About the FCRCC Outrigger Canoe Program

About the Outrigger Canoe

An Outrigger Canoe, or OC6, is traditionally a 6 person Polynesian canoe. The original race specs were that it had to be at least 40 feet long and weigh at least 400 lbs. The outrigger consists of an ama, or flotation device, that is attached to the canoe by 2 iakos giving it the stability necessary to travel over great distances and in a variety of water conditions.

Many variations of these designs exist, including 4 person surfing canoes. False Creek focuses on the fibreglass design racing canoes. We compete in single, double, and six person races in both fresh and salt water.

Race styles vary greatly in this sport. Some sprint races can be as short as 500 meters while long distance change races (where paddlers rotate in and out of the boat) can be up to 45 km in length or even longer and last for 6 – 8 hours.

The development of outrigger canoes is difficult to trace back because they have been in use far longer than there have been written records. A common estimate is that the development of outrigger canoes dates back nearly 3000 years.

It is assumed that that the first designs for the canoe were formed from logs hollowed out by the use of clam shells or perhaps sharpened rocks. The limited stability of these water craft then led to the Polynesian practice of lashing two canoes together to form a double hull design.

It is assumed that out of the double hull design, the next logical advancement was the double outrigger design which offered increased maneuverability and stability. Though very fast, the problem with the double outrigger design was that in heavy seas, the primary hull could become suspended between two large waves which made maneuvering impossible and often lead to snapping of the iakos. The single outrigger design overcame this limitation and has persisted over the years as being the optimal compromise between stability and flexibility.

New to Outrigger?

We recommend starting with the Novice OC6 course.

After completing the Novice course, paddlers continue by joining the Race Development Team, and then moving on to another team when ready.

Experienced, thinking about joining us?

Browse our Outrigger Teams and contact our Outrigger Rep to find the right fit.

We also offer clinics, link.


FCRCC OC6 canoes

Hokupa’a | White  | Outrigger Connection Mirage | 2003

Our first Mirage and the first in Canada. The name means “North Star”.

Kai Hohonu | White  |Outrigger Connection Mirage | 2004

The name means “Depth”, as in “depth of the ocean”, but also signifies our committment to the depth of our programs – so that more than just our top-crew paddlers can train in a competitive international hull. This boat is traditionally reserved for second crews.

Ku Kanaka | White  | Outrigger Connection Mirage | 2007

“Ku” is defined as something deliberate and of great force; it is also the name of one of the Hawaiian gods from the days of old. Ku is a word you would hear quite often in chants, to achieve great strength and drive for the purpose.

Bradley Lightning | White  | Bradley Lightning | 2012

Purchased prior to the 2012 World Va’a Sprints in Calgary.

Naia | White with Blue markings | M2 | 2015

The name means Dolphin.

Unnamed  | White with Gray markings | Malolo | 2021

Naming ceremony to come.

Unnamed | White | Matahina | 2022

Purchased prior to the 2022 World Va’a Sprints in London, UK.

Unnamed | White | Matahina | 2022

Purchased prior to the 2022 World Va’a Sprints in London, UK.