Mission Statement

The mission of Seattle Va’a Association is to perpetuate the sport of outrigger canoe paddling in the Pacific Northwest by expanding our understanding of the canoe and the culture that surrounds it through training, voyaging & canoe building.


Our first goal at SVA was to have more V1 canoes so that we can train together and hold races to develop our skills for competing (World Sprints, Hawaii, Tahiti). We accomplished this by working to import V1 canoes from Tahiti.

Our next goal was to learn about canoe building and build a canoe in the Pacific Northwest. Kaigani was built by Jono Saunders and is now used as a voyaging canoe. In the future we hope to work with Jono to build another unlimited canoe for racing.

Voyaging is another experience we are now undertaking and seek to explore and discover.

Who is the SVA?

We are passionate about paddling and wish to further our understanding,  share knowledge and train hard.  We do not look to replace your club or program, our purpose is to work together to elevate the competitiveness and opportunity of canoe paddling in the Pacific Northwest.

Update: Much of this effort has been passed on to Team Pacific Northwest, which more accurately represents the athletes involved. Team Pacific Northwest is gaining momentum and entering more races with improving results. Spearheaded by Lance Mamiya and involves athletes from many locations. Learn more and follow Team Pacific Northwest here.

Why Va’a?

Rudderless canoes, called V1, are closer to V6/OC6, obvious with the cockpit and lack of assisted steering. The V1 is a common denominator for technique training, as we can improve the feel of the catch and effect on the stroke on the canoe and the line. Across the Pacific the spelling of the word for canoe changes from Waka to Vaka to Va’a to Wa’a, yet the pronouncement is all very similar. Va’a can be anyone of those names, and at some point we might change to Wa’a, since we are closer to the Hawaiian culture then that of Tahiti.

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