All paddlers must have completed and are subject to the terms and conditions of the VOCC Liability Waiver and VOCC Membership Application, including single event guest paddlers. Guest paddlers (novice and visiting canoe club members) can download waivers and forms in PDF (VOCC-AdultWaiver), fill them out in advance and bring them to the beach. All new and renewing paddlers must also have completed a (VOCC-Membership). Documents must be scanned and copied, please use black or blue ink. All paddlers must be members in good standing (dues and swim-test current) or guests who have completed the above forms, paid the insurance fee ($5 per event) if so stipulated, are properly dressed and can affirm competence in the water. Experience in open water swimming, surfing, kayaking or other related ocean sport are reasonable qualifications for guest paddlers, however, we are happy to provide some instruction and testing to interested novice paddlers who are willing to get wet. We strongly recommend reading Introduction to Outrigger Canoe Paddling before you paddle.
Outrigger canoeing is a team sport. The safety of the team is a function of the capabilities and preparedness of all participants. Participants are individually responsible for maintaining their personal knowledge, preparedness and fitness to participate. Under certain circumstances, canoes can and do flip over (huli), therefore, all paddlers must periodically complete a swim test and participate in scheduled and unscheduled recovery drills (huli drills). It is not a question of if but when.
The swim test consists of 1) exiting the canoe approximately 100 yards off the beach; 2) putting on a personal flotation device in the water; 3) removing the device and re-entering the canoe; 4) exiting the canoe again and swimming to the beach unaided. Huli recovery roles will be reviewed by the Beachmaster/Steersperson prior to each launch.
All paddlers are expected to notify the Beachmaster/Steersperson prior to launch of any current personal deficiencies that might subject the team to additional risk. Every team member who must aid another during a recovery effort cannot perform their assigned duties. At best there are only six of us in a canoe.
All paddlers are expected to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled launch time and be prepared to paddle. The canoes don’t prep themselves!
Novice & Guest Paddlers
Novice guest paddlers are welcome to try outrigger canoeing, however, as noted above, all paddlers must have completed current waivers and applications, be disciplined, determined, capable of swimming in the ocean and prepared to get wet. It’s pretty easy to right a flipped canoe under normal conditions, but it can be challenging if you are not appropriately dressed and mentally prepared. It can happen in seconds. Novice paddlers will be instructed on safety, paddling technique and huli recovery roles and may be required to complete a swim test.
Minors of at least 13 years of age who can meet fitness requirements must have completed the VOCC Minor Waiver and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who has completed a VOCC Adult Waiver and Membership form.
We advise you to wear synthetic materials that don’t soak up water and dry quickly. Hats with straps, sunglasses with tether, sun block, bottled water and water shoes are recommended. Thermal water vests and light neoprene shorts or leggings may be appropriate during winter months. Don’t bring anything in the canoe that you wouldn’t want to donate to the ocean. Remember, you may have to swim with what you are wearing. Your eligibility to participate at any given time will be based on the Beachmaster/Steersperson’s estimation of your physical ability, mental preparedness and clothing.
We will typically stay in the harbor for your first paddle. We provide all other equipment, plus a safe place to store personal items while we are on the water. Bring a change of warm clothes so you can spend some time getting to know us after paddling.
Experienced Paddlers may participate in any scheduled paddle but must be prepared to complete the swim test and and participate in huli drills whenever requested.
Required forms and recommended reading in PDF:
The Beachmaster/Steersperson is the captain of the ship. They are trained and qualified to launch, navigate and command the canoe in open water. They have final authority on the beach and in the canoe. The Beachmaster/steersperson will determine the eligibility of all paddlers, assign seats, choose the course and review huli duties prior to launch.