The nature of paddle sport is that it is very adaptable for all kinds of needs. If people have impairments that could potentially make canoeing and kayaking very difficult there are a number of ways the activity can be changed to fit the needs of the participant.
Here are a few methods of how we can do this at LOPC. Please note these are only options for your choice. If you do not wish to use these we can still help where needed to use the rest of our paddling equipment.
Access to Boats
A bell boat is a fantastic piece of kit that has inclusivity at the heart of its use. The idea of the Bell Boat is paddling for all. Virtually impossible to tip over, this boat is a very safe craft that can take up to 10 people on board. With ten people on the boat all working together, no matter how much you struggle with paddling the boat should still be able to get where you want it too, especially with an instructor on board.
The boat also has a large platform in the middle which you sit if you’d rather be away from the water, or to store kit/bags, plus, it also provides an easy platform for the instructor to move about and help different people. For more information about Bell Boating click here.
Very much like a Bell Boat but just a bit smaller. Typically we would have up to six people in a KataKanu at a time. The seats are wider allowing more comfort, and there is a mesh running down the middle for someone to lie on if preferred. This is ideal for smaller groups or groups who want to split up a bit more. You can find more information about KataKanuing clicking here.
Sit on Top Kayak
This is another type of kayak, where as normally you would sit inside a kayak, this you can just slide yourself on top of it. Other key features include: easy to rescue, stable structure and tracks in a straight line easily.
Open Cockpit Kayak
This is a type of kayak that has an open cockpit allowing easy access in and out of the boat. It also has a wide hull giving it extra stability to minimise any possible chance of a capsize.
Positioned just on the side of the river we have a hoist we can use to help wheel chair users get in and out of the boats. We also have a selection of slings we can use, which we put these around the participant, connect them to the hoist, hoist them up and manoeuvre them into the boat. We can move both the hoist and the boats to gently lower the participant to the appropriate place.
This makes getting wheel chair users in and out of boats safely, comfortably and easily helping them to experience paddle sport. We also note that this is not necessary for all wheel chair users and will help as required if the hoist is not necessary.