Paddling outrigger (OC2)

Can someone explain the difference in paddling technique between paddling a traditional C2 racing canoe vs an OC2? I have very, very limited exposure to OC paddling, but my impression is this:

  1. Slightly longer paddles
  2. More reach, longer strokes resulting in…
  3. More exaggerated torso rotation

    These are all guesses on my part, based on photos.

    Also, with steering concerns essentially out of the picture due to the rudder, what is typical for strokes per side before switching?

    As a side note, it seems almost sacrilegious to call one of these things a canoe. Its a surfski with an outrigger, that you paddle with a single blade. Oh well…


More than a training wheel.
“As a side note, it seems almost sacrilegious to call one of these things a canoe. Its a surfski with an outrigger, that you paddle with a single blade. Oh well…”

Might want to do a learn a little about the history of the canoe before making statements like that.

10-16 strokes per side, depends on team and wind, wave conditions of course

Good point…
…I’m aware of the history, and i get your point. I think i’m just having a hard time with the fact that no one is racing the open canoe any more (at least where i live).

With that said, i’m intrigued by the OC2…maybe i’ll get one…some day when i find some more money.

I got to try one the year before last
and believe me those things can fly.

I was told to just make sure to keep a little weight on the ourigger side and I shouldn’t have any problem.

I made one big circle and called it quits figuring I was now a pro.

Of couse the reason it went in one big circle is the fact that I was leaning on the outrigger side!



C2 vs 0C2
Just to clarify, OC2 does not refer to "outrigger. In competition canoeing OC2 refers to “Open Canoe” 2 persons. C2 refers to a “Decked Canoe” for 2 persons. OC2 is the more traditional canoe while C2’s actually look more like a kayak paddled while kneeling instead of sitting and with a single bladed paddle rather than a doubled bladed one. Most C2’s are very thin and the paddlers knees actually higher than the decks are held in by a sprayskirt. C-1 and C-2 are probably the most challenging type of hull to master of all paddlesports.

Hope this helps.


As a mediocre c-1 paddler who no
longer fits in his slalom boat, I agree, but there is some overlap in terminology use. I just make sure to say “decked whitewater c-1” or similar things. If people get to saying OC1 and OC2 for outrigger canoes, we aren’t going to be able to stop them.

hate to tell you
but for all of the west coast, hawaii, and much of the atlantic coast, oc1 means outrigger and oc2 means 2 person outrigger. most ocean paddlers have never even heard of the other kind of oc1 and 2.

Here in Alabama
OC-1 and OC-2 mean Open Canoe. No one here has heard of Outrigger Canoe.

you say tomato
and i say tomahto, i guess. as long as no one tries to bring an oc2 (west coast) to a rocky river, or an oc2 (southeast) to the ocean, we will probably all be ok.


you say tomato
Look I know that nothing is carved in stone and I realize that the world of competitive canoeing is probably not well known to most paddlers. All I’m saying is that for a very long time competitive canoe events were divided into OC and C classes and this was accepted worldwide. If there exist formal organizations out there that want to compete in outrigger canoes and I know there are, I suggest to avoid confusion not try to co-opt an existing term such as OC. It’s the ethical thing to do,certainly easier to keep track of, and allows outrigger canoe events to have their own unique tag rather than copying an existing one.


A little overwrought?
Outrigger canoes have been referred to as OCs probably for about as long as there have been such things (20-30 years for the racing sort). Doesn’t seem to be causing any major problems. And making it an ethical issue is a bit much, doncha think?

That’s why I say, just live with it and
try to be clear when using one’s traditional nomenclature in a wider audience. Both groups have been using that “O” prefix for decades.

ethical issue


Maybe instead of…
O utrigger C anoe 2 man I will start using the SWAO term as above. LOL

Surfskis are also know as kayaks to some too.