Na Wa’a o Keoua – Meet Our Canoes!

Below is a list of our canoes originally compiled by Terry Wallace in 2005, and updated with our more recent canoe acquisitions.

Honaunau (Koa) – 1982 felled

Our first Koa

From the North West slopes of Hualalai at 5,500′. Made with the Tahitians at the old airport, one of eight canoes (not the hull Calvin Kelekolio had been working), we were given the last canoe. First raced in 1984 at the Big Island Championship regatta and won 2 golds and 1 silver with 3 crews. First weighed 500 lbs, so the club remodeled her to 400 lbs.

Ka‘ahumanu (Koa) – 1991

Ka’ahumanu at the Queen Lili’uokalani race in 2019

Lovingly referred to as “The Queen”. Refurbished in 2005 by the club. First blessing by Lana Kila Brandt. She has a long and colorful history.

Ka‘ahumanu (Fiberglass)

First fiberglass our club used. Given to Lili’uokalani Canoe Club, 1974-1975, as stipulated by the county; all ten canoes in those days were owned by the county and given to the community to use in their canoe clubs. This was to promote paddling within the community. In the years 1974-1979 our club had the use of just two canoes: Keōua and Tutu Pele.

Keōua (Fiberglass Class I Malia) – 1974

Color: Red & Yellow

Original canoe belonged to the county. Class I Malia mold “the Original” then sold to the club for $1 in the late 80’s.

Donated to Paddlers of Laka in Hilo in 2022.

Tutu Pele (Fiberglass Class II Malia) – 1978

Color: Red & Yellow

Given to us, same time as Elua, by the Hale O’ Ho’oponopono School, Hōnaunau (was an alternative school and is now a pre-school) in the mid to late 90’s. This canoe went to the high school for a few years in between and then we regained acquisition of her.

Donated to Miloli’i Canoe Club in 2022.

Keōua Elua (Fiberglass Class II Wanter Guild Malia) – 1978

Color: Red & Yellow

First brand new canoe owned by the club. Acquired for long distance races and used for the Hana, Maui to Anaeho’omalu, Big Island race.

Altered by the club, a Herb Kane design and built by the Benson twins, Jerry and Garry. Almost named “Mo’i Kane” (means King, but also a fish that swims side to side).

1981 Crossed Molokai Ho’e and finished in the top 15 canoes. 4 time winner of the “Queen Lili’uokalani” Kona race: 2003, 2004 by Keōua crews; prior Lanikai & Kailua crews.

Donated to Hoemana Canoe Club in Kawaihae in 2022 and renamed Keōua Nui.

Kanaloa (Fiberglass Herb Kane Pololu [Spear]) – 1981

Color: Red & Yellow

Second brand new canoe owned by the club. Canoe changes made by the club, a Herb Kane Design and build by the Benson twins – Jerry and Garry. The twin canoe was Kahanamoku (Keauhou). Kawaihae also got one. Dominated long distance races in 1981 (Keoua men – Lili’uokalani race) & 1982 (women). Top canoe on the island at the time. Best canoe in open water, a rough water canoe that DID NOT take on water. In Puna (and for Pokoiki races), the only canoe out there without a cover in 1984/85.

Kapuwai (Fiberglass Hawaiian Racer) – 1988

Color: White

Bought from the World Championships in O’ahu. Our first Hawaiian racer.

Kaholo (Fiberglass Hawaiian Racer) – 1993

Color: White

Came over from California in the 45′ container with Ku’ahu’ula as another practice boat.

Keoua Kū‘ahu‘ula (Fiberglass Bradley) – 1993

Color: Front – Yellow / Back – Red
Race Number: E4

Brought over from California in a 45′ container packed by Tim Woods and Roberto. Renamed by the club. Known in California as the famous “86”; winner of the Catalina race many times.

Lono Kaiolohia (Fiberglass Hawaiian Racer) – 1999

Color: Red & Yellow
Race Number: E3

Bought from Tim Woods as another quality ride; was a sailing canoe. Was named “Fast” in California.

Pali Kapu O Keōua (Fiberglass Mirage) – 2003

Pali Kapu O Keawe at the Queen Lili’uokalani race in 2019

Color: Red & Yellow
Race Number: E5

Third brand new boat owned by the club. Bought from Karel Outrigger Connection. Blessed by Keoni Atkinson.

Kai Pahe‘e (Fiberglass Mirage) – 2004

Kai Pahe’e during a long-distance practice off Miloli’i

Color: Red & Yellow
Race Number: E6

Bought from World Sprints held in Hilo August 2004. Name changed from Kane Aka Ho’o Waka to Kai (ocean) Pahe‘e (slippery, smooth; to slide). Blessed June 5 by Larry Urusa. In late 2022, Bill Rosehill made fiberglass repairs to the gunnels and seats, then repainted the entire manu yellow while leaving the hull red.

Pae‘a (Fiberglass Bradley Lightning) – 2009

Pae’a at the Na Pali Challenge in 2019

Color: Red & Yellow
Race Number: E7

Bought as another brand new racing canoe and named after the ocean access spot at Hōnaunau Bay (aka “Two Step”). Over the years she has carried our paddlers at races all around the Big Island, and across the Ka’iwi and Pailolo channel races as well as the Na Pali Challenge in 2019.

‘Ale‘ale‘a (Koa) – 2012

‘Ale’ale’a at the Queen Lili’uokalani race in 2019

Built by our own kahuna kalaiwa‘a, Kurtis Yamauchi and blessed on Sunday March 11, 2012 by Kahu Kahekili Ursua (see photos). This canoe has carried many of our crews to victories in both regattas and long distance races around the island.

‘Iolani (Fiberglass Makika Unlimited) – 2016

Color: Red & Yellow
Race Number: X5

Our first unlimited class V-6 canoe built on Hawai’i Island by Tiger Canoe in Kohala. This canoe was designed by John Puakea and only weighs 175 lbs.

Keawekāheka (Fiberglass Bradley Lightning) – 2022

Keawekāheka at Kawaihae docks, better photo coming soon!

Color: Red & Yellow
Race Number: E8

Received in early 2022 and blessed on May 12, 2022 by Pauahi Kamakau. Named after the northernmost point of Kealakekua Bay, which we often use as a landmark during long-distance practices. Keawekāheka refers to the ocean pools in that area that were favored by Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku, a ruling chief of Hawai‘i Island and great-grandfather of Kamehameha I.