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  Updated: 3/1/2018

Visitor Paddling Program

Visitors and Maui residents often ask about paddling when they see our bright red and gold wa`a's (canoes) in the waters off Kihei, Wailea, Makena and Maalaea. In answer, we offer a visitor paddling program which includes an introduction to Hawaiian Culture, instruction in outrigger canoe paddling, and discussion of the local sea life. Paddling sessions usually begin with E Ala E, a traditional chant to welcome the rising sun. This is followed by paddling instruction. Canoes launch about 8:00am and return approximately 9:00am. Depending on conditions, we may paddle to an outer reef to see large sea turtles, venture out to observe whales or head north toward Kealia Pond and Sugar Beach. After returning we end the program with a Mahalo chant to give thanks to the land, the sea and to Hawaiian deities such as na kupuna (ancestors) and na aumakua (family gods.)

Green sea turtles (honu) abound in close proximity to the club and paddlers are very likely to see them up close. There’s also a chance to see dolphins and large rays. The biggest thrill comes during whale (kohala) season (December-April) when we encounter these gigantic creatures. We make no promises, but we see whales most days in February and March. We are extremely careful to respect the creatures who inhabit these waters, creatures recognized by the Hawaiians as family gods, the living embodiment of their ancestors.

The visitor program is offered on Tuesday and Thursday year round, conditions permitting. Adults and children over the age of 9 are welcome to paddle with experienced club members in single or double hull outrigger canoes. We do not take reservations, so plan to be at the club early. Sign-in begins at 7:00am. This is a very popular activity and is strictly first-come, first-served. No previous experience required.

A tax deductible donation of $40 per adult is suggested and is used to support the various education and paddling programs the club offers.

We will provide you a paddle if needed and a place to store your car keys. Wear a bathing suit and bring a towel for after the paddle. Remember to bring your camera to capture the beauty of Maui in the early morning. While you may not be in the water, objects in the canoes may get wet so do not bring anything in the canoe that is not water proof.

Additional Info
  • KCC Members - KCC members are encouraged to bring one guest per month to visitor paddle sessions. The Club member must be present at guest sign-in. Donation of $40 per person is suggested for additional guests.
  • Maui Residents - Any Maui resident is invited to enjoy 1-2 visitor paddle sessions as guests of KCC.
  • Other Outrigger Canoe Club Members - If you are an experienced, active member of another outrigger canoe club, you may join KCC members during any scheduled recreational paddling session, subject to available space. Suggested donation is $40 for first paddle, nominal donation for additional paddling days. See the ho`okele (steersman) on the these days for more information.
Visitors learn E Ala E chant

A single hull wa`a launches with visitors

A green sea turtle (honu) swims under our wa`a

Kihei Canoe Club • P.O. Box 1131 Kihei, HI 96753 • 808-879-5505