Na Pali Challenge

Due to the uncertainty of our times, the 2020 NaPali Challenge Outrigger Long Distance Canoe Race from Hanalei to Kekaha sponsored by Kaua’i Outrigger Association is cancelled.

After considering the potential risk, KOA believes this decision is in the best interest and well-being of our paddlers, escort boat drivers, officials, families, and everyone associated with outrigger canoe paddling. We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation as we consider future events on Kaua‘i.

We love outrigger canoe paddling, the community that supports it, the friendships and bonds that are forged across time and distance. But none of those things are more important than the people that love & depend upon you, your strength, your health, your kindness and your intelligence to see them safely through these turbulent times.

The Kaua’i Outrigger Association is proud to be hosting the 23rd annual Na Pali Challenge.

Support provided by…

Hawai'i Tourism; Experiences of Hawai'i…through the Community Enrichment Program

Race Day: Saturday August 8th, 2020

Registration deadline is Friday August 7th, location TBD.

Looking for paddlers? Looking for a crew?

Each year paddlers from the Hawaiian Islands and abroad gather on Kaua’i for this unique race. It is an opportunity for wahine and kane to come together and race down the enchanting Na Pali Coast. Each team consists of 6 wahine and 6 kane. The two teams take turns in the canoe, making water changes every 30 minutes.



  • Shuttle busses will be running to Hanalei the morning of the race, and will drop paddlers off after the race leaving from Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor.
Canoe Rental

Mainland and international crews will be given canoe priority. We ask that all inter-island crews ship canoes. Trailering fee ($150) is included in rental cost of $300.

Friday August 7th, 2020
Registration location TBD
Escort and Safety Meeting TBD

Saturday August 8th, 2020 Race Day
– 7:15am Opening pule and blessing
– 7:30am NaOpio, 60+, Koa start
– 8:00am Women start
– 8:30am Unlimited start
– 12:30pm Competitors begin arriving at finish line
– [Shuttle service to be determined by June 15th]
– Dinner and awards at Kekaha Boat House (near Kikiaola small boat harbor)

Cost: $500 per crew of 12 people 6 men and 6 women

Bands: All paddlers will be banded Friday at registration. These bands will also serve as your lunch ticket. Please be sure to wear them if you want to eat.

Course Information: The race begins at Hanalei Bay and will end outside Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor. The course is 36 miles long and runs along some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Click here for a course map!

Race Time: Women will start race at 8:00AM.

Canoe & Escort Numbers: All canoes must have a race number placed on the front right and left side of their canoes. All escort boats must have a matching escort number for the crew they are escorting.

Changes: An announcement will be made over the radio every 30 minutes when the window is open for changes to be made. An announcement will be made over the radio after five minutes advising the window is closed. If a crew changes before or after the designated window time they will be assessed a penalty of 10 minutes.

Last Change Buoy: Approximately one mile before the finish there will be a final change buoy. This means once a crew passes the final change buoy no more changes can occur for the crew. Any crew that changes after they have passed the final change buoy will incur a 10 minute penalty.

Finish: Crews must finish between the official boat which will have a yellow flag designating it as an official escort and a buoy outside of Kikialoa Small Boat Harbor. Any crews that do not pass between the escort and the buoy will be marked as “DNF” Did not finish.

Divisions: Na Opio 18 and under, Unlimited, Open 18‐39, Masters 40‐49, Senior Masters 50‐54, Golden Masters 55‐59, Grand Masters 60+, Senior Grand Masters 65+. Age divisions are determined by the age of the youngest team member. For example if there is 11 crew members that are 50 and one that is 49 the crew is considered Masters 40‐49. Age is based on paddler’s age on the date of the race.

We hope you can join us and if you need any information please submit our contact form by clicking here.

Here are some great home vids from one of our unlimited crews…