TCOCC Training

Join us in 2017 and Paddle on the Columbia with TCOCC!

 Season will begin in early April, with practices every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Monday & Wednesdays 6:00pm, Saturdays 9:30am (time subject to change as daylight increases)


No experience necessary!!


Tricities Outrigger Canoe Practices are held at Columbia Park West in Richland, WA. This special use area is located on Columbia Park Trail, north of Columbia  Center Boulevard. The area has a restroom, picnic shelter, picnic tables, two barbeques, drinking fountain, multi-use trails, boat docks, 3-lane boat launch, benches, grass and trees. There are 6 handicap parking stalls, 1 handicap trailer stall, 35 trailer stalls and 29 vehicle parking stalls.



Training Schedule

We train from early April until early October.  Practices are Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00 pm and Saturdays at 8:30am (9:30am until the weather warms).



Wear comfortable clothes that are appropriate for working out in the given weather conditions.  This generally means wearing layers of synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics that breathe well.  In cooler weather, it is a good idea to wear some kind of neoprene booties and gloves and a shell that you can take off if you get too warm.  It is never a good idea to wear denim or cotton clothing as it stays wet and cold once it gets wet.



TCOCC will make every attempt to avoid putting people at risk.   However, safety is ultimately an individual responsibility.  Get to know your own limits and comfort level.  Anyone can opt out of paddling due to a safety concern at any time without repercussion.

Life Jackets

Life Jackets are kept in the canoe at all times we are on the water.  Individuals may choose to purchase and wear their own life jackets based on their level of comfort in the water.

Emergency Whistles

Emergency whistles are kept attached to the canoe near seat 6.

Severe Weather

TCOCC will not go on the water if there is lightning.  Club members will make the call to go out or cancel practice based on the severity of other weather events.  We will use the club member emailing list to update members if practice is cancelled.


Hulis (times when the canoe flips over) do not occur often, but each paddler is responsible for knowing how to respond in case of a huli.

Priority #1: Make sure all paddlers are accounted for!

Priority #2: Right the canoe.

     Seats 1 & 3:  Swim out to the ama and push up when 2 & 4 ready to pull.

     Seats 2 & 4:  Climb over the hull facing the iakos and pull up on iakos as 1 & 3 push up on ama.

     Seat 5: Collect paddles and count heads.

     Seat 6: Hold the canoe into the waves.

Priority #3: Bail out the canoe.


Training Terms Defined

The following are brief definitions of terms or expressions related to training/technique.


Term or Expression
Definition or Explanation
Focus on water and muscles working
Intent is focus while you paddle on your seat to the canoe and feel all your muscles at work.  Typically, a slower more relaxed paddle.
The art of all paddlers in the canoe synchronizing the entry and exit of the paddle from the water at the same pressure and force.  The idea is to paddle as one unit.
Efficiency Paddling
Efficiency is maintained by focusing on the glide of the canoe, rather than the speed and intensity of each stroke.
For training purposes, is the use  parachutes, ropes, buckets with holes, tires in front of canoe to apply a drag on the canoe.  Low resistance is anything that applies a little resistance, while high resistance are typically buckets with holes.
Warm-up drills
There are two types of warm-up drills that are used to stretch the muscles prior to a workout:
  • Land drills – dynamic drills out of the water such as stretches, lunges, twisting torso, etc.
  • Water drills – slow stroke rate to focus on reaching out, twisting, rotating hips, etc.
“As you feel paddle”
Paddle at the choice of the crew.  It is meant not to be an intense paddle, but a paddle for each individual to work on areas that need work.  Typically occurs the practice after a long race.
“Catch to Belly”
Drills associated with paddling either 1/3 or 2/3 of the stroke (i.e., from the catch phase to either 1/3 or 2/3 of stroke).  Focus on the catch, grab, accelerate, and release early.
Push/Pull Drill (purpose for exerting more hip twist)
Drill where the paddle blade stays in the water the entire time and you oscillate by pulling back the paddle through the water and then pushing forward with the paddle.  Intent is to only do low repetitions of 10-20 and no more than three sets typically.
Straight Arm Paddle
Drills associated with keeping both arms as straight as possible and locked in position.  This results in using your torso and hips to exert most of the force.  This involves and exaggeration of the paddling stroke.
Stroke Drills
Drills of different variations focused on stroke technique:
  • one count in water, 3-4 count in the air on return.
  • Bottom hand down -  lower the hand grip lower on the blade and focus on pulling the blade.
  • “Do-wrong” drill  -  a drill were bad technique is used such as bending arms,, no twist, etc to get a sense of what an inefficient stroke is like.
  • Drills associated with keeping the paddlers eyes forward, as opposed to downward, and keeping their head up.
Catch Drills
Drills that involve emphasizing the catch phase of the stroke:
  • Catch drills involve just sitting still and spearing the water to emphasize the catch.
  • Drills associated with dropping the lower shoulder upon the catch.
Running Starts
Drills that begins while the canoe is in motion as opposed to still starts where the canoe is not in motion.


For information, contact:

President Laura Cusack at


Treasurer Bob Peterson at