We are an easy-going group of kupunas (revered elders) who enjoy outrigger canoe paddling as a way to get out on the water, get some exercise, compete with other clubs, and give back to the community. The Kanaka Club was organized in 2009, and is the only local paddling club targeted to people over age 50, and thereby qualified to race in the Golden Masters category.

The Kanaka Club is a member of SCORA, the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association. Both SCORA and the Kanaka Club are 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporations dedicated to the perpetuation of outrigger canoe racing, both in Southern California and worldwide. SCORA provides outrigger canoe racing events for adults and children of all ages and brings families together to further maintain the rich Pacific Island culture and traditions that are at the heart of the sport.

Our Mission

The mission of the Club is to provide members education, skill in paddling, and a sense of cultural traditions and Aloha Spirit embodied in the sport of Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing. The Club also sponsors activities of community goodwill as determined by the Membership.

Kanaka Culture

The Kanaka Outrigger Canoe Club embraces a culture of inclusion and consensus-building. We work continually to strengthen our team spirit and sense of brotherhood. When something needs to be done, we all pitch in enthusiastically and do it together. We laugh a lot, we are curious about the things around us, and we work together to make our world a better place

Announcement: OnBoarding video for propective and new members

Our World Class Location

Kanaka Landing is located at Liberty Station (the old Naval Training Center) on beautiful San Diego Bay. We are the only club home-ported on San Diego Bay. It’s home to stylish bars, restaurants, and boutiques, as well as Liberty Public Market, filled with gourmet eateries and shops. There are also art galleries and several small museums housed in Spanish Colonial Revival buildings. Along the waterfront, NTC Park has grassy lawns and bike paths

We are the only club home-ported on San Diego Bay. Within Liberty Station, we are on the north end of the estuary, behind the Corvette Diner, which is located at 2965 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego, CA 92106. The entrance to Liberty Station closest to Kanaka Landing is off of Lytton Street (Barnett Avenue.)

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Exercise and Community

“Experts agree on two consistent pieces of advice to improve health span as we age—number one on every list exercise – the most important remedy for all aging maladies.  A second need, sometimes overlooked by the medical establishment, is community, i.e., having a network of friends.  I found both in Kanaka. I’m a lifelong racket sports enthusiast, and several knee surgeries sidelined me a number of years ago.  That prompted a search for an exercise alternative,  and I stumbled onto Kanaka. I did a trial paddle in beautiful San Diego Bay.  I was hooked.  It was a great workout in a scenic outdoor setting. And in the years following I was further rewarded by the wonderful aloha in the outrigger community.  I’ve made lifelong friends. And even traveled to Hawaii to race in the world’s largest outrigger race  – the Queen Liliuokalani.  Outrigger paddling is a complete package – conditioning, camaraderie, competition, and a gateway to the Hawaiian culture.”   

Bruce Griffiths

Board Vice President and original member

The Kanaka Cohort of Paddlers came into my life at a crossroads

I have been active my entire life, including competitive skiing, marathons, scuba diving, and competitive kayaking. In my late fifties, I discovered I had been operating on 2 of three cylinders. I had a congenital heart defect (bicuspid aortic valve), resulting in an Aortic Valve Replacement. An in-and-out procedure that should have lasted three days became two weeks. The second emergency surgery to keep me from going into total septic shock and dying was performed 48 hours after my open-heart surgery. I spent two weeks in the ICU with tubes going into me from everywhere. When I was finally released, I didn’t know how long it would take to recover. The big question was, “What would motivate me to get back into the shape I was in when I turned 65, before my surgery? That’s when I discovered Kanaka. It’s a great group of men and women going through similar life challenges. We all still have the warrior spirit in us to strive for greatness. Paddling three days a week with this special group of Kupunas every week has given me a new lease on the future with much fun and possibilities ahead.


Arthur Schwartz