Kayak or Paddleboard With A Disability? - Ortega Outdoors

Kayak or Paddleboard With A Disability?

I will start by saying, this post is just an opinion. Everyone’s illness is different. I am not a doctor, and this is by no means medical advice. All that I am providing is my opinion based on my experience with a disability.

I wrote a similar post for our other business Evolution Jetsports, but it really is more fitting here.  Having a disability should not mean your world is over.  Yes, we live in pain, and we lost the ability to do some of the things we once loved.  But, we strive to find new meaning in life, new hobbies, and new things to find reason to live.


How Do Kayaks & SUPs Fit Into This?

Having an autoimmune disease that gives me awful joint pain, and makes me weak at times is a struggle.  I no longer have the ability to go to the gym, and playing basketball is a thing of the past.  So I had to find new hobbies in their place.  Kayaking and paddle boarding are amazing ways to still stay active and preserve those joints for as long as possible (if you don't use it you lose it), while staying very low impact.  Even for the paddle boards, we have seats if standing is hard for extended periods of time.  I myself find that sitting on a paddle board and just going down fishing creek around 6 pm is the best feeling for me.


Are The Kayaks Comfortable?

I would say this is subjective, and this will probably depend on your level of disability.  Our singles do have a padded back, but our tandems are plastic back.  For this reason, I believe sitting on our paddleboards with the added seat is the ultimate comfort and why I love it so much.  Our Crescent SUP + have fully padded tops, and the added seat makes it extremely comfortable.  We also do have plans to add a line of ultra-comfort kayaks for people like us that want to be fairly kush while we adventure down the river (you can never be too comfortable sometimes).


Kayaks & Paddleboards Not Your Thing?

Well, it may not be for everyone, maybe you just want to get out on the water, but being in a kayak seems a little risky for your level of health.  We plan to add Craig Cat mini pontoons to our fleet soon under our other side of the business.  You can find the link to them HERE.  The Craig Cat mini pontoons are a comfortable two-seater motor craft with plush seats and speakers.  With a top speed of 30mph, they are fast enough to get where you want to go, but not too much to jolt you around.  I'm honestly excited for these because they're not only comfy but the ultimate cute date vessel.


What Are The Health Benefits of Kayaking and Paddle Boarding for People with Disabilities or Autoimmune Diseases?

Kayaking and paddle boarding are great outdoor activities that offer a range of health benefits for people with disabilities or autoimmune diseases. These water sports provide a low-impact workout that can help improve overall fitness and reduce stress.

For people with physical disabilities, kayaking and paddle boarding offer a unique opportunity to experience the freedom of movement on the water. The rhythmic motion of paddling can help improve muscle strength and coordination, while the buoyancy of the water can reduce joint pain and pressure. Additionally, the calming effect of being on the water can help reduce anxiety and improve mental health.

For people with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or lupus, kayaking and paddle boarding can offer a low-impact alternative to traditional land-based exercises. These activities can help improve balance, flexibility, and coordination while reducing inflammation and joint pain. Being out in nature can also help reduce stress levels, which can be particularly beneficial for people with autoimmune diseases.

In addition to physical and mental health benefits, kayaking and paddle boarding offer a fun and engaging way to connect with others and explore the natural world. Whether paddling alone or with friends, these activities can provide a sense of accomplishment and joy that can help improve overall well-being. With proper safety precautions and adaptive equipment, people with disabilities or autoimmune diseases can enjoy the many benefits of kayaking and paddle boarding.


What's Next For Us?

We will continue to strive to give everyone the ability to enjoy the outdoors however we can.  This could mean new craft, new rentals, new gear, etc.  We have our eyes on a few things, but of course, we're still growing, and it will take a little time to get where we want to be.  Just keep checking back with us to see our new additions.  


Thank You Again,
Ortega Outdoors