Adaptive Paddling: Changing "Time Out of a Wheelchair" to "An Adventure"
Cathy Webster is a Physical Therapist at The RehabGYM in Colchester, Vermont and an avid kayaker. A few years ago, she decided to merge these two passions. With the help of the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association, Cathy worked to develop an adaptive paddling program that would benefit her clients and people from the community at large.
When Angle Oar LLC launched a few years back, Cathy contacted us expressing interest in using our Versa Paddle, curious about how it might work for some of her clients. As a PT, she works with a wide range of children and adults with disabilities, injuries and health conditions. She said she was “looking forward to the freedom and independence that the Versa will allow my clients to have,” citing the paddle’s “excellent design and versatility."
Cathy has tried a number of adaptive kayaking products and techniques, and many continue to be an important part of her program. She was optimistic that Versa might remove some of the obstacles that other assistive paddling methods couldn’t overcome, such as keeping the foot space in the cockpit unencumbered and supporting the weight of the paddle.
That October, we sent her one of the first “proof of concept” paddles that we received in advance of the full shipment. On a beautiful 60 degree day in Northern Vermont, she and one of her patients, Jamie Perron, had a chance to try it out on the serene Metcalf Pond.