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About us


Our Mission


To maintain and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through the fostering of national and international amateur sports competition; to expose children, men and women to Hawaiian watersports, hula, arts and crafts and other activities; and to provide means and facilities for activities tending to foster the development and maintenance of strong and healthy minds, bodies, and spirits among all people.

Who we are...

Kai Oni Canoe & Athletic Club was founded in 1952 by Joseph "Stew" Kalama and Max Kamaiopili and their friends who were interested in canoe paddling. On August 18, 1953 the club was formally chartered and organized as a 501 (c) 3 non profit. That same year, it was formally accepted into the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association. 


In 1953 Kai Oni received our first koa canoe from South Kona. The Manuiwa was born by the hands of master canoe carver and uncle of Stew, Charles Mokuohai. Along with the Manuiwa, Uncle Charles would gift the club two koa four man canoes the Popoia and Mokulua which were used as practice canoes.


As Kai Oni grew, we began competing in baseball, basketball, volleyball  and other community events. Over the years the club garnered many wins and trophies but most importantly memories were made and relationships formed. Although the trophies have become rusted and tarnished the memories are clear as day and the relationships remain unchanged and stronger than ever.


Throughout our history we have seen the highs and the lows as any organization of our age has but we remain resolute in ensuring that the Manuiwa soars high and the Kanaiaumoana continues to conquer.



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