Our Keiki/Junior program focuses on Outrigger paddling techniques and fundamentals, but that is only part of it. Outrigger canoeing is a sport that helps to build self-esteem and give a sense of adventure. Not only do we learn about paddling we learn about the canoe, Hawaiian culture and respect for the ocean. Here at OOCC Keiki’s, we care about our community and our teammates. We welcome all Keiki’s 10 to 19 to join us and become a part of this amazing sport and family (Ohana) of paddlers.
Race Season practices start:
April 17, 2018
$105 per member for the year. Scholarships are available
Membership to our club, which includes use of canoes/paddles
Tuesday, Thursday 3:30 – 5:00
Saturday 12:00 – 1:30
If you are interested in participating please contact Kristie Mata at email@example.com
My name is Kristie Mata, I am the Keiki coach this year along with Fran Maloney and Keith Harkness. I am in my 4th season of racing with Oceanside Outrigger and have sat in many seats but mostly seat 6. I have worked with kids before, but coaching is new to me. I’m all for teamwork, respect and love for paddling. Teamwork, meaning we work together in the canoe for a common goal, we support and encourage each other. Respect, meaning we respect each other in and out of the canoe. Love for paddling, well it’s why we are here to get out on the water and play and have fun, but we are also going to compete. I am excited for the season to start and am looking forward to seeing you at practice.
We have a lot of experienced paddlers who care about the future of our club, and that means Keikis and Juniors get lots of instruction and support during practices and at races. Fran, Keith and Kristin are just a few that will be helping us out at our practices.
Crossing the Finish Line
Eight years ago, my dad told me about the Keiki program with oceanside outrigger. Little did I know this conversation would eventually influence the hobby I have developed today. The first time I sat in a canoe, I thought to myself this is the worst thing of my life. I was people who were way older than me, doing a sport I have never done and in an environment, I was not familiar with. As a little nine-year- old girl, in that moment, I never would have believed I would still be doing something I am so passionate about today.
Eight years later, and counting, this sport has brought so much to me. This sport has taught me self-discipline and taught me that I need to work hard to accomplish something that is worth telling people. And of course, all of the memories paddling has created is invigorating. The most vivid experience that ever occurred in my current paddling career is passing the finish line in Avalon, Catalina. I and 8 other teams mates trained for months for this moment and every second were worth it. I doubted myself so many times and told myself I was crazy for wanting to paddle 30 miles across the Pacific Ocean to a tiny island off the coast of my home state. There was so much to know in order to accomplish this race.
This race helped me understand so much about myself. I learned that 30 miles of a paddle is so physically straining but so mentally rewarding. I am truly blessed for my coaches and teammates encouraging me to do something that not the average 16-year old girl would be doing one weekend. However, my dad is the reason I went through with my decision to do the Catalina race. He taught me that once you start something you must finish it. The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint my dad. I woke up one morning at 4 AM and drove to Newport Beach, where little did I know, I would be indulging in the experience of a lifetime.
Around 3 hours later, I was in the canoe and on my way to the finish line. I was hoping for the best conditions out there, wind going in our direction and no swell. Obviously, nothing is perfect and that was not the case, the wind was in every direction and the swell was bumping from all over. I thought to myself everything was going to be okay. I am so happy I told myself this because six hours later we crossed that line and everything I had worked for and all the practicing I have done since I was nine years old had paid off. The first thing I did when I jumped out of the canoe was hugged all my teammates because I would not be the paddler I am today if it was not for them. The most important thing I did was called my dad and told him I finished the race and I explained to him how hard I have worked and how in shock I was for actually just accomplished this. I am very fortunate to have my dad always encouraging me through my life especially with the thing I enjoy the most.