Finding independence on the water
Why do you paddle? Is it the sense of challenge and discovery; the beauty of the land, water, and wildlife around your boat; the energy and renewal after a great paddle; or the bond between paddlers? For paddlers with disabilities it is all of those reasons plus it is freedom. And with 54 million people in the United States possessing a disability, it's likely that disability affects your life in some way, or that of a friend or a family member. Adaptive paddling opens the door to paddling to all, including people who have disabilities.
For a great read that will make you want to go paddling, and to learn about a terrific program in Prince William Sound, Alaska, check out the 2010 issue of FS Today.
What is Adaptive Paddling?
It is simply paddling canoes and kayaks using the standard equipment which is adapted as needed to compensate for any function the paddler has lost due to disability. While an adaptation may be made to the paddle grip or the seating support within the craft, the sport of paddling is not changed or �adapted�. The same canoes, kayaks and paddling gear are used in the same manner.
Adaptive Paddling programs are committed to providing full integration of paddlers who have disabilities and to provide all paddlers with the equipment, teaching style, and paddling locations that best meets the paddlers needs.
On the water all paddlers are equal. It is a paddler�s ability, not their disability, that makes the difference. Water is the ultimate equalizer. Paddling is freedom
Impressions from a trip in the San Juan Islands with Outdoor-Adventures