The first Long Beach Club (Kai Loa) was founded in the 60′s by Hawaiian students who attended Cal State University of Long Beach. Kai Loa vanished when paddlers from that era became attached to other outrigger clubs from Newport Beach and Dana Point. However in 1988 a different group emerged, dominated now by local second-generation mainland Hawaiians.
Originating thus in Seal Beach, the group looked about for a racing canoe and arranged to borrow one from the Offshore club in Newport. Local paddling was back in business in 1989. A club was formed around the founding members, who drew in friends and supporters. The rough translation of Seal Beach to Hawaiian provided the club name – “Ilio i ka uaua kahakai”, which is a bit of a mouthful, so the simplified club name Kahakai (beach) came into common use.
The Seal Beach venue was not conducive to a paddling club operation and club leaders sought a new location. Long Beach Marine Department then- Alamitos Bay head Dick Miller, himself an ex-paddler from earlier days. He suggested an unused corner of Mother’s Beach in Long Beach. Site inspection followed, permits were prepared, and with a set of by-laws adopted from the Long Beach Rugby Club, the Kahakai Outrigger Club became a fixture in Long Beach water sports in 1990. As an interesting by-product, the club activities on the beach have displaced unscrupulous characters (drug dealers) who use to populate the area.
Since 1990, the club has grown in size measured by number of members and number of canoes, now owning 7 racing canoes and one 4-man practice canoe and a number of one-man sprint trainers. Early on a keiki (kids) program was added to the adult program.
Besides racing, the club participates in Long Beach water festivals and civil events, such as Seafest, Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids, Wounded Warrior Charity, Team Spirit Walk for Breat and Ovarian Cancer, the Christmas Boat Parade, and the bi-annual Yacht Race, wherein the club canoes escort the racing yachts out of Rainbow Harbor located Long Beach Shoreline, to the start of their race from Pt Fermin to Honolulu . The club also participates in Polynesian cultural events, such as the 1995 visit to Long Beach of Hokule’a, the Hawaiian voyaging canoe that has for 30 years become a valued piece of experimental archaeology and cultural connection.