BBOP encourages all members to learn to steer!  We have an active steerer training program facilitated by Coach Jill Komoto.  We will again be doing weekly steering practices in 2022.  Novice steers can learn from certified steers, and certified steers can advance their training level.  Non-steers are also needed!  Schedules and sign up on TeamSnap.

BBOP Steers Criteria  Read here or open PDF 

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Spec Canoe Rigging  Open PDF

Launching Protocol   Open PDF

Steers Meeting Minutes 4/18/2022   Open PDF


Before going out in canoe: 

  1. Check for a minimum of 2 bailers (secured) and bucket.

  2. Every paddler has a PFD.

  3. Make sure you have a whistle on you.

  4. Safety bag and marine radio in the canoe.

  5. Check rigging to ensure it is tight enough. Is the rigging sound? This includes the straps (check the condition, as well as the ropes)

  6. Make sure plugs are in ama/canoe (some canoes have plugs).

  7. Stepping ladder/rope is attached to wye.

  8. Extra rubber either added to the strapping or in the safety bag.

  9. Extra paddle (behind seat 6).

  10. Place the bumper in the stern of the canoe.



Adult Steers: Any paddler may practice steering with a certified steers in seat 5.

LEVEL 1: Novice steers.  New steers who can steer in a practice. Another fully certified steers must be present (but not necessarily in that canoe).
LEVEL 2: Basic Certified Steers. A basic-certified steers has the required experience and skills and is approved by a coach (in consultation with Level 3 steers) to steer during practice without another steers present.
LEVEL 3: Advanced Certified Steers. A steers whose range of experience and skills allow them to steer in more challenging conditions.

Keiki Steers: A certified keiki (youth) steers can steer a keiki race or practice under supervision and with approval of keiki coach


• All levels of steers must demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in rigging, safety, and emergency procedures.

• Level 1 Novice Steers develop skills and experience steering under the direct supervision of certified steers. A certified steers and/or coach must approve each novice steers practice based on the experience of the novice and water/weather conditions.
• Level 2 Certified steers continue to build skills and experience, after having met a basic set of criteria. Coaches and Level 3 steers can certify a Level 2 Steers in consultation with other Certified Steers. A level 2 steers has met the following criteria:

Control of the canoe

  1. Demonstrates ability to maneuver the canoe (in the desired direction) in a variety of mild to moderate conditions (including consideration of wind, current, tides) with small waves

  2. Demonstrates ability to execute a safe approach to a dock or beach

  3. Demonstrates ability to make an emergency stop or an evasive maneuver in open water

  4. Demonstrates ability to ask other seats for appropriate assistance 

Safety of canoe and crew

  1. Conducts check of required equipment and rigging before paddling

  2. Ability to coordinate the crew for safe launching and haul-out of canoes


  1. Knowledge of obstacles/hazards in local waters, and ability to gain similar knowledge when steering in other waters

  2. Ability to communicate and successfully direct the steps in a huli recovery

• Level 3 Steers
Has solid experience at the basic level and has paddled in bigger waves and more complicated situations with assistance; and other steers confirm that the steers is prepared for more challenge


 BBOP Huli Procedure 3-6-2022

The steersperson will call commands and may make changes on the fly according to paddlers’ strengths and the conditions. Be flexible and pay attention. Once you have done this a couple times it’s a piece of cake.


•   Cover your head until the huli is over and you are at the surface.

•   Check on your partner. Seats 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6. Call out if someone is not OK.

•   Steers will have paddlers call off starting with seat 1

•   Forward 3 paddlers pass paddles to seat 3. Aft 3 paddlers pass paddles to seat 5.

• Seat 1- Stay at the front of the canoe. If possible work to maneuver the boat into the wind so that when the canoe is righted it is not broadside to the waves and taking on water. When the ama is at it’s zenith and pauses, seats 1 and 6 may give a slight lift to the hull to remove as much water as possible.

• Seats 2 and 4 Climb up on the hull to prepare to pull the ama over. Once the ama is at it’s zenith you will work to slow it’s decent.

• 3 and 5 go to the ama and get ready to lift.

• Seat 6- Direct the recovery process. Help maneuver the canoe into position. When the ama is at it’s zenith and pauses, give a slight lift to remove as much water as possible. At the steersperson’s call, 2 and 4 pull up on the iako while 3 and 5 push the ama upwards.

The steers will call out who gets in the canoe first. Usually that will be seats 2 and 4 but may change with abilities and conditions. ALWAYS GET IN ON THE AMA SIDE. The first two in the canoe will begin bailing rapidly toward the ama side. As the water level drops more paddlers may climb in as directed. Those that aren’t bailing should begin paddling. The steers will determine whether to continue the paddle or head back to the launch site.

This procedure will be modified after pool practices as improvements may be made.