Philadelphia Flying Phoenix Canoe Racing


PFP Canoe Racing aims to develop PFP paddlers into stronger and more competitive dragon boat racers through intense small boat paddling and racing using 6 seat outrigger canoes (OC6), 4 seat marathon canoe (C4), 2 seat marathon canoe (C2),  and single seat marathon canoes (C1).


Outrigger and marathon paddling is a great interval and endurance workout! You should be in generally good health and capable of performing moderate intensity exercise or cleared by your doctor to participate in this level of activity. Paddling an outrigger canoe requires a degree of effort and concentration that you should be prepared for. This is not a leisurely paddle.



  • You must know how to swim and/or tread water.
  • Must be comfortable performing moderate intensity to strenuous exercise for at least 30 minutes

Outrigger Canoe

The Outrigger Canoe is descended from the Polynesian seafaring tradition. The canoe was made originally of wood and would seat a varying number of people. A stabilizer (the object that gives the outrigger canoe its namesake) is lashed to the side of the canoe giving the canoe the added stability needed to navigate through rough ocean conditions. These boats were traditionally used as a primary means of settling and inhabiting the islands of Southeast Asia, Polynesia and the Pacific and would continue to serve as the only means of transportation of people and goods around the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years.

Start of an OC6 Race

This traditional form of transportation has since evolved into a racing and endurance sport in modern times. Races in outrigger canoes seating one person, two people and teams of six people are common in the Pacific Rim and beyond. The sport is no longer limited to the Pacific, with outrigger canoes becoming common place near any body of water all over the world. Regardless of the location, the sport continues to emphasize bravery, teamwork and respect for Polynesian traditions.

We say we paddle “OC6” with “OC” meaning Outrigger Canoe and “6” meaning that it sits six people. Each paddler has a distinctive role but all work in unison to move the boat smoothly, quickly and efficiently.


Huli and Water Safety Drills

Huli Drills occur annually and are required of all paddlers who want to participate in races. We provide the initial instruction on land including the specific roles of each seat, the mechanics of properly flipping the canoe and the procedures of bailing the canoe. This also gives the opportunity for our newer steers people to lead a drill. We feel it is important to do these drills regularly in a controlled environment so when the time comes when it happens unexpectedly, all of our paddlers and steers people are fully prepared to get themselves safely back into the canoe and out of harm's way.

Marathon Canoe Paddling


Like OC6, marathon canoe is an endurance paddling sport that builds your aerobic capacity and helps improve your technique on both sides of the boat. Unlike OC6, marathon canoes were specifically designed for flat water. They wouldn't stay upright for long on the ocean, but on a river they're faster and better able to fit into tight corners to take the shortest line possible. Marathon canoe racing depends on a combination of paddler endurance and the steer's ability to identify the fastest water in the river and to wake-ride other boats. Because reading the river is so important to marathon, it's a sport where all ages can excel. Marathon canoe races range from 5 mile community races to the 70 mile General Clinton and typically include both on water and portage segments.