Throughout the years of late-prehistory, AD 1400s - 1700s, and through much of the 1800s, the canoe was a principal means of travel in ancient Hawaiʻi. Canoes were used for interisland and inter-village coastal travel. The canoe was used by the chiefs as a means of ostentation and display.
And for a chief eager to make a quick getaway regardless of wind conditions, his bodyguards could also be put to work as paddlers. No longer need he wait for a favorable wind, or beat upwind to a destination on long tacks. Paddling provided great freedom of mobility, the ability to move canoes in any direction despite calms or adverse winds.