Pale Kai is a member of SCORA and races Iron, Sprint, and 9 Man Seasons.
Pale Kai offers many opportunities to train hard and have a great time making life-long Na Hoaloha.
Novice training starts in January. Team practice is 3x a week beginning in March.
Joining Pale Kai
If you're interested in joining Pale Kai as an inexperienced paddler for 2017, then please contact the novice coach, Tom Needham, ASAP. We have begun spring training and once we get into Apirl, registration for the 2017 season will close.
Vice President, Pale Kai Outrigger
Novice Year Overview
Demo days are scheduled on Sundays between 8:00 a.m.and 12:00 p.m. Pale Kai’s “Three for Free” policy allows newcomers to experience outrigger paddling in the relatively calm waters of Morro Bay, without paying a fee or membership dues. This is a time to become acquainted with the sport and culture of outrigger canoe racing, while you make new friends!
March-April: Traning 3x a week
All paddlers must be proficient swimmers. Before our competitive season begins, you must pass a water safety test that includes huli drills (recovering from an overturned canoe), treading water, as well as a swim test.
For those who become members, novice training begins in mid-March at the official club site in Avila Beach. Initially there will be one practice on the week-end until after the time changes to daylight savings. Then two additional practices are scheduled during the week at approximately 5:00 p.m. Your novice coach will provide the skills training you will need for the upcoming race season. It is important to practice with your team consistently to develop your technique and timing. You will also form new friendships (for no additional fee!).
May-June: Iron Race Season (6 person crews)
After several months of training, the first official races begin in May. Pale Kai is a member of the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association (SCORA). We compete with other member clubs in SCORA, and our official events take place between San Diego and Santa Barbara. The first five races take place from early May through the end of June. In the novice division, races are approximately 4 to 5 miles and occur in more protected waters than the veteran divisions. Iron races consist of 6 person crews over a set distance, and novice teams may race under men’s, women’s, or co-ed divisions.
The Iron Season concludes with the championships in San Diego. This highly attended event attracts entrants from all over the state and is a fitting tribute to the outrigger culture. For added fun, novice teams are encouraged to enter the Novice Dance Competition to display their grace and creativity, or just poke fun at themselves in a family friendly environment.
August-September: 9-Man Season
Those Novice who develop proficiency may also be invited to compete in the 9-Man Season. There is no guarantee that as a novice you will participate in nine person crews, due to the increased physical demands and technical skill required to safely perform open water crew changes. The 9-man races are much longer distances than the iron season, from 20 miles to over 30 miles. Paddlers must demonstrate the endurance and proficiency during practice to be considered for a 9-man crew.
The video link below provides a good illustration of the crew rotations that occur at 15-20 minute intervals in the open water, with a canoe moving at race speed and a chase boat to perform the exchange of paddlers in and out of the open ocean. It is a challenging, but exciting experience, and for many paddlers it is the culmination of the sport.
September-January: Winter Paddling
Winter practices will be subject to daylight and weather restrictions and continue at Avila Beach, until the time changes. A few boats will then be re-located to Morro Bay for more protected paddling.
By the time your novice season is over, you will have gained some new skills, increased your fitness levels and made a number of new friends.
Want to give it a try? Then sign up for our 2017 Recruitment Program below.
Next Level: The World Stage
Outrigger canoe racing takes place all over the world! The Olamau Race sees the best outrigger canoe teams compete off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. Ocean knowledge, skill, and perseverance aren’t always enough to succeed, but they can keep you above water. Watch the short below about a Californian team competing in The Olamau Race.