GORGE Style Huli Recovery

A quick flip of the canoe to an upright position is the most practical method of righting a capsized canoe. The faster it is righted the less water will be in the boat……..that simple.

  • All crew swim to ama side of Canoe. Seat #4 ( and if necessary seat #3) or biggest strongest person in the boat) hand paddle(s) off to nearest other crew, climb up the i’ako close to the canoe hull from the ama side, straddle the boat with both feet on a i’ako stub (on none ama side), reach across hull and pull the ama up and over head by lifting the i’ako. Everyone else help lift ama (push up i’ako) and PUSH UP ON HULL from ama side when ama is almost straight up and as it flips back over. Seat #4 try and control i’ako from slamming down with ama as it comes over and onto water surface.
  • Seat #6 simultaneously makes sure all paddlers are ok, and assists or directs assistance to any paddlers that are not ok.
  • Once canoe is right-side up smallest paddler gets in and starts bailing as fast as possible, preferably with a large bucket.
  • Add second paddler to bail as soon as possible.
  • All paddlers get in and start paddling while 2 people bail as necessary.


When canoe flips try to roll out of boat cleanly and, if necessary, swim under or around canoe to ama side. Hold ama down from ama side as #4 climbs over upside down hull. Once someone starts bailing steady canoe by having one or two crew hold down ama while still in the water.

The success or failure of righting a canoe is primarily determined by how quickly you can right a flipped boat. The faster the better as it will come back over with less water if you can do it quickly. If the first attempt ends up with the boat having too much water (above the seats) flip it back and try again. A goal would be to practice enough that you can right a canoe in 15 seconds, with the canoe substantially bailed (perhaps 2 paddlers finishing the bailing while others are paddling) and all paddlers back in and paddling within 30 seconds.


We hold an annual pool Huli drill which gives you the time to practice but it is always good to check out videos as well. There are quite a few videos on YouTube that highlight different methods of Huli recovery. Below is one that we refer to and to get you started. Click on the photo to start the video.

Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club is a 501(c)3 all volunteer non-profit organization 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software