In the beginning...
Rick Nu'u and Don Irvine met in the winter of 1990 in New Zealand. They became good friends and chased each other around the world for years of paddling with and against each other, with mutual admiration. In 2009, Rick and his family finally moved to where Don's family lived the Comox Valley, on Vancouver Island in Canada.
In 2011, Rick and Don achieved a long time shared dream and established a paddlesport oriented business, which they named Hana Hou Outrigger. It was geared towards the manufacture of wood canoe paddles and providing coaching opportunities in a wide variety of paddlesports. If you look at their fish hook logo, inside the two hooks you can find an 'r' and 'd'.
Rick's wife Zoe was heavily involved in the background of this business, most visually with our website, most effectively with her organizational skill, but most influentially as our sounding board.
In January of 2013 Rick's life ended. The business stopped. Don and Zoe struggled in their own ways to come to terms with this tremendous loss. Time passed. Healing started.
On a trip to Maui in September of 2013, Don met with Mike Giblin, owner of Outrigger Zone (Ozone). Ozone is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of Outrigger canoes. Mike was a close friend of Rick's, and Rick and Don had always wanted to sell Mike's boats, but circumstances had never allowed that to happen. In Sept. of 2013 Mike agreed that Don would sell Ozone's canoes.
In October, Don asked Zoe if she would be his business partner in a new but similar venture to Hana Hou Outrigger. She agreed, and Hana Hou Paddlesports was created. We are new, but only in name. We have kept the fish hook logo. Our business has taken different but similar direction.
We are back.
Don Irvine - B. ExPhys
Don has been involved at a very competitive level as an athlete and coach in paddlesports for over four decades. His current passion is chasing big blue in warm environments, striving to see the water through his old friends eyes.............. For Don's extended bio, click here.
Zoe Norcross-Nu'u - M. Sc.
Zoe has been competing internationally in outrigger canoe and surf ski racing since 1996. Her professional background is in coastal and marine sciences, and she has always enjoyed using physical oceanography concepts to make wave riding more enjoyable. For Zoe's extended bio, click here.