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Outrigger Gear Review - Puakea Kahele (Ozone)

This is our third outrigger canoe review! This article will reference the last two boats as design comparisons and flatwater test results. You can check them out here -

Currently we have Canoe Specs, Measurements, Boat Comfort/Quality of Life, and Flatwater Testing.

I am 5ft 6 (167cm) and 140lbs (63.5kg) slightly above the intermediate skill level as a reviewer. I typically fit in all canoes without issue but have a good general idea of a paddler being too big for a given vessel based on club members using boats.

The Kahele has served as a pretty dramatic shift in boat designs shortening the hull to 19ft3in/5.86m when the majority of boats have been over 20 ft/ 6.1m. Similar to the innovation the Hurricane served shortening boats from 24ft/7.3m. This shortening has been by cutting down the amount of rocker the boat has and eliminating the parts of the boat in the air from that curve shape. The end result is a very compact shape with every aspect of the hull being put into constant usage. The outline of the boat still gives good volume for a wide range of paddler sizes but has been most optimal for middle weight paddlers. The recently released Volare and Cantare working to the larger and smaller paddler respectively.

Kahele Specs

19ft3in long x 16 inches wide (5.87m x 40.6cm)

Seat Depth- 4 inches/10cm (To Velcro)

Seat Depth with Seat - 3.25 inches/8.2cm

Seat Width - 15.5in/39.4cm

Footplate Leg Distance (Longest setting) 39 inches/99cm

Footplate Leg Distance (Shortest setting) 25 inches/63.5cm

Heel Depth 11.75 inches/29.8cm

Ama Distance (one setting) 33in/83.5cm (Hull edge to Ama Edge)

Boat weight for testing - 17lb/8kg hull

Rudder 10 Inch/25.4cm Ozone Flatwater

Outline Measurements from nose

15 inches from nose - 3.75 inches wide 38cm/9.5cm

30 inches from nose - 6 inches wide 76cm/15.2cm

45 inches from nose - 8 inches wide 114cm/20.3cm

60 inches from nose - 9.5 inches wide 152cm/24.1cm

75 inches from nose - 11.5 inches wide 190cm/29.2cm

Outline Measurements from tail

75 inches from tail - 12.25 inches wide 190cm/31.1cm

60 inches from tail - 10.75 inches wide152cm/27.3cm

45 inches from tail - 9 inches wide 114cm/22.8cm

30 inches from tail - 7 inches wide 76cm/17.7cm

15 inches from tail - 4.5 inches wide 38cm/11.4cm

Cockpit/Seated Area

This is still part of the modern design of boats with a slightly recessed area for the seat, and very deep heel position. This is very ergonomic and comfortable. Leg drive feels simple to find having the heel position almost completely at the bottom of the boat. The leg position with the seat adjusts from 25in-39in/63.5cm-99cm inseam approximately. If needed the seat could be cut to get closer or further back but this is a big range of leg lengths. The wave guard on the top is very cool looking and makes you feel like you're really "inside" of the hull.

Quality of Life Details

Similar praise with the other Ozone boats designs and little features that are luxurious. The auto centering rudder as always is a great feature for both paddling and even makes rudder swaps simple. The leash attachment points are well placed and don't ever feel in the way. Very high walls under the pedals give a good platform to heel drive off of, and the rudder position makes it difficult to accidently hit the pedals during leg drive. The iako system into the rear ama uses a twist system to allow close calibration of exactly where you want the boat. This can be really fun to change and play with to put the boat exactly where you want.

This length fits into standard garages easier which makes storage practical off the water as well. These first reviews have all been what I keep referring to as "modern" boats and these quality of life sections will have more range when we compare them to "older" models.

Boat Overview: The Kahele is definitely designed to tackle all conditions. It is not really shaped with being extremely specific to one condition or another and acts like a swiss army knife of boats. With the outline of the boat it finds its volume by being a light bit wider at the nose and tail a little sooner in the hull. The tail outline is where most of the boats volume is at which definitely helps with that extra lift when finding swells. The waterline of the boat for my weight is nearly the entire 19ft+ of the hull when paddling. This is actually more waterline than myself in the Ares that is over 1ft longer. Extra waterline changes how it glides stroke to stroke. Having more waterline means you can feel extra power in the stroke pay off for glide. The boat is responsive with the shorter length but designed in a way where its right on par with boats with that extra hull length.

(With all canoes your height, weight, age, current skill level and paddling environment will influence how each boat feels and that dynamic will continue to move back and forth on a spectrum forever)

Flatwater Testing Overview: For all tests ongoing we will be using the format of 3 miles 4827m at a specific stroke rate. This lake has the same water depth annually for consistency, and the course is marked by 4 buoys that do not change position making it easy to run different boats on the course for cross analysis. The Stroke Rate goal is a submaximal 55SPM with a margin of error for 1SPM 54-56spm. Noting boat weights and rudder sizes as potential future differences amongst similar shaped boats. This serves as a good general guide on boats that vary dramatically in shape, but will also be fun to see how boats compare and factoring in the outline measurements towards that.

Flatwater Testing - Note on the Kahele specs the rudder I had access to is the 10inch weedless model. The other two reviews used a 4inch flatwater rudder. A future gear review will compare rudders head to head on the same model to try and figure out a +/- variable. If I had to guess it would be 5-10s/mile having the two different rudders. In the final result its 10s slower than the Ares but its definitely slightly faster in my opinion

The boat glides very well and really responds to power on the stroke as opposed to turning over faster and faster. You can see and feel the waterline activate as you interact with the water in a meaningful way instead of rushing through the process. The turn radius was remarkable with the 10 inch rudder. Even paddling in a straight line there was barely a need to use the rudder. The hull shape likes to hold a line well. Overall its a good boat and with the smaller rudder this would slot in between the Ares and Draco previously reviewed.

Final Thoughts: Overall this is a great balance of boat shapes and designs. Depending on where you are and what conditions you are paddling in this boat was built to be successful handling most conditions. Depending on your storage options these shorter style boats may be the only options to consider and there is not much sacrifice in performance towards that off the water quality of life.

Thank you all for checking out the article. If you have any questions about boats or our online coaching feel free to message anytime via Live Chat or my email

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