Why hōu?

Why hōu?

hōu - from the Polynesian word for 'new'.
New - of recent origin, production, purchase, etc.; having but lately come or been brought into being:

Ethical, Responsible and British...

Hou Canoes ethos is simple; ‘Ethical, Responsible and British’.


Why hou?

Hou Canoes was born from our passion to help more people go paddling more often. Hou Canoes is not just ‘another canoe brand’, we are a group of people with a common goal, our love for canoeing. That love of canoeing drives us to bring canoeing into more people’s lives.

Canoeing has so much to offer, enjoying time outdoors is proven to be powerful in helping with both mental and physical health, these go hand in hand with giving a feeling of general wellbeing and happiness. We also know that water is not only the fundamental element that humankind is based upon, but its where we originate from as a species. Alongside this, countless studies have proven that spending time near, on or in the water is good for your wellbeing and canoeing facilitates all of the above in one simple and traditional ancient craft.

Canoeing is all about having fun on the water and to do so you need the right canoe, this is what drives us at Hou Canoes. We want you to have fun and therefore we will always share our thoughts with you on what will work, (and what will not), we offer advice, experience and overall, we share our passion. This is what drives us to make great canoes and equipment.

Our canoes share a varied design heritage, some designs from the highly regarded Colin Broadway mixed with more modern designs based on North American classics. Our paddles are the same, some classics and some more modern. The latest addition to the growing product line up is inflatable canoes using SUP technology from our friends at Vernao. Every product we offer is driven by our passion to share the great opportunities for life that canoeing can offer.

Along side our canoes we also work with our team of partners to bring you the Hou Canoes Experience. This is a national frame work of venues that we work with who will help you go canoeing, if you want to try your first trip in a canoe, we can help. If you want to gain experience or qualifications, we can help. If you want to go on a multi day back country expedition, we can help. Its all available with the Hou Canoes Experience.

Our drive shines through most when we are out and about enjoying time on the water. We will always stop and spend time ensuring the folks we meet are also enjoying their time on the water, simply put, we love canoeing, we love what it has to offer, and we want to share it with you.


A bit of History...

About 4,000 years ago, the Austronesian peoples from South East Asia started exploring the ocean in canoes. As they developed these craft it allowed them to explore further into the Pacific Ocean. The craft were phenomenal boats and over time they developed into huge sailing canoes that allowed the people to populate just about all of the Pacific Islands.

These hollowed out logs or the 'canoe' as it is now known enabled them to move on from squabbles over land and find new lives for themselves. The canoes had to look after the paddlers in calm and turbulent waters and also allowed them to catch bigger fish than they could from the land. The humble canoe was the ‘motor car’ of its day, allowing them to hunt, explore and travel. The builders of these craft were proud of their canoes; a man’s canoe was part of his family.


What's in a name..

As often is the case there is no direct translation but 'hōu' is a Polynesian word meaning new. New as in a fresh, type of new. 

The dictionary definition for 'New' is - of recent origin, production, purchase, etc.; having but lately come or been brought into being:

So…..New Canoe. Despite being involved in the paddlesports industry for many years, we established hōu Canoes in 2013 making us the new kid on the block in canoe manufacturing.  

And like the Austronesian's before us, we are proud of our canoes, we give them names and they are part of our family.  We want you to travel well with your hōu Canoe, our boats are designed to look after you on flat or moving waters, for it to take you to new places, to catch bigger fish,  and to  help you explore life’s rich and enjoyable journey.