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Outrigger Seat Roles

Seat 1 - Stroker

  • The stroker sets the pace and stroke and therefore must have a consistent stroke with excellent technique that everyone can follow.

  • They must be able to feel the run of the canoe and watch the water ahead.  They must adjust the rate depending upon the conditions.

  • They must remain at all times self-motivated and alert.


Seat 2

  • This is the first motor of the boat, and must possess a strong sense of timing

  • They are responsible for working with Seat 1 and must maintain the timing of the boat on the opposite side by mirroring Seat 1 in timing and stroke length.

  • Seat 2 should be watching the water with Seat 1 and communicate with them to confirm how the boat feels, stroke rate and length. 

  • Watches the 'iako (Always lean back and out on the ‘iako whenever the canoe is at rest and be "ama conscious" when the canoe is moving.) 


Seat 3 - Engine Room

  • Calls changes and always be aware of what is happening around the canoe (in order to adjust stroke count). There will be times when the count must change - stay on one side to prepare for a turn, start sequences, riding waves, etc.

  • Strongest and heaviest paddlers should be in the middle of the canoe in seats 3 & 4 to create a stable canoe.  Their weight ensures that the canoe sits reasonably deep in the mid-section and that the ama maintains contact with the water. 


Seat 4 - Engine Room

  • Seat 4 is responsible for bailing.

  • Seat 4 must also pass messages up the boat.

  • Watch the 'iako (Always lean back and out on the ‘iako whenever the canoe is at rest and be "ama conscious" when the canoe is moving.)


Seat 5 

  • Seat 5 may be required to assist the steersperson in difficult water. For example posting to stay on a wave.

  • May need to assist in bailing if a serious amount of water has entered the canoe

  • They need to be flexible in their paddling ability and protect the Ama by changing paddling sides if needed. Like the steersman, seat 5 may be required to paddle extended periods of time on their left side to protect the ama so the steersman can concentrate on steering

  • New & inexperienced paddlers will generally be placed in this seat as there are no paddlers behind them to be affected by their learning curve.


Seat 6 - Steersman

  • Seat 6 responsibilities

    1. Crew safety

    2. Canoe safety

    3. Steering and navigation

    4. Keep the crew in time, focused and motivated

    5. A paddler. 

  • Steering a 45ft/400lb canoe on the open ocean in rough water is an art form. Those that learn their trade well can be considered masters of a task which requires intimate understanding of the dynamics of the ocean and the nuances of the canoe and crew

  • They must steer a good coarse, read the ocean and work the canoe so it interacts and travels at its maximum potential at all times. They most motivate the crew, call changes to stroke rates if they feel it necessary and ensure the overall safety of the canoe.

  • Experience counts for a lot in this position. Time on the water in all conditions is a must and an intuitive understanding of ocean dynamics is crucial to achieving maximum canoe speed. In this respect it is said that surfers often make the best Steersmen.

  • The best Steersmen happen also to be excellent solo outrigger canoeists. 


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