Komo mai kau mapuna hoe – “Dip your paddle in” Join in the effort ~



Kai Pana offers new paddlers a week of free paddling while you explore our club, practices, training style, and Ohana.  If you are a new paddler to outrigger and Kai Pana, don’t be nervous to ask lots of questions. There are many of us who have been paddling for years and forget how many questions and concerns can be in the minds of new people on the water.  Email our Coaches Tyler Irwin or Megan Gebhardt and ask about coming out for FREE! While you explore paddling with Kai Pana we’ll be there to answer questions and keep you company on the water!



TUESDAY 5:30-8pm, THURSDAY 5:30-8pm, and SATURDAY 8:30am-11am:


Kai Pana Practice Site
101 Pine Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
We are located directly across the street from Cornwall (Glass) Beach. Parking is available across the street, next to the Port building.


You will need to sign a waiver before you get into a canoe with Kai Pana. Club members are covered for the year under our new insurance provider, Paddlesport Risk Management. Guest paddlers will have to sign a Guest Paddler Waiver. You will be able to do this at our practice site, prior to practice.


We have a porta-potty onsite for Club members and guests to utilize.


When you first arrive at the beach, find the Paddlesport waiver to sign by touching base with Tyler or Megan. You will see several people standing around chitchatting. Don’t be bashful. Introduce yourself to whoever is near. There will be some scurrying about as paddlers prepare the OC6s for launching (bailing out rainwater and putting PFDs in each canoe). Once enough canoes are in the water, everyone jumps into a canoe following the coaches’ instructions. Sometimes crews will consist of all women or all men, or, many times it is mixed.


Prepare to get a bit wet. We recommend athletic (synthetic) tops and bottoms. Men typically wear a comfortable pair of board shorts and women can vary with a synthetic-type leggings or shorts. We also recommend wearing flip flops (slippas) for the walk to the beach, and you will typically be barefoot while in our canoes.


Carrying your own water is essential. A water bottle works, but most paddlers prefer hydration packs. The fanny kind is preferred because the backpack style seems to move around a bunch when paddling. On longer Saturday paddles, you may want to bring along a power bar or some other quick nutrition.


Life jackets (PFDs) on the boats for every paddler are mandatory per Coast Guard regulations, however most paddlers prefer not to wear them unless the weather conditions are adverse. The Club will provide basic PFDs or you may opt to bring your own paddling PFD. If you are an inexperienced swimmer or cannot swim, wearing a PFD every time you are in the canoe is mandatory.


The Club also has guest paddles available for your use. There are many ways to size a paddle. Ask a club member to help you pick one out. Once you’ve fallen in love with this sport, it would be wise for you to purchase one of your own. Ask a coach or other experienced paddler for their ideas on how to select one. You may even ask to try out different paddles that members own just to see how the different styles and lengths fit you.


There are 6 paddlers in each OC6. Seat 1 and 2 (front of the boat) are the strokers. Seat 1’s main concentration is staying consistent, yet being able to adjust when the crew needs something different. Seat 2 works with Seat 1 to keep the momentum of the stroke and the rhythm dynamic between the two. Seat 3 usually calls the switches, and calls encouragement throughout the race. Seat 4 and 5 are the power seats. Seat 4 watches the ama and seat 5 helps the steersperson (the Captain) who is seat 6.


An experienced steersperson takes years to develop an individual language to their steering that makes a crew who they are. We recommend all paddlers try steering to better understand the water, currents & tides, balance and surfing to catch waves.  Paddlers within the crew that understand the water through steering will be a benefit to the steersperson in all types of water, from a quiet river to even the most difficult of ocean situations. Steering is something every Kai Pana member is encouraged to try and on certain days we encourage rotating all paddlers through Seat 6 so that everyone begins to understand the responsibility entailed in this position.


Every other seat paddles on the opposite side of the boat for even power – so all odd seats paddle on one side while all even seat 5 numbers paddle on the other side. Every 12-15 strokes, the caller calls, “hike” – seat 3 will yell “hut” as everyone takes one more stroke and then everyone in the crew will yell “hoe” and then switches paddling sides from right to left or left to right, maintaining the cadence of the stroke. If you are new to OC paddling – ask someone to give you a quick run-down on how to switch – there are a couple of tricks that make it a bit easier. You will appreciate switching sides as it conserves energy and allows for equal development of both sides of your body. You may find that you favor one side over another but that will pass – the goal is to feel equally comfortable on both sides of the canoe.


While it looks simple, paddling is a very complex sport. The stroke that is used requires a challenging learning curve. Expect your first time out to possibly be confusing and maybe even frustrating. You will be tired and sore from your newly developing muscles. Be patient with yourself and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense to you. We are here to support your interest and desire to paddle. Outrigger paddling is also a very fun sport with a lot of culture and history behind it. It will be more enjoyable as you become more proficient, so hang in there. It is a great full-body exercise and a social sport where a lot of wonderful people convene. We hope you will keep coming back to experience the fun side of paddling.


Founded in 2014, Kai Pana Outrigger Canoe Club is an established club with a membership ranging in ages from 16 to 100, free of discrimination and where diversity is valued. Our Club ensures that all members are treated equally regardless of their race, color, age, sex, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship, mental or physical disability, marital status or veteran status. The Board and the Club committees oversee events, practices, communications, website and other activities to ensure best compliance with this direction.


Kai Pana Outrigger Canoe Club is a paddling organization that seeks to attract competitive paddlers committed to training and racing from April to October each year. As such, we have established the policy of requiring annual membership fees from all members regardless of how frequently they choose to train or race. While many members elect to pay their dues in full each June, they may choose to make payments in TWO installments, due May 1st and June 1st. There is no yearly monthly fee structure.  All membership dues for returning members are due by May 1st of the said year unless you’ve set up an installment plan with the club accountant. Our goal is to get people in to the canoe, and not have finances get in the way of paddling, so if there’s any issues with our club fees or payment plans, please talk with the coaches and we will get something worked out with everybody.


Every paid member of Kai Pana is automatically covered by Paddlesport, which provides accident and liability insurance to its individual and association members during all sanctioned Club events, including practices and racing. If you are a member with Kai Pana and are current with your club dues, your Paddlesport insurance dues are covered by the Club.


Please email Tyler Irwin or Megan Gebhardt if you are interested in coming to the beach and paddling with Kai Pana.  Upon the approval, any member may extend guest privileges to a potential member or visiting paddler for a period of one month after approval through the New Paddler Contact. Please see the coaches for rates for a temporary club membership. The host member is responsible for registering the name of the guest with the coaches, and getting the Paddlesport waiver signed.  Guests may paddle only on the OC6s and may not use the club small boats.  A Guest to Kai Pana will get their first week of practice free of charge, however, additional practices have a $10 drop-in fee per practice.  A SIGNED WAIVER MUST be collected for a Guest to paddle. Email our New Paddler Contact, Tyler Irwin or Megan Gebhardt, with any questions you may have prior to the practice.


The amount of membership dues is decided by the outgoing Board at the annual Club meeting each fall. This will be decided by the Board at the annual Club meeting and will depend on current Club goals and financial projections.


Maintaining an outrigger canoe club the size of Kai Pana is expensive and requires a substantial investment in equipment and facilities. Many outrigger canoe clubs require new members to pay initiation fees to help cover the cost of equipment and facilities that have existed before the new member joins.. As we grow and become more competitive, we want to acquire newer and better equipment. We have plans to improve our practice site and upgrading/ expanding our fleet of outrigger canoes and equipment. Kai Pana has an annual operating budget of over $5,000.00. Revenues are generated from dues, fundraisers and sponsorships.


Adult Individual Members Annual Dues:
  • $250 by May 1st for New Members
    $200 by May 1st  for Returning Members
    $125 by May 1st for Students
  • $250/2 = $125.00 May 1st,      $125.00 June 1st
    $200/2 = $100.00 May 1st,      $100.00 June 1st
    $125/2 = $62.50 May 1st,        $62.50 June 1st


For all members paying dues during the first two months of the season, checks can be written out to:
Kai Pana Outrigger Canoe Club
1980 W Bakerview Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226
Any questions about dues, please contact the club treasurer:


2017 Season Dues