The Outrigger Canoe

Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison and the Outrigger Canoe

“Lorrin ‘Whitey’ Harrison lived life totally for the moment. All of those moments were steeped in tradition. They ranged from his wife Cecelia’s family adobe dating back to the late 1700’s, where she was raised and where they resided together from 1946 to Lorrin’s death in 1993.

Another tradition was Lorrin’s early surfing along the California coast beginning in the late ’20s and Hawaii in the early ’30s. Outrigger was added to this list in the late ’50s. Dana Outrigger (Canoe Club) is proud to be a part of Lorrin’s life.”

“Lorrin steered the California team against the All Star Hawaii team in the first Catalina crossing on September 20th, 1959. This was also the first outrigger race here. Although outrigger paddling began in California in 1959, Lorrin had already been surfing his own dug out canoes for ten years.”

“Lorrin’s design influence on fiberglass canoes can also be seen today. Lorrin was known as an innovator – evidence being his trademark “hoop” amas and the hand made Ta’aone long boat which Dana Outrigger still races today.”

“Lorrin passed on in September of 1993, while on his way to surf the Kawaihae Breakwall in Hawaii.”1

[1] The above information was taken from C.R. Stecyk’s Lorrin’s Barn, Mike Jacob’s History of Outrigger Canoe Paddling In California, and from Cecelia Harrison. Courtesy of

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