Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Paddling – Kayak, Canoe, Outrigger, Rafting and Paddle Boarding

A great thing about paddle sports is that it is not only accessible to people with a physical disability, but it provides an opportunity to individually participate at an equal (and even superior) level.  Adaptive paddling has been made possible with adaptations to boats, seats and paddles as well as amputee systems, provide extensive opportunities to get on the water in a kayak, canoe, outrigger, raft or paddleboard.

Adaptive Paddling Videos
Adaptive Kayaking Overview (2:22)


Adaptive Canoeing – Seat Transfer (2:24)


Adaptive Rafting – Transfer from Boat to Wheelchair (:29)


Adaptive Paddle Boarding (1:29)


Hawai‘i Adaptive Paddling Association – for Adaptive Outrigger Canoeing (2:56)

Hawai’i Adaptive Paddling Association, on the island of O’ahu, supports a monthly recreational program, which allows participants the opportunity to experience a day at the beach in a safe, controlled and fun environment.  Trained volunteers provide a nurturing experience so that our participants can reap the benefits of the canoe and ocean. With an emphasis on safety, volunteers guide our participants through basic paddling skills so they can feel a part of the overall experience.


Safety Considerations

  • Proper clothing is essential when paddling
  • Personal flotation devices should be worn at all times regardless of experience
  • Temperature regulation is important when paddling due to the exposure to wind, water and sun
  • Always paddle with a partner
  • Be aware of weather conditions
  • Never get into a situation that exceeds your paddling ability
  • Bring a communication device — mobile phone, radio, SPOT (in a dry bag as needed)

Adaptive-Paddling-US-Coast-Guard-Safety-Guide (PDF)

More United States Coast Guard Paddle Safety Resources

ACA Adaptive Paddling Resources

Adaptive Paddling Program

Adaptive Paddling Program Overview (1:18)


Adaptive Paddling Classes from ACA

ACA’s Adaptive Paddle Summit
The Adaptive Paddle Summit is a unique opportunity for participants to learn about; cutting edge instructional methods for adaptive paddle sports education and coaching, new equipment offerings, manufacturer demos, fun educational clinics, on water activities and much, much more.

Additional Resources
Learn about para sports events to get an idea about what’s out there and to find some ways to participate.

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