Adaptive Kayaking Equipment: From A to Z
This is the sixth in a seven part blog series describing the Juballa family's experience in getting a fully adapted kayak for their young adult son, Raymond. Go to the end of this post to see other articles in the series.
Kayaking adaptations can range from as little as extra pieces of tape on a paddle for a kayaker who is visually impaired to sophisticated set-ups like Raymond’s, which included an adaptive paddle, specialty seating, outriggers, a heavy duty kayak cart and more.
The most common pieces of adaptive gear and a brief description of when they might be used and what to look for follows. Keep in mind, these are adaptive-specific items; paddlers will also need other accessories and safety gear such as a personal floatation device (PFD), a tow rope, water or a communication device. See our Kayak Safety Gear blog for information on those items.
Everyone’s needs will differ, but generally speaking, adaptive paddling programs look for sturdy, good quality kayaks that have large cockpits (if using sit-inside), are at least 10 feet in length, and can handle paddlers of 175 pounds or more. Shorter, wider kayaks tend to have poor tracking and longer kayaks can be unwieldy. We often recomm