The  History of
                      DGS WaterSports
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My first look at a sailing canoe!
On the beach with Myron, 1986
Thomas Kemper has been racing and building Hawaiian Outrigger Sailing Canoes and associated equipment for over 16 years. He started paddling outrigger canoes during the mid 70's and has a couple of Moloka'i races under his belt. He has studied canoe building with the late Wrighto Bowman Jr and was the California representative for the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association.
Tom, Wrighto, Rona, & Da Boys
What it is all about!
R&D,DGS style
Myron and Tom
In 1986, Myron Van Gieson (another Wrighto student, reowned paddler, and respected canoe builder with over 30 years of experience) invited Tom to go canoe sailing for the first time.
Sailing off Waikiki Beach
As Tom recalls,"...the wind was blowing a little over 20 knots with 4' to 5' ocean swell. We were moving in and around the waves like they were moguls in the snow. It was one of the best moments of my life and I've been hooked on canoe sailing ever since".
Mid Channel with Moloka'i in the background
The Backyard Workshop
Gluing up a I'ako
Experimental Ama
Almost immediately, Myron and Tom started building parts for sailing canoes. Using a technique called "bent lamination", soon they were producing I'ako (outriggers), masts, and a variety of other canoe parts including steering paddles. They started designing special sailing Amas, and experimented with several different types of pola/tramp set-ups. As their creations would get finished, Da Boyz would comment to each other that this was some "Damn Good Stuff". Realizing that they could never use the phrase in good taste in public, DGS WaterSports was formed.
The original Iron-Maiden Tramp
"Damn Good Stuff"
Buffalo and Melvin Pu'u helping rig a prototype canoe
Blessing of
Noi'ina Na Holo
Racing towards O'ahu
" Noi'ina Na Holo"
A Quest for Speed
"Shall we upgrade to a little more comfort?"
In 1988, Myron and Tom built their first complete sailing canoe, the "Noi'ina Na Holo". The name means a Quest for Speed. Using a Hawaiian Racer canoe shell, they developed a design to re-enforce the canoe shell to withstand the punishment of canoe sailing.
Converting a Hawaiian Racer into Noi'ina Na Holo
In January of 1996, they along with help from Gloria Reed and Keahi Meyers, built a three-man sailing canoe. It was named "Na Mo'oniho'awa" (pronounced Na Mo o nee ho ah vah), which means the Scorpion. Built from a canoe shell from Kirk Clark of Hawaiian Catamaran, this canoe has many innovative ideas incorporated into its design. These canoes are an excellent representation of the current state of the art in the sport of Hawaiian Canoe Sailing.
In June 1996, the canoe was shipped to California. In California, Tom met Bud Hohl, president of KOA (Kalifornia Outrigger Association). With Bud's encouragement, DGS started working to establish Canoe sailing, complete with a comprehensive safety program, here in California. DGS has sailed Na Mo'oniho'awa in San Diego, San Onofre, Newport Beach, Long Beach, Marina Del Rey, Santa Catalina Island, Lake Tahoe, and has sailed from Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico during the annual Newport Beach to Ensenada Sailing Regatta. Currently, DGS is working with Nick Beck designing and building parts for his new Holopuni canoes. Now with Myron in Hawaii and Tom in California, DGS WaterSports is still dedicated to carrying on the fine tradition of designing, building, racing, and promoting Outrigger Sailing Canoes into the Millennium.
Na Mo'oniho'awa
Dreaming of things to come
Tom,Billy, and Bud
Canoe Blessing on Maui
WARNING: It is unlawful to use, copy, or reproduce any photograph or article without written permission from DGS WaterSports or Gloria Reed.
Surfing at San Onfre
The Crew for Ho'omana'o,1987: Brian, Harry, Dennis, Homer, Myron, Tom, Melvin, and Gary
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