Become the most amazing company in the entire world... and build good canoes while we're at it.-Kamanu Composites' mission 2007
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 to make our little dent in the universe.
For everything that we produce, we thrive on doing each step. We figure out what we want; then we design it, build it, and 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 of self-reliance. Striving for perfection within every step of the manufacturing process has become a responsibility and an obsession. We believe a product should not be for consumption but 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 highly skilled jobs to our community.
We constantly work to build a company that makes the world better. We routinely ask what our value to the community is. We assess how we can reduce the net impact of our supply chain and material choices. And we continually strive to improve the lives of our employees, community, and world at large.
We still have a long way to go, but we are pulling our goals 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 twenty composites technicians and a team of the world’s best paddlers.
Aria Castillo Aria is the person that keeps the gears turning. She will draw you 100 pictures of your canoe if you ask nicely. She makes sure our office functions and keeps everyone informed. She thinks paddling is cool, but goes to kickboxing more than paddling practice. We won’t tell anyone.
Brandon Terry Brandon can free-dive deeper than most fish. At night he closes canoes. When he's not at work or underwater, he likes to make wood carvings, lures, fish boxes, resin castings, dive floats, spear guns or whatever else pops into his noggin.
Forest Leonard Will not run with you. But he’s an amazing artist that will happily sell you some nice pottery after you buy a canoe. He’s involved in all aspects of canoe building and he spends $300,000 a year for us ordering material. Ugh. He surfs castles in his free time.
George Wilson George lives for paddle-tics and to argue with Luke. Other than that he’s a great guy and a pretty good steersman. One day he will commit to paddling the solo. He’s also good at building canoes and manages our daily schedules.
Honu Singlehurst is a canoe finishing queen and a lifetime member of Kailua canoe club. She also speaks fluent Hawaiian and is much better at volleyball than Tina.
Keizo Gates Keizo supposedly runs this place and says he has a degree in aerospace engineering. But we all know he just sits in the office and learns whatever he needs off of YouTube. When he’s not trying to beat Greg at foosball, he draws canoes on napkins and flies his drone.
Kiki Shopcat Kiki has been working here for a long time. She showed up one day in 2012 and demanded a job right meow. She's been here ever since and is the only one to work 24 hours a day every day.
Luke Evslin Luke is in charge of our finances and helps us plan. He's also a county council member on Kaua'i. Seems like a big deal and we keep waiting for some subsidies, but apparently he can't do that. If he forgets to respond to your email, call his cell 808-635-6623 to yell at him.
Naia Singlehurst Nai’a is Honu’s little bigger brother. He is also fluent in Hawaiian. When your canoe needs medical attention he’s your man. Or if your canoe needs transporting across the Pacific, he packs them in 4 feet of bubble wrap to ensure it stays safe.
Spencer VanDerKamp Spencer helps out the evening crew. He once sold a paper clip on craigslist and then bought a stapler after that. It’s been a few years of buying and selling, but now he has a 22’ fishing boat. When he’s not out fishing, he is working on completing his studies at UH.
Tunui Tinorua At 6’6”, he’s one super tall Tahitian and is probably the nicest person in the shop. He has a love of paddling (all Tahitians do, right?) and is excited to be around something he is passionate about during his workday.