ADA-accessible-kayak-launch-friendswoodAn adaptive kayak, canoe and boat launch offers a safe and accessible way for adaptive paddlers, those in wheelchairs or those with disabilities to more easily enter and exit a boat. The launch is designed with the input of adaptive athletes and using the best practices in dock and marina engineering. The highest quality products are used in the fabrication of each launch and many ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) features abound in the structure. Below are some highlights on the adaptive kayak launch: 

  • ADA features including a 1:12 slope aluminum gangway that is adjacent the composite decking boat slide. This design allows for individuals to ease their kayak down the slide while they travel along the gangway. 
  • The floating dock and gangway has a 36" continuous handrail along the perimeter, consistent with ADA features.
  • Aluminum floating dock with boat access. The floating docks are engineered for maximum flotation stabilization considering the size, number and placement of plastic encapsulated floats. The marine conditions and water movement (tidal waters, rivers, lake ice, etc.) are also considered.
  • On the floating dock, there is a loading bench that is 16" high. Our group of  adaptive kayakers determined this to be the ideal height to transfer over from a wheelchair. On the loading bench there are four levels with a four-inch rises. The athlete can use the handrail that runs the length of the bench to guide themselves along the bench to the boat. On the last transition there is a pullout seat that extends out and across the top of the boat. The user can simply slide across the pullout seat, locate himself directly across the kayak seat and guide himself into the boat.
  • Surrounding the kayak is the roll cage. It is a frame of handrails and hand straps offering the individual numerous gripping options for lowering into the boat.
  • Supporting the boat in the water is a partially submerged bracket system to stabilize the kayak. 


5rivers-adaptive-kayak-launchProjects: Accessible Kayak / Boat Launch for Adaptive Paddlers

Adaptive kayak boat launch and ADA floating fishing dock at Leaser Lake in Pennsylvania

Adaptive kayak boat launch and aluminum ADA fishing pier at Friendswood Park in Texas

5 Rivers State Park Installs 2 adaptive boat launches in Alabama

State Park Unveils Adaptive boat launch in Pennsylvania

Click here for articles:

What is an adaptive kayak boat launch?                       

How an ADA kayak launch protects your boat

What does an ADA kayak boat launch look like?

Resources for ADA accessible boating, canoeing, kayaking and other watersports for adaptive athletes     

Accessible Kayak and Canoe Launch Design Guidelines

What does an accessible, adaptive and ADA kayak boat launch look like from the air?

Adaptive Paddling


Project: 5 Rivers Alabama


Adaptive Launch Explained


Ken Ryno - Adaptive Product Specialist

If you are considering an adaptive product for your lake, river or other marine area, you will want to talk to Ken. 

Ken has been a driving force in the community advocating for accessibility issues and encouraging other adaptive athletes. He was a founding member of Team River Runner, Lehigh Valley Chapter and is also an avid outdoorsman. Ken was a valuable part of the design team that helped develop the adaptive kayak launch, and as an adaptive athlete he has been an outspoken champion for BoardSafe products. 

Ken assists clients in identifying the needs and right products for their projects. He also helps navigate clients through fundraising strategies to raise money to pay for their adaptive projectsContact us to discuss your adaptive or accessible project with Ken

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