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

LOPC has a variety of different canoes and kayaks to suit different needs. Here are some of what we have to offer:

Bell Boat

canoeing disability

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.


canoeing disability

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.

Rafted Canoes

rafted canoe disability paddle sport
A bit nervous at the idea of sitting in a canoe? What we can do is attach the canoes together into a kind of catamaran shape. This creates a very stable platform that will be very hard to tip over. The other advantage to this is it means many of you will paddle together, which will make it easier to move. We can also arrange for the instructor to paddle with you. We can also use canoes with wider/longer hulls to suit different sizes and make more comfortable.

Sit on Top Kayak

sit on top kayak disability paddle sport

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

disability kayak open cockpit

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.


hoist disability access to canoeing

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.

hoist disability access to canoeing

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.

Holding the Paddle

Paddle Fist Grips

These versatile pieces of kit can be used for both canoeing and kayaking. We also have them in child and adult sizes. They fasten around the arm, hand and paddle to help the participant hold the paddle. These are ideal for people who have dexterity problems with their hands and struggle to grip objects.

Paddle Retainers

Nice simple bit of kit we can use to attach a paddle to someone. If somebody has limited or no use in one of their arms the attachment point can be used as a pivot point using their more able arm to paddle.

Posture Aids

disability posture aid canoe
Pictured to the right is an seat that straps to a canoe seat to help someone sit up. However we can also use other objects such as cushions foam. We also have other options such as sitting on the hull of the boat supported by someone sat behind or lying across the middle of the bell boat.