9:19am

Real paddling skill with a single blade is needed when a mechanically operated rudder isnt doing the steering. Otherwise the "which one man canoe based on performance and price" question is best answered by the old surfski argument -- which is both cheaper and faster.

Of course the OCP mafia think that a double blade will give an OC1 the performance edge downwind...... maybe so. if paddling is reduced to propulsion only.

#54 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 4:03pm

question is best answered by the old surfski argument — which is both cheaper and faster.

is there any other criteria? i would want the fastest boat, and pay the cheapest price...does a rudderless change the criteria? am i missing something? isn't that what people are asking? besides comfort...

#55 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 6:35pm

Real paddling skill with a single blade is needed when a mechanically operated rudder isnt doing the steering.

Real paddling skill with a single blade and a mechanically operated rudder is needed to make a vessel seaworthy in real open ocean paddling conditions as found on the windward side of the Hawaiian Islands. :)

http://oc1design.blogspot.com blog,beta version

#56 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 7:43pm

One man canoe, performance and cost are the operative words in this thread.
'SKILL' was introduced in the context of outrigger canoe handling, which has related to single blade technique for thousands of years; in many places besides the Hawaiian Islands.
OK! this is tradition -- the single blade technique required to power and steer a canoe needing a stabilising outrigger, and the inevitable argument is to junk this technique fro the sake of performance.
Fine! but why hamper performance and increase cost at all by sticking to tradition then.
Besides, a craft that can go equally well to the left or the right on a wave is surely the better one for the windward side, if this criteria is more impotant than anything else.

#57 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 8:34pm

I'm with goodwaka !

#58 Tue, 09/02/2008 - 10:30pm

Todays Hawaiian OC1 are not thousands of years old.
A discussion about tradition does not fit.

The current sit on top design and the addition of a rudder is about 30 years old; it makes these OC 1 seaworthy for the Molokai Hoe, windward etc..

Tahitian boats are different. Good - they are seaworthy in Tahitian conditions, very nice vessels and a pleasure to paddle in rather flat conditions.

I don't see the point of comparing the two designs. They are both adaptations for the intended use..

You need skill to paddle any boat.

#59 Wed, 09/03/2008 - 1:03am

Skill involved in pushing some or other mechanism on one side to go the left
or the other to go right may be challenging to some, but it is certainly not
a skill relevant to a high order of single blade technique.

Sure! Rudder/pedal steering is a surfski adaptation of fairly recent origin
and not even of Hawaiian origin, so the Hawaiian label is really just
marketing hype.

Hawaii, Tahiti, wherever, it makes no difference to the single blade skills
required in paddling technique - - if it boils down to the actual paddling

This 30 year old surfski/outrigger hybrid that industrial America is using
Hawaii as a promotional springboard for is actually a new development.
Tradition is conveniently used as a marketing ploy where it pays, but
discarded when it raises questions. If tradition really has nothing to do
with it, then OC could just as well stand for OUTRIGGER COMMODITY.

Performance of a one man paddling craft with reference to cost is what fits
in this discussion, and lumbering any craft with costly performance
hindering components for traditions sake is the rub. But sticking with components that are traditional although less efficient, for the sake of exercising relevant skills, is certainly what outrigger paddling is all about.

#60 Wed, 09/03/2008 - 3:51pm

goodwaka, I must be missing something in this thread. What does the one have to do with the other ?

If you speak to preserve tradition and the traditional skill - wonderful.
Certainly it is a specific skill to paddle without rudder.

What I do not understand: does it bother you that people put a rudder under a boat ? If so, why ?

I am not sure about the concept of 'tradition': where I come from, nothing is the same anymore. The grass fields and forests where I played as a boy are plastered with concrete and condominiums. Dance and singing have been lost, hand craft is dying, traditional values in families are not respected. I regret that, and in that sense I am traditional.

But things have always been changing, from the very beginning: the change of times.
So what is 'tradition'; it is a way of saying that you support of and love what your ancestors did. Changes happen all the time and nothing will stop that.

The Hawaiian and Tahitian paddling traditions are for Hawaiians and Tahitians. Others can join as guests. I don't see a conflict.

A traditional Va'a is made out of wood. Is that correct ?

#61 Wed, 09/03/2008 - 4:45pm


what we're doing is not really skillful, and may not even be considered paddling, and is just an extension of industrial america (tresnak, bartlett, puakea, guild, tiger, blyth, etc) foisting itself upon the whole paddling world. we should just wake up and do what you do and stop pretending. you should determine what constitutes paddling. you are the best.

is that what you want to hear?

#62 Wed, 09/03/2008 - 5:42pm

Goodwaka, we all admire and respect those that can paddle rudderless, and most of us I'm sure would love the opportunity to do so (paddle rudderless) But we ruddered paddlers have chosen to place a high priority on downwind outrigger paddling and a need to achieve a reasonable level of competency in a short period of time.

We may venture down the rudderless track at some time in the future, but until then can we please not be bombarded with personal opinions on which is superior.

The ocean is big enough for all of us and thankfully we have a huge choice of rides to choose from, both ruddered and rudderless.

We are all brothers of the single blade.

Peace Man

Cheers Rambo

#63 Wed, 09/03/2008 - 6:44pm

Tradition should not be "no change from now".
Tradition has always been evolving. At the beginning of every race we pray the Lord... my ancestors weren't christians. Our "traditional" rudderless canoes are made of polyester or epoxy...??? I rig mine with rubber... I don't even know how to lash it properly with a rope. I want to learn but can't find anyone who can teach.
Polynesians have always created new boats... even canoes without ama in Aotearoa...
In Tahiti, "Traditional" has a new meaning... When you ask why we do things in a certain way, if you are answered something about tradition it means : "F--k the shut up and stop asking questions I don't know the answer".

#64 Wed, 09/03/2008 - 11:12pm

RAMBO, you just hit the nail
HIRO, same as above!

#65 Thu, 09/04/2008 - 2:14am


Fitting a rudder to a canoe is not a problem. When the canoe can be paddled well if the rudder is removed puts such a canoe in a performance category to suit both skilled and less skilled single blade paddlers.

Tradition has nothing to do with a boats performance, in fact better
performance is achieved when traditional components are discarded. This we
know to be the case with downwind one man's anyway.

Your 'open class (OC)' is a good idea, take away all restrictions and let
innovation run free. At the same time keep the old class (the traditional
Polynesian outrigger canoe) alive, to perpetuate the skills aspect of single
blade handling.

Wood is cellulose fibre bonded by a natural process and shaped into a boat
with a lot of wastage. Substitution of wood by man made fibres with adhesive bonding makes perfect
sense, besides being practical.
Racial or geographical eligibility has
nothing to do with basic canoe design or paddling skills, unless for reason
of promotional hype.

Dacho, Rambo:

Carry on bombarding the paddling scene with downwind stuff. It is nevertheless practical
and cost effective to ride bumps of water with a board, when the bumps
hollow out into decent waves, or else paddle canoes in all conditions with
or without rudders. Call paddling and surfing traditional, or not, but the
skills to do so have been around for ages and will still be around as long
as we live.

Strange that voicing an opinion that people don't need to spend excess money
on craft embodying the latest aerospace technology, in order to access only
one set of water conditions, gets you pissed.

#66 Thu, 09/04/2008 - 12:05pm

Goodwaka - thanks for clarifying.

Recently I took my rudder off for a good week - the World Sprints were at hand.

This is an extremely valid exercise.

It is a pain to paddle several miles on one side in strong winds and waves, then paddle back on the other side.
Winds and waves can be so strong over here that it really is not suitable to paddle on luv.

It is not quite the same as paddling a rudderless canoe - ex your feet don't have the paddles to push against, the seat is different.

#67 Thu, 09/04/2008 - 12:33pm

..... not to mention the rudderless canoe is longer, higher above the waterline and tracks differently to an OC1 with rudder removed. A true Va'a however is a pleasure to paddle ...... in the right conditions.

Cheers Rambo

#68 Thu, 09/04/2008 - 12:55pm


#69 Thu, 09/04/2008 - 1:38pm

Downwind one man's have length of just over 20 foot, a length which suits
average competitive paddler physique (given power to weight ratio of lean
compact human form) as well as wave formation with size enough for surfing,

Twenty foot shipping containers very conveniently suit the transport of this
size boat, so it has become the standard size. But this is too short for
rudderless efficiency and also the higher seating position of a V1 affords
better paddle control, so design requirements are mutually unnatainable.

Where a 20 foot sit-on is suited to running with bumps, a V1 will go better
when paddled up wind into the same conditions because the nose volumes of
the two types differ... horses for courses? Or maybe just proof that
development has been limited to 2 specific but different sets of conditions.

#70 Thu, 09/04/2008 - 5:06pm

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.295 seconds.