Understanding how strong the wind is blowing and how that wind affects sea surface conditions is critical to not only effectively operating our canoes but ensuring crew safety. Environmental awareness is critical to making sound decisions not only during a voyage but in life in general. The wind and sea surface categories we use are based on traditional Hawaiian sea descriptions that have been connected to the modern method of determining wind strength by miles per hour.
Wind and Ocean Surface Conditions
Wind Speed Wind Strength Ocean Surface
Alania: 0 mph Calm Flat: Mirror Like
Nao: 1 mph Light Air Ripples Without Crests
Have to paddle to move
Hāuliuli: 3-6 mph Light Breeze Small Wavelets, Crests
Glassy Appearance, Not
Breaking. First wind that
will allow the canoe to
Owē: 8-12 mph Gentle Wind Large wavelets, Crests
Begin To Break And
white caps are scattered
Hāluʻa: 13-17 mph Moderate Wind Small Waves, Few But Consistent
white Caps Appear
Good Sailing but attention to canoe balance must be increased
Kai ʻAhulu: 18-24 mph Fresh Wind Moderate Longer
Waves Foam And
spray. Canoe Balance is critical
Crew attention must be focused.
Team work must be
at the highest level.
Kūpiki'o: 25-30 mph Strong Wind Large Waves with
foam Crests and
Head for shelter. Drop the Sail
ʻOʻoloku: 31-38 mph High Wind Sea Heaps Up And
foam begins to
seak. Should be on shore.
Kaikoʻo: 39 + mph Gale Force High Waves Breaking
crests, Streaks Of