Outrigger Seat Jobs
Seat 1 (stroke seat) sets the pace and the stroke. Seat 1 must maintain a good "feel" for the movement (glide) of the canoe, and adjust the pace accordingly. This means watching the water ahead, and paying attention to the feel of the boat. Seat 1 also changes the rate depending upon the conditions. This seat will often have a paddle 1/4" to ½" shorter than the back seats.
Seat 2 is responsible to work with Seat 1 maintaining the timing of the boat on the opposite side. Seat 2 will mirror Seat 1 in timing and stroke length. Seat 2 should be watching the water with Seat 1 and quietly communicating with them to confirm how the boat feels, stroke rate and length. Seat 1 and 2 should establish short signals such as,"reach" for a longer stroke rate, "up" for increased rate, and others, as needed.
Seat 3 (in our club) calls changes and always is aware of what is happening around the canoe (in order to adjust stroke count). There will be times when the count must change - stay on one side to prepare for a turn, start sequences, riding waves, etc.
Seats 4 and 5 are to power the boat and maintain balance. Seat 5 may be required to assist the steersperson in difficult water. Seat 5 and Seat 6 must quietly communicate and work together. Seat 4 is also the bailer, as required and watches the ama in rough water. Seat 4 must also pass messages up the boat.
Seat 6.When the crew shoves off, Seat 6 is responsible. The first responsibility of seat 6 is crew safety; second - canoe safety; third is steering and navigation and fourth - keep the crew in time, focused and motivated. After that, Seat 6 is a paddler.
An additional responsibility of Seats 2 & 4 is to watch the 'iako. (Always lean back and out on the ‘iako whenever the canoe is at rest and be "ama conscious" when the canoe is moving.)
An additional responsibility of Seats 3 & 5 is to steady the canoe. Seats 3 and 5 must also pass along commands from the Steersperson, if necessary. The steersman is always in command of the canoe, however, everyone is responsible for the safety of the crew and the safety of the boat.