Kayaking Now Accessible to More Canadians
With 891,163 square kilometers of freshwater covering the country, Canadians have many options when it comes to deciding where to kayak. Yet despite the sizeable number of paddling destinations, not everyone has the same ability to participate in kayaking. Shoulder injuries, disabilities and the aches and pains of getting older prevent many from realizing the physical and mental health benefits of paddling.
Two organizations are working together to change all that by making specialized kayak paddles and equipment available to Canadians who might not normally be able to kayak. Angle Oar LLC, a US-based company that manufactures adaptive kayaking equipment, and Abilities in Motion, a Canadian-based non-profit organization that promotes inclusive paddling, have joined together to bring the equipment to Canada.
The availability of adaptive kayaking, or universal kayaking as it is sometimes called, has been steadily growing in both Canada and the US. By making small adjustments to the kayak, the paddle and/or the related accessories, many people with strength or mobility limitations can kayak independently.
“We’ve had countless customers with significant paralysis due to a stroke or spinal cord injury find that they could kayak with our mount-supported paddling systems,” notes Meg McCall, Founder & CEO of Angle Oar. “For many, it was their first time out of a wheelchair and moving independently in years. It’s been life changing.”