Adaptive kayaking

I’,m 65 years old and diabled, I still concider myself a novice kayaker due to the constant problems I encounter, last outing I turned over 4 times. I’m seeking 2 things:

1- an adaptive kayaking course in the southern NJ area all I can find are in Maine or the mid west.

2- After turning over so many times I was told (finally) told that my sit in was the wrong type for me because of my size and the difficulty I have Getting out. I was told I need a sit on top. This would allow for the adaptions I would need to make (higher back BRACE & brace for the right paddle). Also would allow me to do some fishing because of it’s stability.

I was an adaptive snow skier until my surgery I even taught adative skiing so I know how a sport can give the feeling of wholeness to a diabled person

If there is some place I can learn adaptive paddleing and obtain HELP with a S.O.T. PLEASE let me know.

Being retired finances are kind of limited.


My heart goes out to you
I wish I was closer, but I am not.

Maybe someone who is near you will step up to the plate

Hint- hint- hint!



contact the EMS kayak school
they might have a class down your way… i think…

Eastern Fishing
There are a number of kayak fishermen in the New Jersey area. Go to the website below. Join and post. There should be some people in your area willing to help. It would help to give some info as to size, weight and location.

Search the threads

Links to orgs…
Team River Runner uses Kayaks to help wounded vets.

Perhaps they can answer many of your questions…

Contact Us

If you are an OIF/OEF veteran and want to participate in the Team River Runner kayaking program, please contact:

For general information please contact:

For information about donations please contact:

For website problems or comments please contact:

Adaptive Information Resources . org

If you don’t mind further modifying your kayak, you could look at mounting short outriggers to the sides of your stern in a semi-catamaran configuration.

That would go a long way towards keeping you upright in a variety of conditions.

Here’s a site that shows the cheapest possible way to achieve that using PVC and pool noodles:


at Sit-On-Top Kayaking. Tom & Athena run a fine, exclusively SOT-oriented website. They even have a section specifically devoted to kayaking for the disabled, moderated by a fellow named Mark Theobold (sp?) who may have exactly the info you want.

As far as SOTs vs. SINKs (Sit-INside-Kayaks), you’re probably right regarding ease of entry into the sport as well as ease of entry into the kayak itself! And while Sally & I now more frequently paddle our SINKs, we started out in SOTs and concur that they are quite stable, and far more easy to get back on for the physically challenged. While we’re not disabled, we are getting up there (but nowhere nearly as ancient as JackL, above) and I turn 60 next January, so I can identify with some age-related issues.

The SOT site general URL is:

And the SOT discussion boards site URL is

Scroll down to both the beginner’s board, and the disabled board, and post your question.

Good luck, and with a little of it, here’s to finding a boat you’re really happy with, let alone one with which you can confidently


-Frank in Miami


i have a friend who runs an adaptive kayaking program at the burlington county(nj) college pool. he uses both sink & sot kayaks. in fact this sunday he’s scheduled to take acouple of disabled students out on the rancocas river. email me your contact info & i’ll have him get in touch with you.


One more suggestion

Talk to Marty or Al at The Jersey Paddler in Brick, NJ ( They should be able to help you.


Dear Jim the carver…
Its so cool that you are getting into kayaking. I know it will bring you much joy. Never ever ever give up. You will meet cool people and see very beautiful things as you continue in the sport. I love kayaking also. I make kayaks and love to paddle them. in 2001 I paddled to alaska about 1500 miles it was so fun. I also kayaked around Lake Mead. My favorite thing about that trip was hearing the coyotes at night as I slept under the stars. I did both those trips alone. Which was really neat as I could listen carefully to things . And God was so kind to me…he took great care of me…Also thats cool your a skiier I been skiing since 6 years old and I am 46 now… About kayaks…be courageous as you can, confident. Stay safe as you can, dont let anyone say you cant…Nice to meet you jim the carver/…peace

keep trying
I’m somewhat disabled and overweight but I was determined to kayak.

I pretty much need to enter my yak in shallow water using my paddle for a cane and when I exit I have to turn around and put my hands behind my seat and then lift my right leg out followed by my bad leg. I have problems when the water is not shallow enough. Sometimes I just have to grit me teeth and make my weight work for me.

Then start up slow and build up to speed. When I come out later, sometimes much later, I sit on the beach and use my inhalers before trying to load the kayak back on my van.

It is best to not panic and not to worry. Have a float plan and a self rescue plan that works for you and enjoy yourself.