39EGYTtHRxIslKLPambXIVQ5uLXLWoflphZUrGfi7JY Angle Oar Adaptive Kayaking Equipment page contents E1238296C9AB2A3A16BD08114EFAF308
  • Meg McCall

Kayaking with a Rotator Cuff Injury? Yes, You Can!

Not too long ago, we got an inquiry from Leon, a paddler in Hawaii who uses a lightweight foldable Oru Kayak so that he can easily carry his kayak from place to place. Like many paddlers, Leon has a significant rotator cuff injury. He wanted a product that could help keep him paddling regularly and for longer periods of time.

Oru Kayak Rotator Cuff Injury
Leon in His Oru Kayak Paddling in Hawaii

Leon was curious about whether our Versa Paddle or Gamut Paddle Holder would alleviate the stress and subsequent pain in his shoulders. We talked through the differences of each product and decided that the Gamut would be the best choice for him since he had pretty good mobility and really only needed something to support the weight of his paddle. The catch? Since the Oru is an origami-inspired kayak that can be folded for easy transport and storage, putting any holes in it is discouraged. So, the question became, how do we attach one of the mounts that comes with the Gamut without drilling holes into his kayak?

We love a good engineering design challenge at Angle Oar so, together, we brainstormed various possibilities with Leon. Ultimately, it was Leon himself who gets 100% of the credit for finding a solution. He purchased the Gamut support mount that’s usually used with sit-on-top kayaks, which we call the plate mount, and fashioned his own DIY mount that rests between his legs on the floor of his kayak.

“I used a sturdy plastic container (that I found at Salvation Army) that does not shatter when I drilled holes into its walls. The vertical post and plate mount are secured to a piece of 1/2 inch hardwood which is then secured inside the plastic container,” explains Leon. “As the picture shows, the vertical post protrudes through a round hole on top of the plastic container. It's snug enough to allow the Gamut holder to rotate.” Leon also incorporated a blue saddle seat from Walmart, a yoga mat and some tape to make it all work. He also added foam to the shaft to prevent it from shifting off center.