Outrigger Canoeing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding Books

Steve West - Winner of the World Paddle Award - Media Category 2014

"Journalist, writer, educator, researcher, trailblazer, entrepreneur, cultural ambassador, he is one of the most recognised and best known canoe personalties"

The World Paddle Awards Academy

Stand Up Paddle Boarding - A Paddlers Guide 510pp
Outrigger Canoeing - A Paddlers Guide to The Ancient Sport of Kings 465pp
Outrigger Canoeing - The Art and Skill of Steering 168pp
Outrigger Canoeing - OC1 Book - A Paddlers Guide 306pp
Outrigger Canoeing - V1 Va'a Hoe - A Paddlers Guide 292pp

'When one of our coaches and paddlers asked coach Gerard from Shell Va'a where he got his, 'Theory and Technique Concepts' from, he replied, "I read all the books - Steve West books and whatever books I can get a hold of". You inspire us all and give words where there were none or little. Thank you so much. Your hard work is greatly appreciated world-wide from the big to the little fishes.'
Dani Gay - Lanikai CC Coach

'If you’re into, or not into, stand up paddling, but want to be educated where it comes from and what it stands for, read this book by Steve West. The more I read, the more I respect the real paddlers of the world!'
Luke Egan - Australian Surfing Legend.

'When you stay at a hotel for a stand up paddle race and open the drawer, this should be next to the Gideon's Bible. It is the must-have book for anyone who paddles SUPs!'.
Distressed Mullet.com

'Be inspired by Stand Up Paddling – A Paddler’s Guide and join us as we ride the oceans of the world together'.
Travis Grant 2013 Moloka'i Champion

'I love the book. It's a brilliant piece of work, it's like a Lonely Planet Guide Book for Stand Up Paddling! I'm extremely impressed with how much research and time has been put into creating this book and I sincerely hope every stand up paddle fan out there goes and grabs a copy!'
Chris Parker SUPracer.com

Steve West took 5+ years to compile this 500-page definitive resource on SUP. That’s about a pound of information per year. When you stay at a hotel for a standup paddle race and open the drawer, this should be next to Gideon’s Bible. It is the must-have book for anyone who paddles SUPs and the first gift to give on Father’s Day, Christmas, or the birthday paddler.

Keep in mind. This is a how-to book. It is a reference guide. In many ways it's even like a drivers manual for SUP. It's beautifully organized and illustrated. The diagrams are very understandable. It is written at more of an advanced level, but it's visual, so you can figure it out. It is a massive volume of content, but in pieces, it's perfect. This is not a narrative story, so don't feel like you have to read it from page 1 to page 500. Consume it in chunks. I read it over a month and am still pissed I lent it to someone to check out.

The first 3 chapters address the history and origins of the sport. If you are the kind of person that needs to start on page 1 and are in the surf industry or haven't paddled anything prior to SUP, be forewarned. You should skip these chapters. They'll just piss you off. They suggest this sport has no roots, and will get blown over by the first hard wind. It also suggesting the only reason that some people SUP is to falsely capture their lifelong dream of being a "surfer" might be tough to swallow. I honestly still haven't wrapped my head around these chapters. He could be 100% right. I'm not sure yet. 

Author's note: The sport certainly has roots. The issue is these roots are very much more ancient than that of the contemporary Hawaiian start point. We have to look back to Africa if we wish to debate the 'origins' of paddling while standing as a bio-mechanical act. This is covered in the book. With regards the reasons for at least some peoples attraction to the sport and the surfing industries use of its appeal to sell, I will leave this to academic and historian, Kristin Lawler.

. . . the commercial use of surfing has inspired far more at the level of collective activity than just mass shopping . . . images that tap into mass fantasies inspire collective behaviour – both consumer and sub or counter-cultural behavior. Insofar as they are responses to popular images of freedom like that of the surfer, both kinds of behaviour are constituted at heart by the attempt to make the fantasy real. It is this collective attempt on the part of the mass public that characterizes the social and historical impact like that of the surfer, through images that inspire.
— The American Surfer – Radical Culture and Capitalism - K. Lawler.

That said, this book was written in good spirit, which is why I say skip these chapters and avoid getting pissed off like I did. When you read subsequent chapters, you can hear the teacher, feel the stoke and excitement about the gear and the techniques. The rest of the book is so cool, it makes up for for the off-tone, conceit at the beginning. Try not to be offended. Skip to the section that interests you. Except the surf industry—you're being spanked, so skip the whole thing. Seriously. Skip this book. It's not for you. 

That said, the book is one of the most extensive and valuable resources that you can own as a stand up paddler.

Despite staying at a number of Holiday Inn Expresses, I'm not an expert. I'm under the impression that paddling is something you practice and improve, but not something you completely master. Fortunately, I've had access to the experts. I've been able to ask them questions. This book is your resource for asking those questions. This is your speed dial to find out about whatever it is you want to know. 

STAND UP PADDLE: A Paddlers Guide is as helpful to the beginner as it is to the advanced, even professional paddler. For the beginner, it covers from a 101 to a masters class. For the advanced, it can help you further tighten up your technique or expand into other areas of SUP. For pros, this can help you answer any questions that are beyond your realm. It may help you recalibrate as you understand the bigger picture. I know you get questions.

The section that I thought was particularly interesting was the one on paddle design and construction. If you want to understand blade design, flex, or shaft length, it's in there. And it's wonderful to find out why manufacturers do certain things like bent shafts, etc. 

Another interesting section is on the injuries associated with Paddling. A lot of us have had that tennis elbow or the shoulder issues that come with poor technique. Talks about how those happened and why and how to avoid them and that's incredibly valuable.

If you get a skip right to a section I'd say definitely hit the downwind section. Catching bumps has to be the most fun thing in doing water and in those areas where it blows hard on the lakes and on the rivers and on the ocean and you're thinking this is a day that I need to be inside, it's the opposite get on the water get on the wave and do some ocean open circuit most open ocean surfing. Then travel to Maui and call Jeremy Riggs for a lesson.

I can’t imagine a better gift for somebody who’s getting into the sport or accelerating into the sport. Couple this with a lesson from a really good instructor and maybe a video from Danny Ching, Nikki Gregg or Dan Gavere and you have something pretty wonderful.

The management of Batini Books, Kanu Culture, along with the authors and editors of this website, shall not accept responsibility for any injury, loss or damage caused to any person acting or failing to act upon information arising from material at this website or within the contents of our publications, whether or not such injury, loss or damage is caused by any negligent act, or omission, default or breach of duty by Batini Books, Kanu Culture or its authors and or editors.
© Steve West, Batini Books, Kanu Culture 2012