Huli Instructions


Huli, in the Hawaiian language, means to turn over. If you huli a boat that means you flipped it over and are now in the water next to boat and need to get her right side up. Each paddler must be knowledgeable on how to do this regardless of what seat they are in. Below are the protocols that CROCC follows during a huli. Remember these are guidelines and every huli is different so paddlers must adapt to the situation. The key thing is to stay calm and be safe.

As the boat begins to huli make sure that you keep ahold of your paddle and cover your head. Once you are in the water, keep your head covered until you reach the surface of the water and are able to know where you are in position to the boat. Hold onto the boat and your paddle, make sure to get yourself to the ama side of the boat. The direct route would be to go under the hull, but if you can’t swim around so that everyone is on the same side.

Then Call out your seat number, starting with seat 1, in order to insure that everyone is ok. It is good to get in the habit of partnering your seats (i.e. 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6) and check in with each other. Once that has occurred and everyone is accounted for listen to your steers for instructions. They are your lead and will give commands based on what they observe.

Typically we like to have the following occur:

  • Righting the boat:
    • Seats 1 and 6 collect the paddles and keep the nose or tail into the swell
    • Seats 3 and 4 get onto the iakos and prepare to right the boat. Shimmy over the underside of the hull holding onto the the iako, and stand on the muku (end of the iakos on the non ama side of the hull) and wait for the three count from seat 6’s to roll back to right the canoe.
    • Seat 2 and 5 go out to the ama and hold onto it. When the Seat six give the command, submerge the ama into the water and wait for the three count, then let go. Once the boat has flipped back over proceed to the other side and hold down the ama to reduce the risk of a another huli
  • Bailing the boat:
    • The steers will direct either seat 3 or 4 to get into the middle of the boat, from the ama side, to start the bailing process. Bailing will be done at a fast rate and should be aimed at the ama to reduce risk of another huli. The person not bailing will act as relief if the other person gets tired.
    • Seats 1 and 6 will place the paddles they have into the boat and continue to keep the noise or rear pointed into the waves.
    • Seats 2 and 5 will continue to hold the ama and wait for further instructions from the steers person.
    • As water levels drop in the boat the steers will call in other paddlers in to the boat to bail and/or prepare to paddle. Always enter from the ama side and never more that two people at a time unless otherwise instructed.
  • Other Points:
    • Keep calm and don’t panic
    • Follow instructions
    • Know that it may not follow the steps outlined above

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