aids for the handicap person

I want to introduce canoe or Kayaking paddling to a person with a physical handicap. Any links you could provide I would appreciate.

The specific handicap is a partial limb (arm).

Thank you,



Disabled Adventurers

Great website, very clever adaptive gear, wonderfully knowledgeable and supportive people. Can’t say enough good about them. Helped enormously with ideas for an adaptive device to allow one-armed use of a kayak paddle. For a canoe, I’d try to find a relatively simple way of attaching a pivoting “oarlock” to one gunwale of the canoe forward of the bow seat. It could grip a fixed point on the paddle shaft, making it possible to use the paddle in a circular motion. A specialized paddle design might also help.

Might want to check out
the post further down the page on tandem kayaks for a stroke victim. Kevin would, I’m sure, be most helpful though I didn’t remember the name of his company when that post went up. (Thanks FE)

Perhaps there’s an adaptive paddling training program in your area that could be found through the ACA. That might also be very helpful.

You’re doing a good thing. Best to you.

Kevin and Karen at Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories…


Wounded Warriors
I can’t find a link for specific info about paddling a canoe with a partial arm, but Wounded Warriors participate in paddling using every type of watercraft. Often local outfitters have set up an ongoing relationship with this group, and a quick Google search found races in whitewater, flatwater etc. I suggest that you see if you have a group near you, both for contacts about specific means to overcome the problem and to as a source of moral support for your friend.

Here’s their site.

FYI, we had a guy with no arm below the elbow on one side in local pool sessions a couple of years back. He got quite a handy roll in his sea kayak, his only restriction being he had to focus on just one side. He paddled with the prosthetic, it just didn’t lend itself to rolling as well as it worked for regular paddling.

One of the people I paddled with
years ago was a thalidomide baby and had just a stump for an arm. He had had a brace made that fit over the stump. I forget how the brace attached to the paddle but he was able to roll.

Hobie and mirage drive
Hobie kayaks offer products that utilize foot propulsion but can also be used with a paddle. offers flexibility for varying paddling capabilities.

Litle Mirage Sport SOT allowed my
canoeing wife to pedal along with us on FL paddles last spring when she was recovering from shoulder surgery. Going to take it along this Feb too until shoulder gets really strong. Only weighs ~50#. Found it exc. used on Craigs List. Great alternative for those with temporary or permanent upper body limitations. R