Mission Statement

To provide our community, young and old alike, with the opportunity to perpetuate the culture and art of Hawaiian canoe paddling.
Good Sportsmanship
We desire to create a positive environment based on mutual respect, rather than a win at all costs attitude. Our goal is to instill good sportsmanship in every facet of our club.
Open Registration
Our club is open to everyone from 8 years old and up. Interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to participate are the only criteria.
Positive Coaching
Through positive encouragement and training, we strive to allow everyone to be the best they desire to be.
Move our club forward, encompassing our Youth, Adult, and recreational programs.









MONDAY & FRIDAY - 9:00 A.M. Co-ed


The Hanalei Canoe Club paddling season runs from February through October, starting with long-distance racing.

The regatta or sprint races begin in May and culminate with the HCRA State Championship Race in August. The long-distance season continues with the Na Pali Challenge here on Kauai, the Queen Lili‘uokalani Race on the Big Island at Kona, and the biggest challenge of the season, the 41.8 miles race from Moloka‘i to O‘ahu. It's truly an experience to remember.

Our club comprises two divisions; the Youth Division comprises girls and boys 10-18 years of age, and the Adult Division includes women and men 19 and up.

Each year we sponsor the Tai Hook regatta at Hanalei Bay. Our three major fundraisers to help defray operating costs, including annual insurance dues and the upkeep of our facility and equipment, are the Haena to Hanalei 8-Mile Run/Walk in June, Hanalei-Tahiti Fete in July, and the Luau at the end of July.

Being a Hanalei Civic Canoe Club member is a beautiful, unique experience. You can make friends, learn to work as a team, and strengthen your minds and bodies. Hopefully, we take all that we know and apply it to our everyday lives. We are truly blessed to be able to paddle our canoes in a place as beautiful as Hanalei Bay!


The Hanalei Canoe Club was founded in 1973 as a Hanalei Hawaiian Civic Club community outreach program.

The mission of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs is to serve in advocacy of the Hawaiian culture, health, economic development, education, and social welfare of its people. As such, when Stu and Shirley Kalama approached the Hanalei Hawaiian Civic Club to start the first canoe club on the north shore of Kauai, they agreed! Shirley and Stu generously lent the club its first canoe –the Po’okela, and the Hanalei Canoe Club was launched to help perpetuate the ancient art of Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe paddling.

The Hanalei Canoe Club was initially part of the Hui Wa’a Canoe Racing Association. Hui Wa’a allowed clubs without traditional koa canoes to belong and race in their canoe racing association. This opened the door for clubs in many communities that, unable to afford a koa canoe, would otherwise not have been able to paddle and compete.

The primary purpose of the Hanalei Canoe Club at that time was to provide an ohana for the youth of the north shore to learn the traditional Hawaiian sport of outrigger canoe racing. In addition to the youth team, the Hanalei Canoe Club also attracted adult paddlers. (In fact, in 1973, the men’s crew of Nick Beck, Francis Chandler, Jr., Kirk Chandler, Moku Chandler, Blakesley Conant, Tiger Espera, Wendall Fu, Kawika Goodale, Bito Hermosura, Togo Hermosura, Dixon Inouye, Christian Marston, and Kachi Yokotake, won first place in the Molokai to Oahu race!)

Kapeka Chandler was instrumental in the early days until she died, helping support and grow the club – actively fundraising to support it so the youth and their families could travel and compete.

In 1979 Hanalei Canoe Club acquired their first traditional koa canoe – the Kai’Opua and joined the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA). In 1982 the Hanalei Canoe Club caused the biggest upset in state history, becoming the first outer island canoe club to win the HCRA championships!

In addition to the Kai’Opua, Hanalei Canoe Club dreamed of obtaining a koa canoe for open ocean racing. This dream was realized in 1987 when our Hanalei men’s crew won first place in the Oahu to Kauai, Na Holo Kai Sailing Canoe Race. The first-place award was a koa log. Master Canoe builder Wright Bowman, Jr. designed and built a koa canoe from that log named Na Holo Kai to our specifications.

Initially, our canoes were kept at Black Pot Beach. Eventually, through the generosity of the Wilcox family, we moved to our first canoe hale on the Hanalei River. In 1989, again, with the generosity of the Wilcox family, the Hanalei Canoe Club was able to move to the land on the Hanalei River, where our clubhouse/hale is still located. After Hurricane Iniki devastated our original clubhouse, it was rebuilt in time for our 20th anniversary and is the beautiful clubhouse you see today.

In 2008, Hanalei Canoe Club sponsored the then-new West Kauai Canoe Club to help support and expand the art of outrigger canoe race on Kauai’s West side.

Over the years, HCC has been blessed with many wonderful, talented, and inspiring coaches. A special mention must be made to Kainoa Chandler Forrest, our Head Coach for the women’s team from 1990 to 2009. Unfortunately, Kainoa passed away too soon in 2010. Over several years, Bobby Puakea completely rebuilt and refurbished the Na Holo Kai with the help of many Hanalei Canoe Club youth, paddlers, and coaches. It was completed in 2012 and renamed the Kainoa Hola Kai and continues to be our cherished koa racing canoe.

Kainoa’s daughter, Lilinoe Forrest, assumed her mother’s position as Head Coach for the Women’s Team and continues to coach today.

Throughout the years, Hanalei Canoe Club has continued to thrive and grow. The Hanalei Canoe Club has won every Garden Island Championship race, and youth, men’s, and women’s teams have won many HCRA State Championship medals – bronze, silver, and gold! Our men’s crews consistently place in the top 10 in the Molokai Hoe, and our women’s crews often place top 20 in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai. Our men’s and women’s crews have also won many gold medals at the Queen Liliuokalani race in Kona.

The Hanalei Canoe Club proudly participates in community outreach providing educational outreach with our local schools, Make A Wish Foundation experiences and more.

Hanalei Canoe Club has participated internationally in Outrigger Canoe Races (6-man, 1-man, World Sprints, and Swan Boat), sending teams to Tahiti, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand.


Use the following map to locate the HCC clubhouse at the end of Weke Road.


Hanalei Canoe Club

We are providing our community, young and old alike, with the opportunity to perpetuate the culture and art of Hawaiian canoe paddling.

HCC Logo

PO Box 814, Hanalei, HI 96714

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