About the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club

About the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club

OC6 Waka Ama at Tahunanui Beach Nelson

About the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club

Waka Ama in Nelson

The Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club aims to promote waka ama (outrigger canoeing) as a recreational, social and cultural activity, and competitive team sport.

We’re based in Nelson, which is at the top of the South Island, Aotearoa/New Zealand.

We have lots of different crews, paddling at different times of the day on the local harbour, Nelson Haven. Our club owns four OC6 (six-person canoes) and three OC2 (two-person canoes).

Our club was formed in 2001 and our name is derived from the river now known as the Maitai. The Maitai River flows into Nelson Haven.

Come paddling with us

We offer a couple of ‘getting started’ paddles for a koha of $5 to introduce you to waka ama.

If you decide you’d like to paddle on a regular basis, we’ll endeavour to place you in a crew as places become available. Alternatively, you may want to paddle on a more casual basis, filling in when crew members are away or joining the social paddles on Friday evenings or Sunday mornings.

The club provides lifejackets and paddles for beginners.

Find out what's on

Cliff and son in an OC2 at Kaiteriteri

Fits with our Kiwi lifestyle

Waka ama fits in ideally with our Kiwi lifestyle and attracts paddlers of both sexes from age 6 to 70+.

Waka Ama is currently the fastest growing water sport in the country. The sport holds cultural, competitive, social, family and fitness appeal and its popularity just keeps growing.

We have a number of useful resources for outrigger paddlers.

Seb Head, racing open mens OC1
Waka Ama NZ Long Distance Nationals, 2016
Photo by Garrick Cameron

Waka Ama Racing

Our club has a number of paddlers who compete in sprint and long distance race events as individuals or as part of race crews.

Sprint races are fast and furious, with paddlers going flat out for distances of 500m to 1000m. Sometimes tight turns need to be made on the race course as well – a manoeuvre which requires great skill.

Long distance races are generally around 10km to 30km and test paddlers’ stamina. There are also longer races, called "changeover" races, where a crew will change paddlers every 20 minutes or so. They’re also very challenging, as there’s a special knack to changing paddlers while the canoe is moving.

Every year our club holds a race regatta, Tuna e Hoe Ana (paddling with the eels), at Lake Rotoiti, in the Nelson Lakes National Park. This is a popular event and features a series of races from 1km, 5km & 10km. To find out more go to the Tuna e Hoe Ana event page.

To find out more about other race events in New Zealand check out the race calendar on www.wakaaama.co.nz

Want to join us at Maitahi?

We always welcome new members. We have social and racing crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities. Its never too late to start. We have Junior to Golden Masters paddlers.