Napili Canoe Club was created and situated in Napili Bay in 1976 by 'Aimoku Pali, assisted by his wife Pauline, Douglas Tihada and friends and family, born and raised in Lahaina and Napili on the island of Maui. It was the desire of these families to have a gathering place where young and old could practice and pass down the many skills and values of Hawaiian canoe paddling from generation to generation. In 1980, Napili Canoe club was moved to Mala (near Jodo Mission) and then in 1985, the club was relocated to Hanakao'o Beach Park (also known as Canoe Beach), next to Lahaina Canoe Club and Kahana Canoe Club, where it still is today.
In the early 1980's, the late Douglas Tihada continued to nurture and foster the aims and goals of the original founders of Napili Canoe Club as a coach for na keiki o Napili (the children of Napili Canoe club). As a result of his dedication and his uncanny ability to bond with everyone he met, Dougie was able to build community awareness, nurture healthy family involvement and cohesiveness and educate many Lahaina youths about the ancient art of Hawaiian canoe paddling.
Although Dougie is no longer with us, his teachings live on through his brother, Eugene, his sons Joey and Nori and nephew Michael (just to name a few). These coaches have designed programs for both na makua (adult) and na keiki (child) that offer participants the chance to understand canoe paddling through many different venues. Napili Canoe Club participates in pre-season (May) as well as post-season events (August through November) that include travel to other islands or between islands.