Paddling FAqs

I'm interested in paddling. How do I get started?

Before paddling, please submit this liability waiver from NCOCA (Northern California Outrigger Canoe Association). If not done early, you can submit via smartphone at the beach. This must be done before you join us on the water.

Where do you paddle? Where should I meet you?

While we race all over Northern California (and sometimes Southern California and Hawaii!), our regular practices and recreational paddles take place right in Monterey Bay, launching from Del Monte Beach. Our canoe site is right next to Monterey Bay Kayaks, between two Del Monte Beach parking lots (located at 588 and 559 Del Monte Blvd Parking, Monterey).

The nearest parking lots are paid parking and the city takes this seriously. Including time for set up and clean up, most rec paddles last about 2 hours. Please plan (and park) accordingly!

What should I wear?

It's best to wear clothing appropriate for water sports. That means neoprene, spandex, merino wool, or other quick-dry items. Avoid denim, cotton, and other heavy, non-stretchable clothing. For your feet, you can go barefoot in the canoe (leaving your shoes behind at the beach) or opt for some kind of water shoes.

We launch from the beach and you will get wet up to your thighs and will likely get splashed while paddling. You could become fully immersed. It's always wise to have a change of clothing and extra layers in the car.

What gear do I need?

Ke Kai will supply your paddle and other equipment. We recommend that you bring water - Camelbaks are a favorite, but any water bottle will do (please don't bring metal bottles into the canoe - they're heavy and hardy and can damage the canoe if they roll around).

Other important items include sunscreen, hat, glasses straps (if needed), and a jacket/warm layer.

What about safety?

We'll review equipment, safety, and commands at the beach. While it is unlikely that you will become fully immersed or need to swim, if you are not a confident swimmer, we can provide a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) for you to wear while on the water. This is your choice. Keiki (children) ages 5-12 are required to wear PFDs in the canoe. These will be provided.

If you have any medical conditions, physical accommodations, or other concerns that may present while on the water, please feel free to approach your steersperson in advance to address your needs.

What does it mean to be a cultural club?

Ke Kai O'Uhane is a Hawaiian outrigger canoe club. Our mission is to share the paddling sport and Hawaiian culture. Traditional outrigger canoes were hand-crafted from the beautiful Koa trees of the islands and the life and spirit of the tree lives on in the canoe. To respect this spirit, canoes (including the modern versions) are treated with honor. We bless our canoes and use traditional rigging. We do not step over them, but walk around. Canoes are lifted on the beach, rather than dragged. And we spend time cleaning and covering our canoes after every paddle.

What is the team like?

Our goal is to provide a fun and rewarding way to experience Monterey Bay and the sport of outrigger paddling. We'll work together as teams and have fun while paddling and seeing the sights. We're looking forward to having you join us!


What are the fees?

Your first two (2) rec paddle sessions are free, then membership is required. We work hard to keep our annual membership fees affordable for the entire family while also ensuring that we have the means to maintain our canoes, equipment, and other operating costs. You can find more membership details under Become a Member.

Members who race and/or dance in the luau will see additional expenses throughout the year including race fees, apparel, leis, and other personal equipment.

I have a large group. Can I request a private rec paddle?

Yes! If you'd like to request a private rec paddle for a group, please email info@kekai.org to coordinate. While our regularly scheduled rec paddles are free for two sessions, private outings require more coordination and extra support from our members. We kindly ask for a donation of $25 per paddler for a private group.

How can I learn more?

Feel free to connect with our Paddle Representatives at paddlereps@kekai.org.