Reason for Being
We started Kamanu Composites with the simple goal of doing something fun centered around what we loved. The canoe brought us together. It formed us as individuals and as a company. But today, it’s about more than just building canoes and having a good time. What brings us back each day is the idea that we are part of something bigger. By focusing on our craft, localism, and sustainability we aim to use this business as a means to have a positive impact on the world.
For everything that we produce, we thrive on doing each step the best way we know how. First we figure out what we want; then we design it, we build it, and we do everything in-between until a quality product is in the hands of the user. It’s a learning experience and it’s a practice in self reliance. Striving for perfection within every step of the manufacturing process has become more than just a responsibility; it’s an obsession. We believe a product should not be made for consumption, but for long term value and use. We make every effort to deliver that.
We believe wholeheartedly in local manufacturing. We don’t outsource, re-sell, or source canoes. We build them from start to finish. Materials come in and canoes go out. We believe it results in better products, reduces our environmental footprint, stimulates our local economy, and provides high skilled jobs to our community.
Every business decision is framed around a simple premise: sustainability. And that filters our every action. From our commitment to local manufacturing, to reducing our reliance on petrochemical materials, to rejecting the idea of limitless growth. We are working towards a company that’s net impact on the world is positive. We still have a long way to go, but with the right core values we believe we are pulling that goal a little closer every day.
In the end, it’s about satisfied customers, happy workers, and a healthy world.
Who We Are
Kamanu Composites was founded in 2007 by three friends pursuing a lifelong dream. Over the years it has expanded to include nineteen composites technicians and a team of the world’s best paddlers. While the company is centered out of Kailua, O’ahu, Kamanu Composites has licensed local manufacturers in France (Woo) and Australia (Kamanu Aus) and distribution networks in Los Angeles, Seattle, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Alika just appeared one day with a squeegee in his hand. He is not only a laminator, but is the future coach of the 2024 US Olympic outrigger team.
Greg is a spray artist and can mask off any flag in the world. He's also the reason that every time you come to the shop, it looks a little nicer.
Jason works on the Hokule'a. He likes it so much that he joined us. We don't have the heart to tell him that the Pueo is not a voyaging canoe.
Justin spends his days saving lives. At night he closes canoes. Between jobs he goes to UH. Somewhere in there he finds time to paddle.
Kama'o is usually knee deep in epoxy. Your canoe? Yeah, he laminated it.
Kaoru is an architect. And he makes fish prints. And he swims with sharks. And he does guts. And he's super buff.
Ulu grows Kalo. On his spare time he sprays, laminates, kills boars, surfs, builds sailing canoes, and hunts fish.
Keizo often walks around with calipers and measures things. No one really knows why.
Luke lives on Kaua'i. He's kind of odd. But he answers 401 phone calls and writes 739 emails every day.
Makana is the king of finishing. Give him a canoe and he gives you back a Pueo. When not juggling boats, he makes awesome videos and wins races.
Mark is a master of trimming operations. When he's not grinding, he's sailing. Or laminating. Or building second floors to the shop.
Mike makes the rudders. All of them. If you spin out, it's probably because Mike is mad at you.
Nick appeared on our doorstep as a baby. His presence breaks seven child labor laws. But he's a repair magician. Two pieces come in, one goes out.
Otto Wolff IV
Otto is the new guy. He likes to make sandwiches for lunch. That's about all we know about him so far.
Rodney makes sure that the shop doesn't implode on itself. He also answers the phone, coordinates shipping, and is a personal trainer.
Shawn's been here the longest. Nowadays he works with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back. Just for the challenge.
Shopcat appears only on moonless nights. She has neurological issues. Don't approach her.
Todd sets up flange molds. And built the fastest canoe in outrigger history. He's kind of the man.