The Maui Canoe Club and University of Hawai'i have teamed up to start a paddling program designed to fit every body. The weekly paddle started on Saturday, Jan. 28, with three new canoes given to the club by UH.
The outriggers are several inches wider than common canoes, designed to accommodate larger body types. The fee to join is $1 a year.
"We have people who've lived on these islands for their whole lifetimes and could never be on an outrigger canoe," said Maui Canoe Club President David Williams.
The program is a result of a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is being organized by UH Maui College professor Rafael "Rafi" Boritzer and state Department of Health Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang.
The program is set to run for five years. Boritzer encourages everyone to join. Participants will forgo the standard weigh-ins. The only questionnaire for the club is optional.
"Just show up," said Boritzer.