Gliding along the surface of Shuswap Lake on a calm sunny day atop a stand-up paddle board is an appealing activity for anyone — but one out of reach for those with mobility challenges.
The Shuswap TrailRider Adaptive Adventure Society worked with Access Revolution to get those with mobility challenges out on the water on Friday, Sept. 22 at Canoe Beach, using a special paddle board.
The On-It paddle board provided by Access Revolution is equipped with outriggers to ensure it stays stable and a wheelchair which locks to the surface of the board making transferring paddlers on and off the board much easier.
“My balance isn’t very good even when I walk, but when I went on this board it was absolutely so comfortable and relaxing. It’s a wonderful way to go on the water,” said Sherilee Kowalchuk after getting off the board.
Jordan Kerton, the owner of Access Revolution, said all paddlers wear PFDs and neoprene straps equipped with quick release handles to keep them on the chair, but making it easy to get them off in an emergency.
“We can either set and individual up on the board by themselves and then we paddle on our own paddle boards beside them or we tandem paddle,” Kerton said.
The board is easy enough to paddle that an instructor can paddle from the back of the board if the person in the chair doesn’t have sufficient mobility to assist them.