Foot Tracks on Sand

Kahawai is the Māori name given to one of our iconic native coastal fish. Kahawai are renowned as being strong, active swimmers. They are fast and have an ability to cover vast distances quickly because of their strength and speed. They are a schooling fish and their young prefer shallow coastal waters while adults can be found in open water.

We have chosen Kahawai as an authentic symbol to inspire a generation of Kiwi paddlers.


behind the name

Kahawai: ‘Kaha’ – Strength / ‘Wai’ – Water

Kahawai Brand Attributes:

Fast and agile, strong, active & involved,  fun, nurturing.

Foot Tracks on Sand
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The tohu & Kahawai Logo Design

The Kahawai Logo is a contemporary design Inspired by traditional Māori patterning. Central to the Kahawai design is the ‘Koru’ representing the Mauri - Life Force. Seen in many traditional Māori patterns, the koru mirrors the movement of energy. Flowing like water, swirling whirlpools convey a sense of perpetual motion. The koru promotes well-being, growth and expansion, while the inward curl suggests a return to ones point of origin. For the people of the pacific this connects us to ‘Hawaiki’, the place where our spirits eventually return. ‘Rā’ are the rippling curved lines radiating vibrancy and the expansion of energy through the water. These stylised symbols reflect an ancient wisdom, connecting our past to the present through the element of water - ‘wai’. 

The Kahawai brand represents an exciting vision for water-sports in Aotearoa, connecting young Kiwis to a legacy that embraces our beautiful lakes, oceans and rivers. We wish to excite the spirit of our youth to get out there and give it a go, to be strong in the water - ‘kia kaha i te wai’.

Kahawai Pattern

The Kahawai logo has been designed to stand in isolation, or to expand into self replicating kowhaiwhai patterns. The purpose of the Kahawai pattern is to support the brand by conveying an underlying sense of connectivity and ‘flow’.

Foot Tracks on Sand

The boats

The Five2 (single) and Six5 (double) classes give paddlers the ability to participate in all disciplines. The classes are based on a “box rule” with a maximum length and minimum weight the same as an ICF-legal K1 and K2 boats – paddlers may therefore enter sprint competitions or train with sprint squads and enjoy a level playing field. To improve safety and enjoyment of Paddler-X and Long Distance paddling, particularly on the ocean, all boats must have an open, surfski-style cockpit and leash attachment point.

Aside from these few rules, the World is your oyster. Boats can be produced by any builder – an engaged industry is important to foster innovation and build a thriving, successful class.