Outrigger Connection began to manufacture the Outrigger Canoes in 1991. Since then many OC designs became legendary and were industry leaders in new concepts and winners in the races.
Outrigger Connection designs were always on the cutting edge design wise and with the technology used in construction. OC was first to construct lightweight canoes using aerospace technologies like vacuum bagging and advanced composites like Kevlar, S g glass, graphite and epoxy resins.
Look around on the water and compare. The Outrigger Connections ideas are mainstream on every outrigger canoe. Aluminum Iakos, first used on Cuda 21, iakos that enter ama vertically for easy adjustment and rigging which was first on the Arrow 2 and composite iakos first on Thunder. Foot well drains, was first on the Viper and then improved foot well drains using a “Ventura” sucking system first on the Mantra.
Look at the seats, adjustable tractor seat for more paddler support, first on Arrow 2, foam adjustable seat for more comfort first on Thunder, foam stationary seat first on the Mantra. First foam seat integrated into the shape of the boat, with the lowered seam for lower seating and more balance was on Axis, and now the latest deep well for extra deep seat maintaining the same distance from the waterline, requiring the hull’s seam line to come up high to accommodate the seat first again on our latest design the FUSION.
Those are just few Outrigger Connections innovations, others to mention would be the rudder anti spin stopper, bungee cord storage systems incorporated into the deck design, canvas track integrated in to the canoe gunnels and the latest new redesign canvas using special lip behind the splash guard. The innovation will never stop as long as the feedback from the sponsored paddlers comes back as a positive task for endless improvement. The latest design FUSION and the FUZE are proof of our commitment to you.
60′s & 70′s
60′s and 70′s – Karel Senior, founder of OC and 2 time World Champ and holder of another 13 medals from White Water World Championships, 1972 Munich Olympic Olympian, originally from Czechoslovakia.
In the pictures: Karel Senior in the C1 canoe built by the company TGT, Tresnak, Gaba, Tichy, three paddlers and friends in the Czech army club Dukla, in the white water slalom competition and in Olympic in 1972, Munich Germany
80′s – Immigrated to the US, started own Company Karel’s Fiberglass.
In the pictures: on the pictures are products on Karel’s Fiberglass and CUDA Kayaks. Company specialized in custom work on power boats and production of ocean kayaks, CUDA, CUDA TANDEM, RODEO, SEA HORSE, and STEALTH
90′s – First introduction to outriggers. Lanikai CC men’s upper division coach, first to incorporate one man canoes into the training program and first to start using one man outriggers for selecting crews
93 – First outrigger built from the original Tahitian design brought to Hawaii by Paul Gay and Gail Berenguy. Outrigger 27 first custom made two man outrigger, made from the Outrigger 27.
Cuda 21, designed to substitute 6man training with individual exercise. High flat seat to emulate the same height as in the six man. First outriggers were built with the aluminum iakos and also using epoxy and carbon and Kevlar. Karel’s involvement with the Lanikai CC determined the clubs colors on the canoes of the sponsored paddlers.
Arrow. One mans start to evolve as the sport progresses. Narrower designs, but, still maintaining the flat high seat. First outrigger made with epoxy and graphite VACUUM BAGGED construction. First victory in the Molokai Relay. Jim and John Foti, are the first team riders for newly named Outrigger Connection. One man outriggers are getting popular in Hawaii and we are experiencing the first back log with our orders. R&D on a new canoe ARROW2 begins. Custom made colors and fabric inserts, graphite pedals. Association with the Black Bart paddles leads to an introduction of full graphite paddles for outriggers
96 – Arrow 2 and Thunder are the first to have a radical lower seat with the sliding track seat. First ever IAKOS that enter vertically into the ama for easy adjustment and wave clearance. First, complete graphite, bladder molded, composite graphite IAKOS. First, asymmetric exit of the iako from the canoe deck. Better clearance for the iako and more comfort for the paddler.
Thunder has more volume than Arrow2 and has the first sliding foam seat. Central foot well drain first appears on Arrow 2. Jim and John Foti win the Molokai relay again, this time on the THUNDER.
97 – Thunder continues its victories with Jim and John Foti winning the Molokai relay. We added new team riders, Courtney Seto and Todd Bradley. Several canoes were built for the first time ever using honeycomb core and full graphite construction .
VIPER is the brand new shape and design. It has a wedge like nose entry and new deck. A splash guard and newly shaped ama are the biggest new features of the new Viper. Jim and John Foti win the Molokai Relay race and Mark Rigg wins the Molokai Solo race on the new VIPER XL. Outrigger Connection is opening its first franchise in Australia. Junior paddles one of the first Aussie built Thunder’s in Hamilton Island Cup .
GATOR is designed for flat water performance. Walter Guild and Mike Judd win Catalina Relay race. We are starting to build super light Gators, full double graphite clear finish construction and custom colors. The team of the sponsored riders grows. New members are Kai Bartlett and Andy Penny . The reason for designing the flat water canoe was to offer paddlers a choice. Similar like a quiver of surfboards, Outrigger Connection is now offering a quiver in OC1s.
Viper evolves into the Viper XL with the cockpit radically moved 6 inches forward for better surfing ability. The team grows with the sponsorship of Simple green to: Walter Guild, Karel Junior, Kai Bartlett and Mike Judd. A special, super strong, Simple Green colors Viper XL is built for one picture ONLY, in big wave surfing, conditions permitting, sometime, somewhere???
Karel Junior wins his first Molokai Solo race on Viper XL, beating three time defending champion Mark Rigg who started to paddle for Tiger Canoes & Kayaks. OC designing team just finished our OC2 VIPER DUO. Pat Von and Greg Edwards became sponsored two man riders. Andy Penny and Kai Bartlett win Catalina Relay race on the Gator. Gator is the most popular OC1 in California and is licensed to be built in CA by Canoe Sports. Junior and Todd Bradley travel down to New Zealand to the Bay of Islands race. Junior wins the race in the two piece Gator .
MANTRA is a high volume canoe with the first ever foam stationary seat and an optional sliding seat. Its new ama was designed for Mantra specifically in order to fit its high volume, and the foot well drain holes are moved underneath the foot wells with the venture like sucking system
The new ama has a lots of reserved buoyancy and the riding point of the ama is moved under the rear IAKO.
Junior wins his second Molokai Championship and teams up with Kai Bartlett to win the Molokai Relay as well. Outrigger Connection is shipping two canoes, the Viper and Viper Duo to the Czech Republic in Europe. OC will use them as a demo in the White W
Water Championship race in Karel Seniors home town, Karlovy Vary. Both boats are equipped with kick up rudders to eliminate damage from shallow waters in the river. The boats are greatly accepted and admired. A new franchise, Outrigger Connection Europe is opened and the six mans are about to be built in Europe for the European market!!!
2000 – The outrigger sport keeps evolving and Outrigger Connection is the first once again to offer a newly designed, 17 foot recreational outrigger canoe called ALOHA. Since it is based on the paddleboard hull shape, the Aloha is an introductory, recreational canoe with recreational paddlers in mind. It is a wider and more stable canoe with plenty of storage space for touring and ocean activities.
Mantra continues the be successful with another record breaking win of the Molokai Solo (Junior’s third in a row) and a second place finish in the Molokai Relay Karel Junior with Nate Hendrix lose by only a 3 inch margin. Work on a new radical hull shape has started. The three chine, V shaped hull becomes a reality on our new OC1 STINGRAY. A new, retractable leash and a new seat are designed for the STINGRAY
2001 – We also designed our new one man canoe called AXIS. The new radical design followed some distinguished lines of our new MIRAGE 6man canoe. The IAKOS were not perpendicular to the boat, but left the boat under an angle from front to the rear to make more space for the paddlers reach. Also, a new seat was designed filling the specifically designed space in the deck but following the deck shape. Axis was quite successful with Megan Clark winning the entire Poai Puni series here in Hawaii. But, generally Axis wasn’t accepted as well as we expected. So, back to the drawing board and the work on the Stingray is about to begin.
STINGRAY and Stingray 2 are built. Viper duo is redesigned according the new observations seen from the Stingray. Different sliding seat systems are designed and the foot well drains are assisted with the venture style drain holes. New tandem has similar chines in the hull as Stingray OC1 but, only 2 instead of three for better maneuverability.
STINGRAY. Junior comes back from college in Colorado and wins his 4th Molokai Solo on the new STINGRAY OC1. Stingray was our first design using the chines on the bottom of the canoe. The seat was stationary but lowered again. In order to accommodate the seat and have it as low as possible, the seat well was designed with lower gunwales and the foam seat wrapped around the gunwales. Stingray is an overnight hit; Junior wins the prestigious race in Hamilton, Australia on the Stingray. Because the Stingray isn’t built in Australia yet, Outrigger Connection designs a two piece screw together canoe. After it is flown in, the boat is reassembled on Hamilton Island. Junior then wins the prestigious 16k around the island race.
2004 – FUSION comes life. The idea for a deep seat well that would support the hips of the paddler while surfing waves spearheads the FUSION project. Slightly different front rocker and a new deck, with more reserve buoyancy in the ama gives the FUSION a new distinguished look. Only two chines are put in on the bottom for better agility in the surf. Fusion proves itself in the Molokai races, Junior wins the MOLOKAI SOLO and Junior and Maui Kjeldsen win the Molokai Relay Championship.
2005 – Fusion continues its winning tradition with Junior and Jimmy Austin winning the Kauai Challenge, but during the solo race tragedy strikes. Leading by more then 7 minutes, the escort boat crew is encouraging Junior to go for a record and on one gnarly wave in the channel, the front of the canoe goes way under. The nose snaps. DNF for Junior.
Fuze is developed. All the data from the Fusion is used in designing a smaller, lower volume version of this famous canoe. The name is FUZE. Junior wins his 6th Molokai SOLO Race paddling the FUSION and Lisa Curry Kenny wins the woman’s division on the FUZE. The Molokai Relay champions are Karel Junior and Nate Hendrix on the Fusion.
ZEPHYR hits the water. During 4 seasons of observing the FUSION perform in all conditions, we now have enough data to design a new canoe. ZEPHYR is narrower in the cockpit for better stroke entry, has a more streamlined rocker for more flat water speed, but, still has enough agility and maneuverability in the surf. Karel Junior and Andy Penny win the Molokai Relay Championship.
Year of the ZEPHYR. Junior continues his winning in Molokai SOLO on the Zephyr and with Alfred Van Giesen they win the Molokai Relay Championship. Junior travels to Belgium for the European Championships and wins the race there. Immediately after arriving home he travels to Oregon and wins the Gorge Games on a Zephyr. In the fall, he wins the race in Hong Kong Called Dragon Run. All this is done on a China factory made ZEPHYR. One interesting comment Junior made after winning all those races on China made Zephyrs is that, even though were different canoes, they all felt THE SAME, end of quote!!!
We use a similar process that converged the FUSION the FUZE, but now with the ZEPHYR and the latest model of OC designs, called OSPREY. The radical narrow foot wells presented us with a challenge. The problem of seaming the hull and the deck was accomplished. The first ever deep seat well can accommodate the stationary seat but also can be outfitted with a sliding seat. The water in the seat well is drained out through a central drain connected to the venture, redesigning the draining system in the foot wells. A new graphite custom flap was designed with a different angle to allow for even more water flow and improve suction. New smaller ama is shaped to accommodate the lower volume of the hull
Outrigger Connection also ventured into paddleboard production. Although we didn’t design the hull shapes of our paddleboards, we were first to introduce to the paddle boarding community to molded graphite vacuum bagged paddleboards. Whether it was the Joe Barks shaped MALOLO unlimited paddleboard or Steven Ing’s shaped 12 foot stock ELEU paddleboard. Recently, we collaborated on the development and production of the C4 VORTICE paddleboard.