This APW in Seward, Alaska concluded with an open water paddle…
where we were ALL wearing Kokatat dry suits!
Our open water paddle was on a sunny though windy and chilling early September day in Seward Alaska. Blue sky with the sun shining on the hanging glaciers, bald eagles snatching salmon in front of us and even a float plane coming in for a landing all the makings of a perfect Alaska paddling experience.
The Adaptive Paddling Workshops (APW) are 4 day sessions designed to provide paddling instructors, outfitters, recreation program providers, and rehabilitation professionals with the information they need to integrate paddlers with disabilities into their programs. These sessions are sanctioned by the American Canoe Association (ACA) and ACA certified paddling instructors receive an Adaptive Paddling Endorsement on their certifications after successfully completing the full workshop.
During the last 2 days, four students with disabilities who had arrived as novice paddlers, learned how, to adapt their kayaks in order to maximize their control of their boat, and completed the ACA Introduction to Kayaking course, including a pool session with successful wet exits and in-water boat re-entry techniques.
The group photo above includes three of the lead instruction teams, 8 instructors and assistant kayak instructors and the 4 students with disabilities. Those using wheelchairs are the 4 students with disabilities, one of the assistant instructor who uses a wheelchair, and Janet Zeller the lead ACA Instructor Trainer Educator for the APW. Many thanks to Kokatat for the loan of the dry suits for the 4 students with disabilities they were a safety essential for paddling in Alaskan waters.
- Janet Zeller