Ready. Set. Paddle! Inside The Lake Havasu City Outriggers Canoe Club

Ready. Set. Paddle! Inside The Lake Havasu City Outriggers Canoe Club
Janet Cruz / 01 Jun 2022 / 2 Comments » Comments

By Janet Cruz

For those who need to add a bit of fun to their outdoor workout while enjoying the views around the Bridgewater Channel, there’s just the activity for you.

The Lake Havasu City Outrigger Canoe Club can help bring a sparkle to a morning routine while teaching the art of  outrigger canoe paddling.

Samantha Zasadil/RiverScene

Before the Lake Havasu City Outrigger Club was formed in 2004 by founders David and Liz Vidad, the outrigger canoe was first developed by indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands. Canoes were used for everyday life including  fishing, travel between islands, and even long  journeys sometimes well over 3,000 miles.

 Ancient Hawaiians also used them for recreation and included them in canoe surfing and racing but most importantly, it helped develop paddling skills for survival. Canoe racing was very important and prestigious since then, canoes have evolved over time to meet the demands for ocean conditions.

Samantha Zasadil/RiverScene

The Lake Havasu City Canoe Club was eventually formed after its founder David Vidad from Los Angeles, took a trip to Hawaii and saw a OC 1 canoe  and purchased his own in 2004. He would later do early morning paddles until eventually forming a club in Lake Havasu City.

Members of the Lake Havasu City Canoe Club, recognize the significance of the canoe and not only love the sport, but enjoy sharing the skill of paddling with locals in Lake Havasu City.

“Our mission is to teach the art of outrigger canoe paddling. No experience necessary,” said club president Jeanne Holdren.

Samantha Zasadil/RiverScene

Some members of the club often travel to California for racing events. “We were in San Diego a few weeks ago, our women’s team took fourth place with four California teams behind,” added Holdren.

Members also typically participate in ADR (Another Dam Race) in November which is a 10-mile race on the river in Parker, Arizona.

“The sport is fun, it is great exercise and being on the lake in an outrigger canoe is relaxing and exhilarating at the same time,” adds Holdren.

The Lake Havasu Outriggers Club meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for recreational practices at 7 a.m., and meet at the North end of Rotary Beach, by the channel at 6:45 a.m.

“Anybody can join us for a one-hour paddle in our traditional Hawaiian six-men canoes,” says Holdren.  “We provide a paddle, canoes and instructions,” she added.

Samantha Zasadil/RiverScene

Those interested can check out the practice calendar on their website at and a participant contact form.

The Lake Havasu Outriggers Canoe Club has been hosting Havasu Heat Race for the last three years and will host Havasu Heat Race #4 April 1, 2023.

2 Comments » Comments:

2 Responses to “Ready. Set. Paddle! Inside The Lake Havasu City Outriggers Canoe Club”

  1. Gary Mortimer says:

    Thank you for writing this great article!

    Gary Mortimer
    LHCOCC coach

    • Hi I lived in Havasu for many wonderful yrs and graduated from LHHS and my parents are buried there..(1971-72 & 78-94) and my heart still belongs in LHC..I know Liz Micad from my EMS/Medic days and she is amazing.Thxs for showing one of the many sweet things about Havasu..GDM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *