Canoe Ocean Racing can be sub-divided into 3 categories: Surf Skis, Stand Up Paddle boards and Outrigger Canoe.
Surf skis originated in Australia in the 1900s when two brothers, Harry and Jack McLaren, used them around their family’s oyster beds on Lake Innes in New South Wales. The speed and versatility of the boats made them ideal for lifesaving, and in 1946 surf ski became a part of the lifesaving competition programme.
Stand Up Paddle Surfing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding(SUP) is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water.
The Outrigger Canoe is a type of canoe featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull. Compared to other types of canoes, outrigger canoes can be quite fast, yet are also capable of being paddled and sailed in rougher water. This paddling technique, however, differs greatly from kayaking or rowing. The paddle, or blade, used by the paddler is single sided, with either a straight or a double-bend shaft.
The Singapore Paddle Club bought the first ever outrigger canoe to Singapore in 2005 and the first Surf Ski shortly after. This paddling discipline exploded in popularity since then and there are now 3 more canoe clubs established since then with almost 20 6-man Outrigger Canoes and more than a hundred Surf Skis and 1 man outrigger canoes at Sentosa Island. Stand Up Paddling has a more organic growth with the invention of inflatable stand up paddle boards. SUPs can be found all around coastal areas and even swimming pools of Singapore with various operators providing services and equipment to schools and the public to enjoy the sport. There is also a healthy competitive scene with a monthly race series for all disciplines of Canoe Ocean Racing, it is called the Singapore Ocean Race Series or SORS for short.