Adaptive Canoeing : Canoeing for the Disabled: Seating Arrangements


Again I want to go over a few things as far
as seating arrangements in the canoe. You always want to put your participant, or the
least experienced canoer in the very front of the canoe. The person in the front of the
canoe acts as the motor. Next you want to do is, you can have your participant with
the disability sit in the middle of the canoe and make sure they’re at a low center of gravity
like Paul is. And, even though you’ve seen examples of our adaptive paddle wheel, our
adaptive grips, just because someone’s in the canoe doesn’t mean they also have to be
paddling. A lot of times people just enjoy the experience of gliding over the water,
looking at the scenery. And so, it’s always nice to engage your participants with a paddle,
but it’s not always necessary as long as you have your motor in the front, and then also
I’m out of this group I’m the most experienced paddler so I’m going to be in the back and
when I paddle I’m using the different strokes we’ve talked about before as far as the forward
stroke, the backward stroke, the J stroke and I’m also maybe just leaving my paddle
back in the water and pulling it in and out like this in the water to help steer the canoe.
And so, always think about your seating arrangements before you go canoeing. One other issue we
come across when doing adaptable and accessible canoeing is sometimes you might have some
participants that are overweight. And so you want to adjust their weight in the canoe as
much as possible also. So, instead of having Paul back here with me, sometimes what we
might do is we’ll readjust this seat and put it right behind Brelynd and instead of facing
forward, Paul would then be facing me. That way I can give verbal commands to Paul as
far as if he has to shift his weight one way or another and it’s also an easier way to
talk back and forth with someone while you’re canoeing because you can be face to face.
So just take those things in consideration as well when you’re doing caneoing.

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