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Swim / Tread Water Testing

As required by AOCRA, Mooloolaba OCC will conduct annual 400m swim tests and tread water tests for all current and new paddlers. If you are unable to complete the tests, you will be required to wear a PFD while paddling until you have demonstrated your improved skills.


All club members must now have a PFD with them when paddling any outrigger craft – OC6, OC2 and OC1. The club committee fully endorses the AOCRA requirement. It is each paddler’s responsibility to comply. The club has 36 PFDs, however members are encouraged to purchase more compact personal models

Leg Ropes

All club members must now have a leg rope fitted to the canoe and their body when paddling OC1s and OC2s. The club committee fully endorses the AOCRA requirement. It is each paddler’s responsibility to comply.

Huli / Flip Recovery

A ‘huli’ can happen at any time with little or no warning. A huli is very common and can happen during a practice or a race. Below are the steps and procedures to right the boat and to continue paddling. The best huli procedure is to prevent the huli by making sure that all paddlers: Are sitting up; Not leaning over the gunnels; Not throwing their body weight across the canoe during a change; Letting the boat roll under their bodies and being flexible.



  • SEAT 1 – You are in charge of gathering the paddles and personal gear that may be floating away.
  • SEAT 2 – You climb over the canoe using the ‘iakos’ (wooden bars that connect the ama to the canoe). Once out of the water and on top of the boat, turn and face the ‘ama’ (the stabilising outrigger float). Place one or two feet on the ‘muku’ (the short end of the iako). Place your hands on the iako. If you cannot reach, grab the gunnel of the canoe. When everyone is ready, you will pull the boat towards you as the ama is being lifted, and flip the canoe back upright.
  • SEAT 3 – You will swim to the ama. Once seats 2 & 5 are ready on the muku, you will push the ama up by doing a big scissors kick with your legs to help in getting it out of the water.
  • SEAT 4 – Your job is the same as seat 3.
  • SEAT 5 – Your job is the same as seat 2.
  • SEAT 6 – You are the captain. You must check to make sure all paddlers are accounted for. You must assist in the execution of the huli recovery and be able to offer verbal or physical assistance.


The steersperson is in charge of the boat. If there are any paddlers that are in need of assistance, the stern (or next best suited to help) will take control. The first step once in the water is to gather yourself. There is a major initial shock to the body and often prevents logical, common sense thinking. If you are having a problem, hold onto the canoe. Shift your way down the boat (with the stern’s assistance) and hold onto the stern end of the canoe. Do not climb onto another paddler or the ama. This will sink the ama making it heavier, or possibly injure a second paddler.


Each seat has a dedicated job (as posted above). Once you and your crew are stabilized, get into postion to right the boat. Changes to responsibilities: a taller paddler may exchange roles with a smaller paddler when taking on responsibilities of seat 2 or 5. Due to a longer reach, they can often grab the iakos further away and offer more leverage to pull the boat over. Talk! Work as a team. Let everyone know when you are ready, or if you need any assistance.

4. 1 – 2 – 3 GO!

Once everyone is ready to go, count it down. We need everyone to pull at the same time. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to right the boat, but if not done together, it can be very difficult!


Everyone must enter the boat from the ama side. This is very important. If not done, you may cause the boat to flip back over.  A designated paddler enters the boat first and uses a bailer to quickly start emptying the boat. Seat 1 places paddles in the boat Seat 6 is the second to enter the boat and keep the boat pointed in the right direction.

If there are covers, the boat will not be full of water and the paddlers can start entering the boat. If there are no covers, the paddlers must make sure the boat is bailed enough before they enter. If the boat is too full of water, it may swamp if all paddlers were to enter. Watch the gunnels. Make sure that the boat is high enough out of the water.

Do not bail from outside of the boat as this is energy consuming and may make it difficult to pull yourself into the boat.

When bailing, rapidly throw the water over your shoulder. It is a fast swinging motion, do not place the bailer in the water, then pull it out, and then empty it over the side. Rapidly scoop and throw.


A huli is common and needs to be considered part of outrigger paddling. All paddlers will huli during their time in a boat.

STOP, THINK, REACT Take a second to gather yourself and then execute as a team!

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