Adaptive Paddling

Step-by-step instruction website, instructables.com has just published plans to help people who are unable to hold up their kayak paddle but still want to get out and try kayaking.  The "Adaptive Paddling Fixture for Kayaking" is a device designed by that easily attaches to any sit-on-top kayak. It is designed to hold the kayak paddle up and outfront of the user. The fixture has a pivoting head where the paddle attaches making it extremely easy for anybody to use it.  The other interesting part of the design is that it is height adjustable so you can raise it for somebody to paddle with their arms or lower it down allowing a participant to paddle their kayak using their feet. The Adaptive Paddling Fixture was designed by Mark Theobald, from Camarillo, CA who is also the owner of the adaptive adventure company, Disabled Adventurers. Disabled Adventures describes itself as "all about bringing the sport of sit-on-top ocean kayaking and scuba diving to people with various levels of disability, through training and development of adaptive fixtures."  instructables.com has the whole project laid out in a couple of steps and everything can be made from items found at your local Home Depot. Photo Credits: Mark Theobald
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.
I get a lot of press releases sent to me everyday and to be honest the vast majority of them are either not related to what I cover or are such gimmicks, I don't want to give them any press.One caught my attention this morning and I was about to write it off when I read a little longer only to discover, that they were talking about a really interesting dock/launch system designed specifically for kayaks and canoes.The EZ Launch for Kayaks and Canoe is a floating dock system/ramp that allows paddlers to easily get in and out of their without falling in the water. The ramp system has large oversize rollers built in which allows you to easily roll yourself out of the water before getting out.
Paddle Company, ProPel recently unveiled a line of kayak paddles designed to be paddled by somebody with one mobile arm. Here is the description from the website: The paddle system is comprised of a grip and adjustable cuff. The cuff and grip are also adjustable along the paddle shaft to adapt to various arm lengths. The paddle can be used with either the right or left hand by easily repositioning the cuff or grip to the appropriate side of the shaft.
Cindy Dillenschneider, Professor of Outdoor Education at Northland College in Ashland, WI was recently awarded a patent for a paddle she designed to allow somebody to paddle a canoe with only one hand. Through the years, I have seen or read about several different types of adaptations for people with disabilities and I have got to say that this is the closest that I have ever seen to performaing like a paddle being used with two hands.
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