Outrigger Program

Outrigger Culture


The sport of outrigger canoeing has been practiced for over 5000 years.  Polynesians navigated the South Pacific in canoes almost 1000 years before Columbus landed in America. Today, Pacific Islanders still use canoes for inter-island transport.  For the Polynesian culture, outrigger canoes are more than just a means of transportation. It is the primary means by which teamwork, sharing and a sense of extended family (ohana) are communicated to one another all centered on the core value of performance through cooperation.

Outrigger canoe racing is popular in Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, England, Europe, Fiji, Hawai’i, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa and the United States. In the U.S., there are clubs in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

--Source: http://outriggersantacruz.org/culture/


Our Program

Wasabi's Outrigger program consists of our four OC6’s and our small boat, OC1 and OC2’s.  Our kanus are located both in at our Portland location on the Willamette River and also at our Nehalem Bay location.

New paddlers who wish to access the Outrigger Program may try 3 open practices before deciding to join the club.  After 3 sessions, new paddlers will need to pay annual membership to continue practicing.  Paddlers can continue paddling during the Open Practice times, or can ask to become a member of our various crews.  Crews are formed by members of Wasabi and must include a certified steer person.  Crews have a variety of focuses--from recreational to competitive, and include all age brackets.  All current Wasabi members may access the outrigger program.

Small boats are only accessible to current Wasabi members who have taken the small boat certification and have completed a huli and certification paddle. If you're interested in finding an open practice, joining a crew, or getting certified, contact the OC Coordinator at wasabioutrigger@gmail.com.

While you will join the team(s) that fit you best and your schedule, you will be a member of Wasabi Paddling Club and entitled to all activities within our Club.

image (7)

Our Crews

Small Boat, OC1 and OC2

Wasabi owns three Huki OC1s and three OC2s.  The OC1s, and the one OC2 is located in Portland.   Two OC2s are available to Club members at our Nehalem Bay location.  Club members are allowed to use these boats following Club guidelines and safety policies.

Taken together these programs offer a range of equitable and inclusive outrigger paddling opportunities for those interested in participating.  Any crew may be competitive or recreational in nature.

images (12)


Wasabi owns four OC6s:  Two Calmars, and two Bradleys.  Club members are allowed to use these boats following Club guidelines and safety policies.

Taken together these programs offer a range of equitable and inclusive outrigger paddling opportunities for those interested in participating.  Any crew may be competitive or recreational in nature.

OC6 - Open Crew

OC6 - Set Crew

Open crews provide paddling experience for paddlers of all levels outside of a coached or set crew, as well as opportunities for those interested in building a set crew or joining a coached program

Set crews provide opportunities for paddlers who like the consistency of paddling with the same core group of paddlers regularly.

image (1)
Team Kapakahi

Coached Crew (GRIT)

Coached crews provide opportunities for paddlers of all skill levels to improved and learn teamwork, outrigger cultural values, proper technique, and training regimes to foster growth and improvement.

Participants in the Coached Crew Program have training opportunities in both small boats and in the OC6s.

Head Coach:  Kate Kauffman

Assistant Coaches:  Jay Marshall and Willa Johann

image (4)

Race Season

Small Boat Season

OC-1 and -2's race during the winter, October-April, to mirror the winter series offered in Hawaii.  Paddlers can engage in the local winter series races, which are offered on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, and in various locations in Washington.  Races are anywhere from 6-9 miles in length.  Small boat racing is an excellent way to improve your personal fitness and competitiveness, while enjoying a close community of paddling ohana.


OC6 races occur from April-October, and crews can opt to race locally, regionally, or in national races.  Local races happen in the Columbia River as well as various locations throughout Washington.  Race distances are from 6-18 miles.  Regional or national races offer higher levels of competition and more options of distance, up to 50 miles.  Wasabi has sent crews to several races in Hawaii, the Catalina Crossing in California, to New York, and Wasabi members have qualified for the World V-1 sprint regatta.

OC6 Season

(click race schedule to enlarge)

Sprint races are typically held over 500 – 2000 meters. Iron distance races typically are held between 9 –18 miles, while change-out races can be as long as 40 miles.

Outrigger Page


Wasabi values the safety of our boats and our paddlers, and we expect our paddlers to be knowledgeable and safe when paddling.  We require that people using small boats complete a multi-step certification process.


Reserve a Small Boat

When making an OC1 or OC2 reservation, follow these guidelines:

  • You must be a Wasabi member and up-to-date with your huli certification to use any of the small boats without supervision by a Coach or specific Club coordinators.  
  • All COVID-19 protocols for the Ivon St property must be strictly followed.   
  • Two persons are required to carry all Wasabi outriggers to and from the dock
  • Pay attention to other scheduled events
    • You can overlap events, just be sure you are not scheduling use for more boats than we have available 
  • Event Title should include the type of boat you are taking, your name, and phone number
    • For example:
      • "1 OC1 (name, phone number)"
      • or "2 OC1s (contact name and phone number)
  • 2hrs is the max reservation time
    • That includes the time you need to set up the boat, on water, sanitize, and put the boat away
  • Be mindful of the rowers schedule and do not plan to be on the dock during the red time-slots (click the adjacent image to enlarge the complete Boathouse schedule)
    • Yellow times are also used by the rowers, just not as many.  Get in line with them and you can launch/return in order
Portland Boathouse (Ivon St) Schedule, Summer (June-August)


(click schedule to enlarge)

To reserve a Wasabi Club outrigger, click the cell for day and time directly on our online calendar. 
Please include your name and phone number

OC6 Boat Schedule

(click schedule to enlarge)