Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Paddling at WYC

If you are interested in joining a Championship level team contact Malia Zimmerman
email [email protected] or text at (808) 306-3161
 Look forward to seeing you on the water!


16 May 2024


Malia Zimmerman, Head Coach

Malia Zimmerman has been paddling surf skis and outrigger canoes for decades and has been featured in television commercials and surf magazines over the years. She has paddled with Hui Nalu Canoe Club, Kailua Canoe Club, Beach Boys Canoe Club, and Waikiki Yacht Club here on Oahu Hawaii, and Marina Outrigger in California, learning from some of the most legendary and well-known watermen and women in the sport. 
She is a veteran of canoe races across the island, and along the Southern California coast and Arizona including the Catalina Island Championship race from the California Coast, the 45-mile Na Wahine O Ke Kai race from Molokai to Oahu, the 30- mile Pailolo Challenge from Maui to Molokai, the 36-mile Na Pali Challenge along Kauaiʻs North shore, the 19-mile Queen Liliuokalani Race in Kona, and the “Another Dam Race” in Arizona. 
Recruited by the Long Beach Dragon Boat Masters Team, she raced throughout California and the world championships in Australia in 2016. 
She’s been an assistant coach for two canoe teams and was the president of Marina Outrigger Canoe Club in California.

Bruce Black, Men's Coach & Assistant Head Coach

Welcome to Bruce Black and his wife Cindy.
Bruce has a long history as a Hawaiian waterman and coach. At UCLA, he was captain of the Varsity Water polo Team and a 4-time Olympic Sport Festival Water Polo Medalist (2 gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze). As a coach at Punahou High School, he led the water polo team to State champions 4 years in a row.
Bruce has numerous Molokai Hoe championships to include:
1988 1st Overall (record time)
1990 1st Overall, 1st Koa
1991 5th Overall, 1st Koa
1995 3rd Overall (fastest time OCC crew)
1996 4th Overall
2002-2016 multiple top 30 Masters finishes.
Aboard the Hōkūleʻa, he helped navigate two legs of worldwide voyage. 
https://hokulea.com/ (https://hokulea.com/)

Ted Jung, Junior Coach

Ted Jung has been a paddler and waterman for more than 30 years.
For the past 10 years, he has dedicated his time to coaching youth at various levels and they have participated in a variety of races from Molokai crossings to regattas to one-man races. In addition to coaching the junior program at Waikiki Yacht Club, he has coached high school canoe paddling at various schools, most recently Mid-Pacific Institute Varsity girls where under his leadership placed second in the state championships in 2024 on Hilo. Prior to coaching outrigger canoe paddling, he spent 21 years coaching club and high school soccer throughout the island. 
A volunteer with several organizations and causes, Coach Ted’s mission is inspiring kids interested in the sport of paddling and helping them understand the culture and the passion for the sport. 

Race Seasons

Pre-season Regatta

Training for the Na ‘Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a Regatta Season starts in February and goes through the end of May. Hui Wa‘a distance races are between 9 and 12 miles in length and average about an hour and a half to complete. These races are all "iron", that is, there are no water changes required. As a member of Hui Wa‘a, WYC is required to race ten (10) crews during the pre-season races.

Regatta (Sprints)

Regatta races start 1 June and run through July with Hui Wa’a championships and Hawaii State championships in August. These sprint races are between ¼ and 1 ½ miles in length.  There are many heats based on your experience.  The groups range from first timers to paddlers with many years of experience as well as age groups all the way to 70+!

Long Distance

Long distance races range in length from the 18 mile Queen Lili‘uokalani Races to the 41.6 mile Ka‘iwi Channel crossings. All the races except the Queen Lili‘uokalani Races involve water changes, in which up to 3 paddlers at a time are rotated in and out of the canoe. Water changes add a level of complexity to distance racing, making it important that each crew is able to perform fast and efficient changes for the duration of the race.

The Ka‘iwi Channel races from Moloka‘i to O‘ahu, Na Wahine O Ke Kai for women and Moloka‘i Hoe for men, involve paddling in open ocean conditions, for which the Hawaiian outrigger canoe was designed. These races allow our canoes and crews to perform at their limits. Canoes are rigged with spray covers (“canvas”) and must have escort boats to carry extra crew members, coaches and helpers.

We are closing out Pre-season races and preparing for Regatta season. First race is 1 June.

2024 race schedule is posted here 

Practice Schedule

Sundays                0900-1100 AM
Tue and Thu          5:30-7:30  PM

Saturdays              0900-1100 AM
Tue and Thu          4:00-5:30  PM

WYC paddling programs are open to all members regardless of experience, and all are welcome



Q: Does it cost to be a participant of the Waikiki Yacht Club Paddling Program?

A: Yes, you must become a member of the Waikiki Yacht Club to participate in the paddling program.

Q: Can I try out the paddling program?

A: Yes. You can be a guest of one of the current members and see how you like our club.

For information on WYC membership, please text Malia at (808) 306-3161.

Practice Sessions and Equipment FAQs

Q: Do I need any special clothing to paddle? If so, what kind and how much does it cost?

A: We typically wear team jerseys to race. Jerseys are custom ordered each year. They usually run about $30 per person. Neoprene paddling shorts are also recommended for your comfort and safety. These shorts can be purchased through local retailers such as Island Paddler and Excel and run just under $50… and are well worth the expense.

Q: How much does an outrigger paddle cost?

A: Regular Paddle/s: $150 - $350. This varies, of course, on the number and kind of paddle you buy. The goal for each paddler should be to own their own paddle.

Q: What should I bring to practice?

A: A lot depends on your individual preferences, however, there are some basics you should think about:

  • PADDLE: Of course, you need your paddle. This assumes that your commitment to the sport is such that you have purchased your own "blade."
  • DRINK: Many paddlers like to bring a small bottle of water or sports drink to carry with them in the boat.
  • A DRY T-SHIRT: It's up to you, but having a dry towel and a T-shirt or sweatshirt to put on after practice will be more comfortable for you. As a member of WYC, you are able to use our locker room facilities for an after paddle shower.
  • SUNSCREEN: You really do need to protect yourself from the sun—especially on race day at the beach and any daytime practices. Don't worry about it during weekday evening practices.
  • NEOPRENE: You'll see a lot of paddlers wearing neoprene (wet suit material) shorts. Neoprene is popular with paddlers because it cushions the hard seats of the canoe and minimizes chafing.