Hi all - I have a friend who gets around on a below-the-knee prosthetic on one leg. She’s interested in getting into paddling. Does anybody out there have any experience/suggestions? Thanks.
dont give up
Hey there, recent below the knee amputee here. I can not have a prosthetic yet do to some healing issues from my surgery, but I kayak as often as I can. Biggest challenges are loading and unloading off the car. I’m lucky enough to have a girlfriend who wants to get me back to the water. So far I am able to take a walker down to the launch areas being careful on the uneven terrain and rocks and such. I use a cut yoga roll with zip strips on the foot peg rail of the missing leg side. It took some work to get to this point, starting at a demo day in May. each time out it gets easier, and I learn ways to navigate in and out of the kayak with a walker close by. Once on the water, all the effort and work is so worth while. I highly recommend this as a mentally and physically therapeutic activity for interested amputees, once in and going, taking in the serenity of the day, you don’t miss that other leg at all.
amputee interested in paddling
There is a fellow, an engineer by training, who used to post here quite often as Ragamuffin. Kevin is his name in real life, and he's a good guy. Quite a few years ago he started a family business designing and assembling paddling accessories for folks with disabilities. The company is Chosen Valley Canoe and is based in Minnesota.
I'd suggest getting in touch with him, even if you're not in the market for any accessories, as he is very closely in touch with the adaptive paddling community. Becoming acquainted with other paddlers who have dealt with the challenges your friend is facing may be helpful to you both. He is the best person I know of to point you in the proper direction for advice and assistance if needed.
The American Canoe Association has an adaptive paddling program as well and can, no doubt, also help. There's no reason why paddling shouldn't be the most inclusive of sports.
Good for her!
I am not an amputee but wear a brace on one leg and should on the other.
Handling has been addressed so I'll add that a Sit on Top would be a good boat for ease of entry and exit.
Most are very heavy but Hurricane makes one called the Skimmer that is light and gets good reviews.