Why Foti Bros.?
Who are the Foti Bros. and why should you consider joining a Foti Paddle Camp, clinic or private session?
Foti family c.1982 The creators: Phil and Mollie Foti c.1982
The Foti Brothers were raised steps from Lanikai beach, paddling and surfing for pure pleasure. Frank, John and Jim (and sister Kathy) began paddling as soon as they could see over the gunnels, and by age six had all learned to steer their family's homemade three-man canoe. Lanikai Canoe Club’s base was steps from the Foti home, so they naturally began racing at an early age. By the time the Fotis were young adults, they were all acknowledged as some of Lanikai Canoe Club's premier paddlers and steersmen. They have been paddling competitively ever since, logging thousands of hours in canoes.
Jim Waimanalo c.1975 John w/boys 13/14. Jim Nanakuli - boys 14 c.1981 John Oahu Champs Duke Race c.1976 boys 18, 1981
Although Frank retired relatively early to become a paniolo, Jim and John began a historical winning streak of Senior Men victories that spanned decades. In 1995, they finally won the Molokai Hoe World Championship, their first of five victories. Jim, being the smallest of the Foti Brothers, gravitated to the steering seat has amassed more victories in Hawaii than any other steersman in the history of the sport, and is still adding to that list.
The Foti Bros. don’t just know how to be successful paddlers, they are also good at sharing the knowledge needed to become a successful paddler. With the Foti’s sheer volume of experience and extensive resume brings other benefits. More than simply understanding the current theory behind technique, they have observed and influenced the evolution over decades. It is difficult to beat the understanding that comes with being involved in developing a system. With international contacts in Asia, Europe, North America, and the South Pacific, Jim and John have a powerful network of resources and information about the newest regional trends in technique, equipment and training.
There are plenty of elite paddlers who can provide sound advice, but few who can do it with the confidence, nonchalance and humor that mark the Foti's personality. Past students consistently return not just for more coaching services, but with any form of paddling related question that requires trust in the source: what equipment to invest in, how to organize a channel crossing, even where to go and find outriggers in South Africa (or five other such countries). You can check out what clinic participants say for themselves on our testimonial page, and look at John and Jim’s bio pages.
Braddhas 3 canoe surfing 1989 Leading Molokai Hoe 1989 Foti Bros. win their 5th Molokai Hoe in 2005
Paddlers in 2005 picture above are: John Foti, Dave Daniels, Kai Bartlett, Pete Binney, Mike Pedersen, Jim Foti
The Foti Mission:
To continue growing the sport of outrigger canoe paddling worldwide by educating paddlers and potential coaches properly. We are ambassadors of the sport and we encourage each individual in the camp to become an ambassador to those who know less than them. We strive to enrich the lives of paddlers by installing the ideals of why we paddle and what makes outrigger such a special and unique sport. And of course, we aim to teach paddlers something new every day and leave them with smiles on their faces. We key in on each individual's technical needs. The video analysis helps to pinpoint each paddler's weak points, and reinforces the positives. Goals are determined by the level of each paddler or group. Depending on the paddler, we strive to teach everyone something they can grasp every day.
Jim sharing knowledge in Shonan, Japan 2006
Rank yourself and join the right group:
1. Never before paddled. Might call an outrigger paddle an oar, and a canoe a kayak.
2. Have paddled, but not for long. Are very novice and have never participated in any races.
3. Have paddled for a year or so. Maybe have competed in a few local races. Probably only have paddled OC-6, but maybe have borrowed an OC-1 a few times.
4. Have paddled for a few years now and am starting to get competitive in either or both OC-6 and OC-1. Know the basics well, but don’t have a lot of experience in open ocean, and long races.
5. Now you are definitely a paddler, having competed in numerous races over the past 3 or 4 years, you are no longer in the beginning novice category with your club and you feel you know what you are doing. Maybe you own an OC-1 and are starting to feel like you are getting pretty good in the calm and mild seas.
6. You are a long time member of a club, you own an OC-1 and race both OC-1 and OC-6 regularly. Might have some open ocean experience, but need to improve your skills in the big water and surf.
7. Regatta season, OC-6 distance and OC-1 distance. You do it all. Have experience in the open ocean, but still haven’t figured out how to make the ocean work for you. However, in flat races you place respectably well in the OC-1 division.
8. I own five paddles, each for a different paddling condition. I am comfortable in the open ocean and big water. Have done many races of all sorts, not just local races. Are able to read the water well enough to keep up with a fast group in a good downwind surf run.
9. Very good, experienced paddler. Very competent and confident in the open ocean, rough water. Paddles all types of canoes and pretty much kicks butt. Have a solid resume of races done. And I probably am a coach.
10. Molokai Hoe? No big deal. You are the best of the best. Paddles everything well in all conditions, paddles a lot and has been “there” time and time again, with a long resume of success and accomplishments.
Foti Hawaii Paddling Camps
The focus of the scheduled Foti Camps is on OC-1s, however, all but the advanced camp includes at least a day of OC-6 with an emphasis on steering. Camps are broken up by experience level. It is very important to select the appropriate experience level to ensure you get the most out of the coaching opportunity. Camp sizes will be restricted to no more than 6 or 7 paddlers per camp to assure that each paddler gets personal attention, so register early to get the camp and date that works best for you.
Beginner: Level 1:
We do not currently run camps for absolute entry level beginners. However, if you would like a one-on-one introductory clinic, or know of a group interested in an introductory camp, feel free to contact us here and we’ll build a curriculum right for you.
PUBLISHED CAMPS ARE CAPPED AT 7 TO ASSURE PADDLERS RECEIVE PERSONAL ATTENTION
Basic camp: Level 2-4
Introduction to outrigger paddling in Hawaii; why we paddle, where it came from and who paddles outrigger. Learn how to handle OC-1 canoes; how to rig and care for them. Learn to assess weather conditions and ocean safety, as well as tips to avoid trouble on and off the water. Focus on stroke technique with a video analysis, learn technique drills relevant to your stroke, and spend time on the water practicing. Learn balance and stability techniques, as well as when and how to apply them. Introduce yourself to surfing and reading the water. Learn to steer the big canoes and better understand the basic fundamentals of OC-6 team dynamics. We'll also give you training tips and tools, information on nutrition and how to build a game plan to accomplish your goals. Finish the week with some fun paddling, all the while reviewing and practicing the things you learned. Leave with a better understanding of what proper paddling should feel and look like, and why it's so fun.
Basic/Intermediate camp: Level 4-6
Follow a similar curriculum to that of the basic camp, but with at a faster, more advanced pace that assumes some of the concepts are merely review. It will give you either confirmation of what you are doing correct, or the realization that you are not doing it correctly yet. We will still conduct video reviews and technique drills as needed, but this group should grasp concepts faster, giving us more time on the water and allow us to journey farther from home into more challenging conditions than the basic camp.However, we won’t cut the ocean safety portion short. Our aim is to give you the skills that will take you from being a more recreational paddler to a competitive racer. We’ll cover the same steering lesson as with the basic camp but will accelerate as necessary depending on the paddlers in attendance. We’ll also touch on race goals, preparation and planning. From experience we'll tell you how to get to the top of your heap. Leave the week feeling more confident and accomplished a paddler than ever.
Intermediate/advanced camp: Level 6-8
For those who want to step up their competitive game; we’ll fast forward through the basics and hit the water earlier and harder. We will still do the video analysis as you will always learn from analyzing yourself. We will also maintain a focus on ocean safety every step of the way as well as make sure everyone can steer an OC-6, which is a must to advance into the expert category. We will hit the blue water and challenging conditions, practicing and refining open ocean surfing and reading the ocean. We may choose to paddle in various locations based on the weather conditions, needs and desires of the paddlers. We will also discuss the finer points of training programs and race planning strategies for different types of races (sprint and distance courses, OC-1 vs. OC-6). We know what it takes to be the best and will share the tools. Primary focus will be on OC-1.
Advanced camp: Level 8-10
This is a camp specifically engineered for highly experienced paddlers who want to paddle the extreme courses and conditions in Hawaii. Basics are not necessary and video review is out the window. This is only a 3 day camp with the majority of the time spent on the water doing surf runs and/or paddling the “out of bounds”. This is ideal for the experienced paddler who simply doesn’t know the area and how to get around, and wants to do it in good equipment. OC-1 focus, unless requested otherwise.
Can’t make one of the scheduled camps?
If you can’t make one of the scheduled camps and want to schedule private lessons and/or a private camp, please contact us and we will design a lesson or camp specially catered to you and/or your group.
When are the camps?
Check the SCHEDULE for the camp that suits you best and book your reservation.
As with the Foti Camps, Foti clinics are intended to educate and guide paddlers in a more condensed period of time. Clinics provide a great opportunity to take paddling to the next level with minimal time commitment. They are either one or two day events devoting the entire time to a particular aspect of paddling.
Steering Clinic: Introduction to Steering
Everyone should know how to steer. This Clinic is for any paddler, advanced or beginner, who knows NOT how to steer or is just beginning to steer. Jim Foti, steersman since the age of 6, will teach you the fundamentals and mechanics of steering, when to use the different methods, for how long and why. It will outline the roles a steersperson plays as well as the roles of all the other seats, and why it is so important for all paddlers in the canoe to have a knowledge of steering. By the end of this session, you will have a grasp, if not be well on your way to steering an OC-6. Two day clinic: 4 hours on day one and 2 hours on day 2. 10 persons maximum.
Advanced Steering – Regatta Sprinting and Turns
You already know how to steer but need to sharpen up your skills in regatta sprint races with turns. Regatta steering leaves little margin for error. Learn or review where and how to line up your canoe, how to predict the effects of different ocean conditions, what to look for when heading to your flag, where to line up the canoe for the approach to the turn and how to execute the pivot and escape route. Hear the advice and suggestions that Jim Foti, steersman with more OC-6 sprint victories than anybody in Hawaii’s history has to say. Improve your confidence and performance with discussion, Q and A, and on the water practice. Steerspersons of any experience level can benefit from this clinic. One day clinic, 4 hours. 8 persons maximum.
Advanced Steering – Open Ocean and Downwind Surfing
You already know how to steer but need to sharpen up your open ocean and downwind surfing skills. A good steersman can make a good crew great! But a good crew without a good steersman will never be recognized. This clinic focuses on how to effectively and efficiently steer your canoe in the open ocean. Jim Foti, Lanikai Men’s premier steersman since 1986 and winner of 5 Molokai Hoe races, will share his knowledge. He will help you understand what to be aware of, what to look for and how to read the water. You will learn how to capitalize on opportunities, create opportunities and minimize mistakes. Improve your confidence and performance with discussion, Q and A, and blue water practice. We’ll help give you the tools to become the best you can be. 2 day clinic: 2 hours day 1, 4 hours day, 2 to 6 persons maximum.
Our most general clinic is geared toward those who are relatively new to paddling. Because club coaches may have tens of paddlers from a range of experience levels on their crews, they may not have the resources to give new paddlers a proper fundamental education about paddling. We take it from the ground floor and build up: receive one-on-one attention including video analysis of your stroke, learn technique drills and spend time on the water solidifying what you learn. Learn to assess weather conditions and ocean safety, as well as protocols for managing yourself and your crewmates should crises strike. Finally, appreciate team dynamics, the distinctive contribution that each seat makes in an OC-6 and how OC-1 paddling can contribute to the success of an OC-6 crew. We’ll give you the information and direction you need to become a better paddler. For levels 2 - 4.
For those who are already confident paddlers, but want reassurance they are on the right track, and/or reassert discipline into their training, we offer a clinic that focuses on the finer details of technique and training. This clinic is similar to the basic paddling option, but accelerates through basics and is generally a faster pace with more paddling. For levels 4 – 6.
Advanced - OC-1 Surfing skills
Surfing the ocean is perhaps the funnest form of paddling. One of the greatest freedoms associated with OC-1 is versatility in wave conditions. A defining mark of the best paddlers is their ability to catch swells of all sizes, coming from all angles and stringing it all together. Ocean surfing is also the best way to turn a monotonous workout into a stellar day on the water that leaves you hankering for more. Getting to that level of proficiency takes time in the ocean, but we can help accelerate the learning curve by sharing tips of what to look for and how to react. This clinic will take you into the deep blue ocean where you have the opportunity to try your hand at surfing with a coache(s) to guide you along and make sure you are safe. Please note that this clinic requires enough experience and competence to stay upright most of the time in the rough ocean. Consequently, this clinic is for intermediate/advanced, strong level 5 paddlers and above.
It is one thing to be a good paddler, and quite another to successfully raise others to the same status. This theory-based clinic provides new coaches with key words and concepts for effective communication with new paddlers, as well as recommendations for structuring workouts to promote health and improvement in athletes. All of our suggestions come from personal experience of over 40 years of paddling and coaching, as well as an understanding of exercise physiology.
Pre-Race Course Clinics
While most of our clinics center around one aspect of paddling, we also offer instructional sessions that touch on all the major factors pertaining to the local (Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association) races (see www.kanakaikaika.com for schedule). Many paddlers enter a race on a route they have never traversed. Not knowing what to expect of the water conditions and coastal geography often makes a paddler uncomfortable, putting them at a distinct disadvantage. We offer to paddle through the upcoming race courses to improve racers' confidence and race performance. We’ll help construct a race plan including route recommendations based on tides and weather patterns, pacing, and tips to reduce the overall workload. Finally, we’ll take a paddle along the intended race course to solidify key elements of your new strategy. Replace nerves with confidence on race day, and optimize the fun. This clinic assumes that paddlers are race-ready in terms of fitness and technique, and only need course guidance.
Can't make one of the scheduled camps? We offer a wide range of coaching services that can be scheduled to meet your schedule. If you want to request a private session, or if you cannot find an activity that works with your timetable, feel free to contact us here and we will design a lesson or camp specially catered to you and/or your group’s needs.
Remote Video Analysis
Of course you would like to come and do a clinic or a camp. However, if you can’t yet want to reap some of the technical benefits that come out of a camp or clinic, we offer a remote video analysis of your paddling stroke. Send us a short video of you paddling (not more than 2 minutes) from which we can analyze your stroke, and then we’ll set up a skype meeting to review and discuss your technique, and give you tips and drills to improve your skills. Plus we’ll answer any particular questions you may have. Get the technical benefits of expert scrutiny, but without the cost of travel.
Check our activities schedule often, as clinics may be organized on short notice. Or, if we are not offering a desired clinic at a time that is convenient for you, drop us an email to request a private clinic.
OC-6 paddling isn’t just about the athletics—it’s first about being a cohesive team. So, the next time you’re looking to boost morale around your company, why not give your employees a fun day on the water that demonstrates the need for coordination, communication and a sense of humor in a successful crew? Experienced watermen will guide and supervise the water activities, ensuring fun and safety. We try to keep aratio of 5 guests/guide, but will allow a wider ratio if some guests are demonstrated competent water people.
Send us an email here.
So you don’t want hard core paddling, but just want to go paddling. Perhaps you want to the Mokulua Islands in Lanikai with a lifetime resident of Lanikai? We can accommodate this. If you were to do any excursion in Lanikai, the Fotis are who you want to take you. Having resided in Lanikai since 1964, we know the place better than anyone. Email us here and we’ll make a booking for you or your group. We have canoes of all sizes and can accommodate individuals or large groups.
You are a paddler that doesn’t know the area, but wants to go for a solid paddle. We can guide you pretty much on any run you want: Hawaii Kai, Makapu’u, Windward Oahu, North Shore, West Side or even something extreme like from Maui to Molokai or across the Molokai Channel. They sky is the limit. Just let us know what you want to accomplish or where you want to paddle, and we can make your paddling dreams a reality.
Who are the Coaches?
Head Coach Jim Foti leads a team of qualified, accomplished and respected coaches including but not limited to:
Donna Kahakui, Pat Dolan, Kekoa Bruhn, Kaihe Chong, John Foti, Kawai Mahoe, Mark Shark, Tapa Worthington, Pat Erwin, Peter Binney and Dave Daniels are just some of the qualified and accomplished coaches on our coach list.
For accommodations in Kailua: Visit https://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/hawaii/oahu/east-oahu/kailua