We build canoes.

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Shop hours

May 16, 2020

We are open, however due to social distancing requirements and because our Kailua shop is a manufacturing facility, please make appointment before visiting. Thank you!

We're Hiring

May 15, 2020

Our goal here is simple -- to build awesome products and do it locally in Hawai'i. We aim for ridiculous perfectionism. We use all the tools and technology available to us. And we strive for sustainability, happy customers, and happy workers. And, if you like building things, we’re hoping that you might want to join us.

It's not easy work. Manufacturing is challenging, difficult, and often frustrating. But it's also rewarding in that we get to make the things we want in the world. There is value in that, and deep satisfaction in continually improving everything we do.

We know Hawai'i faces difficult economic challenges ahead, and we want to be part of the solution. If you share our values and want to build products people love, email a cover letter and resume to keizo@kamanucomposites.com. Please note that we're listing many positions below, but we cannot fill all immediately. We will be hiring slowly to stay within our financial constraints.

All positions pay $15-25/hr depending on experience. We are very willing to teach and train people with no direct experience, but we like to see some examples of work, art, or projects that demonstrate your skills, ability to learn, and passion. Experience and interest in paddling is always a plus.

Composite Technicians

All technician roles have a certain amount of overlap. Eventually, people can learn all or most of the skills and cover most positions in the shop, but usually specialize in one or two areas.

Small Parts Technician

We are looking for someone to manage small parts production. Responsibilities will include rudders, paddles, and other accessories we make. Tasks include mold prep, maintenance, spraying, laminating, resin infusion, trimming, sanding, coating, gluing, and managing all aspects of delivering finished products. There will be lots of sanding and many paddles involved!

Finishing Technician

We are looking for someone to be a master canoe finisher. Taking the canoe from the mold to a shiny product ready for the customer can be the most challenging and rewarding aspect of our work. Tasks include detailed inspection, wet sanding, buffing, stickering, repairs, rigging, polishing, grinding, cleaning, organizing, and anything else that can help build great canoes. This person is the gatekeeper of our quality.

Spray Artist

We are looking for someone to take our painting operations to the next level. Must be meticulous about design and able to think steps ahead, planning and executing complex canoe paint jobs. Our techniques are a bit unusual in that you spray a mold, so you never see the final product until days after your painting is complete. Must be able to function at high speed and under pressure to get creative ideas done within the timeframe that the medium allows.

This position can be full time, and canoe painting can range from 3-5 days a week. Some days are easy (all white) and can be done in 4 hours, while others require 15 hours of attention. Usually, intricate designs can be done over two days, but working late is not entirely unusual.

The goal is to find someone to push the envelope with designs, but also someone who can deliver reliable and consistent results. This step is one of the critical steps in our process and drives our success or failure. Other responsibilities will include mold prep, mold upkeep, maintenance and management of paint equipment and supplies, repairs, finish work for canoes, and other products.

Laminating Technician

Laminators put our canoes together piece by piece. It's a skilled craft, taking raw materials and precisely putting all the pieces together to make the structure of a canoe. Tasks include prep work, mixing resin, laminating, vacuum bagging, opening molds, and cleaning.

Process Engineer

We are looking for someone to help with continuous improvement in all areas of our shop. Experience with CAD, CAM, composites, and a technical background is desirable, but most importantly, we need someone with the ability to solve problems and execute solutions.

Work may include all aspects of taking a product from the design phase to production. Projects include tool design, fabrication (sanding and all), template setup, CAD, CAM (CNC machine toolpath programming, and operating).

We might need a new fixture, or a custom rolling cart, or heating and curing solution. Can you make it happen? A tool or a jig might break. Can you fix it or make a better one?

Time in the office and on the shop floor is roughly equal and keeps it interesting.

VP Operations and Other Senior Positions

What we do here is, in many ways, absurd. Manufacturing in Hawai'i is an unusual thing. Our competition says it's impossible. But we are crazy or naive enough to believe we can build an organization that's vertically integrated and sustainable. We design, manufacture, and sell the world's best outrigger canoes. We have an inherent belief that advanced manufacturing and technology can enable us to create sustainable products in Hawai'i. If you think you can help us achieve these goals, please email keizo@kamanucomposites.com.

Nanahope Unlimited Outrigger Canoe For Sale

July 08, 2019

Nanahope was designed to be an all around performance canoe. It's great in flat water, upwind and downwind. It's well suited for medium to light crews due to a relatively long and narrow waterline. It has aluminum iako and through bolt rigging. The construction is all carbon, epoxy, and foam core. The hull weight is approximately 205 lbs. It's painted white with Awlgrip Marine Paint.

We believe it's one of our best canoes to date and will remain competitive for years to come. It's for sale and can be customized with decals. Price is $19,000.

Email info@kamanucomposites.com if you're interested or would like to know more!

Video of sister canoes, Nanamua and Nanahope in 2014:

Nanamua & Nanahope from Makana Denton on Vimeo.


March 15, 2019

Today, we would like to introduce you to ‘Elepaio. It’s the final design in a long line of unlimited sixman prototypes we’ve built and raced since 2010. We're confident that it's our fastest canoe yet, and we’re ready to share it with the world.

For more information see our updated page here or email us info@kamanucomposites.com.

Kikaha OC2

April 27, 2018

We've finally made an OC2! For more information check out the Kikaha page. To get on the order list visit our online store.

Kikaha was born out of our desire to share the sport with others. Whether you’re teaching someone to connect bumps, spending time with your family in the ocean, or doing a downwind race-- the Kikaha OC2 will accomplish that with comfort and speed.

The first step in designing an OC2 was coming up with an effective hull design. Like all of our canoes, we designed it with the goal of performing well in both glassy conditions or in 25 knot downwind seas. The round, narrow, and deep hull minimizes surface area and wave drag while maintaining the characteristics that make a canoe surf well. We believe it’s the most optimized OC2 ever made.

But, an OC2 is about more than just the hull design. For comfort and compatibility, we packed in two Pueo style cockpits that utilize our time tested foam Pueo seats. After testing multiple positions for the ama, we realized that different conditions and paddlers require different ama set-ups. In big surf, many paddlers like the ama in the front which helps keep the nose from burying and the tail loose. While others like the security of having the ama rigged in the back which allows both paddlers to lean back onto a ‘iako. Rather than compromise on one single set-up, the K?kaha is the first OC2 that can rig in both the front and the back using the same set of ‘iako. And we’ve developed a novel rudder assembly that allows front or back steering that can be quickly changed with no tools.

Lastly, we’ve tested and tested and tested. We almost never got around to producing a production model, simply because we were having too much fun with the prototype. But now, after 18 months of refinements, we’re finally ready to share it with the world.