Teddi Anderson remembers the day that she fell in love with outrigger canoe paddling as if it were only yesterday. Actually, it may just as well have been yesterday. Every evening, as she and her crew pull their boat into Waikiki, the luminous sunset always takes Anderson’s breath away.
“I never thought that I’d be doing this. I love it,” says Anderson, vice president at the Limtiaco Co. “Every night after practice, I have a big smile on my face.”
Anderson started paddling in 1990, shortly after moving to Honolulu from Southern California. Her husband, born and raised in Hawaii, suggested paddling to Anderson as a way to learn about the history and culture of the Islands. Anderson would immerse herself into the sport. In only her first year, she made the grueling crossing of the Molokai channel. The next year, she joined the board of her club, Hui Nalu. To date, Anderson has completed the crossing eight times as well as competing in numerous sailing canoe races.
Anderson now paddles for the Anuenue Canoe Club, which is closer to work and home. She is the current president of the Na Opio Canoe Racing Association, a youth canoe paddling association for children from grades five through 12. Under Anderson’s leadership, canoe paddling was recently sanctioned by the Oahu Interscholastic Association and eventually statewide as a high school sport. This year, Na Opio sponsored its first statewide competition.
“I never get tired of paddling. I love the feeling of a good workout. I love the camaraderie,” says Anderson. “But most of all, it’s just so beautiful out there.”