Erik Mueller recently unveiled a near finished kayak design that he has been working on for the past eight years. Freedom Kayak allows someone with limited or no use of their legs to enter from the water without assistance.
As you can see from the demonstration video below it features two extendable outriggers and a foldout handle. These features allow one to get back in their boat using very similar muscles that they would use when getting back into their wheelchair.
What’s very cool about this boat is that it looks like a completely normal sea kayak built for performance. I have seen some other similar accessible kayaks but they were focused on permanent stability. With a very wide beam, they were slow and sluggish. It doesn’t seem to be the case with the Freedom Kayak.
The website could use some help as they currently only have contact info and a demo video so I don’t have pricing or actual availability. In fact, I don’t even have any photos of the boat to show. Luckily they uploaded these two videos that give a great sense of the boat in action.
It’s very clear that Erik has put a tremendous amount of work in figuring out the bugs in his design. He has also applied for several patents around the boat features as well.
When I read about the article, something jogged in my memory and I remembered covering the story back in 2007 when he was working with a rough prototype. As you can see, it’s come a long way.
David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.