Seats 1 - 5 lift their paddles out of the water and rest them on your lap or across the gunwales.
"Paddles Across," "Paddles Set," "Paddle Easy," or "Hit"
This sequence occurs to get the canoe started.
Paddles Across indicates that all paddlers should place their paddles across the gunnels on the correct side of the canoe-odd seats on the left, even seats on the right.
Paddles Set indicates that seats 1 - 5 should lift their paddles in the set position.
Paddle Easy means to begin paddling in time with seat 1. Paddle Easy is used for warm up, while...Hit is used to start a race.
Seats 1 - 5 place their paddles in the water perpendicular to the hull, holding the paddle in place to slow or stop the canoe. Brace against the hull and the gunnels.
This is used for maneuvering the boat into position, usually when coming ashore or lining up for a race. Seats 1 - 5 paddle backwards in time. Be certain to turn your paddle so it is angled backwards. Your blade is stronger this way and you won't risk breaking it.
The steersman will call "timing" (makia = focus) when the paddlers' strokes are out of sync.
The steersman calls for higher power strokes to get the hull speed up. These are limited to 10 strokes each side for the number of sets requested by the steersman.
"Kahe Hema" (Crab Left)
Seat 1, and sometimes 2, reaches out to the left, plants the paddle blade deep in the water, and pulls the bow to the left. This assists the steersman in getting the boat turned.
"Kahe Akau" (Crank Right)
Seats 1 and 2 pull the canoe to the left or crank the canoe to the right. DO NOT PULL TO THE RIGHT. YOU RISK HULI-ING THE BOAT!
This is the first of two commands used for racing turns around buoys or other obstacles. Seat 1 holds (i.e., pokes) his/her paddle at an angle against the right side of the canoe. This action will move the nose of the canoe to the left. Seat 2 pulls left at the same time. All other seats paddle normally.
This is the second of the two commands used in a racing turn. Upon hearing the steersman call Kahe, seat 1 comes across from the right side to the left side and joins seat 2 in pulling (or "crabbing") left. As soon as the canoe is almost out of the turn, the caller calls a Hut and everyone except seat 1 switches sides. The caller then calls another Hut in 10 strokes or so, so seat 1 can switch sides and get relief.