Two riders, One paddler

I love to kayak and should go without saying since I am posting here. I have a unique issue that I am hoping for solutions from this post.

I just started to paddle and my upper body strength is not where it needs to be. My partner, who loves the water as much as I do, has lost almost full function in her right arm and can only perform light task with her left arm due to RSD.

Any ideas on human powered boating options that will not leave me dropping dead when we hit the shoreline while allowing her to participate??? (I prefer boating on calm rivers, lakes and hope to hit the ocean in the next year)

Get a small double kayak

– Last Updated: Aug-17-06 2:01 PM EST –

like a Mark Twain by Kiwi kayaks. Give your partner a single bladed paddle. Get yourself a small bladed kayak paddle. You do most of the work.

A light boat and electric power option…
First…GOOD for you wanting to get out there and enjoy…despite some challenges.

There a couple issues you will need to contend with. First the weight of your boat. With limited upper body strength yourself and your partner having RSD (recently changed to CRPS-complex regional pain syndrome), you may have difficulty loading/unloading the kayak from the top of your car. So, it will be vital to look for a very light double. This is doable, though may be costly. Or, you might want to consider using a trailer.

There are also safety issues to be aware of any time you paddle a kayak, though especially if you have plans to enter waters that are more challenging. I would highly recommend you and your partner working with a well trained teacher who can work with both of you regarding the issues/manuevers necessary to maintain safe paddling for both of you. For instance, how will you two handle a capsize? How will cold water impact your partner’s CRPS and her ability to function in the water if capsized? There are many other important safety issues to contend with. You two might want to consult with your parnter’s rehabilitation therapist as well as a paddling teacher.

I have seen some kayaks outfitted with very small electric motors to assist folks…another option.

You sound confident of finding a resolution…just make sure all of the safety issues are attended to.

Best of luck…