V1, V1, and More V1!
As myself and a select few paddlers from the Ka Lahui Kai program prepare for our Tahiti paddling trip in June, we have been putting in multiple hours and many, many miles in V1 rudderless canoes. We are preparing to race Te Aito, one of the most prestigious paddling races in the world, and the IVF World Distance Championships. With over 85 juniors boys and 375 open-division men (only 20 open-division women competed), competition will be like nothing we’ve ever seen.
Check out this video of last years event.
The least I can say is that V1 paddling is amazing. It is very similar to SUP in a sense, since you do not have rudder control, so it is a fantastic cross training tool for stand up and for learning how to read the ocean. You are literally at the mercy of the ocean and the conditions you’re in. If you aren’t patient in the bump or if you’re steering/paddling too aggressively, you’ll spin out, slow down, or flip. For developing a feel for the water there is nothing like it.
It also teaches you some great things about safety. Since you have to use rubbers (cut up inner tubes, etc) for your rigging, sometimes those rubbers can snap or come loose! I learned a valuable lesson while paddling out of Outrigger Canoe Club and rounding Diamond Head; My friend Pono and I were warming up, then WAM! In to the water I go… I come up, and there is no rubber on my back iako, and the ama is loose!! And what didn’t I have? A spare rubber…
Jokingly, I made this video! We were so close to shore that Pono went in and grabbed some car straps. No one was hurt and I surfed a wave back in 😀