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Canoe Paddling

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Students around an ocean canoe next to the shore in Hilo Bay.Hilo Bay-front is the home of the red and white UH Hilo canoes which are located in one of several halau's along the shore. Their distinctive color (along with the UH Hilo name along the sides) makes them easy to spot. Managed by the University Canoe Club, they provide UH Hilo and Hawai'i Community College students, faculty, and staff a chance to enjoy Hawaiian style outrigger canoe paddling in Hilo Bay.

Although sometimes involved in ocean race competitions, the focus of the University Canoe Club is to introduce members to recreational canoe paddling rather than competitive paddling.

Students paddling a canoe with outrigger across the water.Picture of UH Hilo logo on the side of a university canoe in the water of Hilo Bay

For more information about the Canoe Club, visit their web site at

Inherent Risks

It is the responsibility of each participant to evaluate the various risks that they may be exposed to if they decide to participate in this program. Some of the inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Exposure to the sun and strong winds
  2. Drowning
  3. Van or other vehicles that may be used to transport participants to and from Hilo Bayfront
  4. Ocean marine traffic that operates in these waters which includes, but is not limited to, small recreational craft, ocean liners, sail and powered water vessels of all sizes
  5. Changing weather and water conditions
  6. Dehydration.
  7. Using paddling equipment in small confined areas
  8. Exposure/contact with marine life.
  9. Exposure to cold.(water temp. appx.75 °F)
  10. Water that is too deep for someone to stand-up in
  11. Strong tides, waves, and off-shore currents
  12. Wet surfaces that can contribute to falling or slipping
  13. High surf and tsunamis
  14. Encounters with fishing lines, hooks, and other fishing equipment and/or gear
  15. Ocean canoes and kayaks that can flip over with little or no warning
  16. Glass and other sharp items on the beach in grassy areas or in the sand
  17. Water both, fresh and salt, that could be contaminated with bacteria, toxins, or other hazardous chemicals
  18. Encounters with dangerous marine life
  19. Capsizing without warning while in or near a canoe

Students are required to remain with the group during this program and not go on un-authorized selected activities or excursions without the group. If transportation is involved, participants must wear seat belts if available and are expected to return with the group.