Corresponding Author

Peggy Peattie

Streaming Media


This qualitative case study of Kailua Canoe Club (KCC) on the island of O’ahu investigated the nature of leadership in a Hawaiian outrigger paddling community. Conversations with paddlers, coaches, and board members revealed a values-based holistic approach to leadership (Best, 2011). Those values were scribed into the club’s mission statement 50 years ago with the intention of establishing KCC as a space to connect with kupuna (respected elder) wisdom, develop paddling skills, and to honor the canoe, the ocean, and each other. A component of leadership kuleana (responsibility) is constant reflection on those values, and the mentoring of the younger paddlers in becoming future leaders who embody club values. This article details how those values manifest – in developing personal skills for the sake of team success, and in respect for the canoe, kupuna wisdom, the ocean, and ohana (family).

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